Little Caesars, the fourth-biggest pizza chain with 4,456 locations in the U.S., expanded mobile order pick-up service to 55 locations in Utah, per a statement from franchise operator Sizzling Platter. The Reserve-N-Ready service lets customers order pizza and pick it up from heated, self-service Pizza Portal stations in its restaurants.
The service lets customers place an order and pre-pay with the Little Caesars mobile app. The app notifies customers when an order is ready for pickup. Customer can then skip the line at the store and go directly to the Pizza Portal to input a 3-digit pin or scan a QR code to unlock the order.
Customers can order any pizza with their choice of toppings, or choose from expanded menu options using the mobile app. Apex Supply Chain Technologies developed the Pizza Portal dispensing system for Little Caesars.
Little Caesars has focused on making pizza takeout as convenient as possible throughout its history of competing with quick-service chains that offer delivery. The chain’s service is evolving with the popularity of smartphones that make ordering and paying for food easier than ever.
Mobile order and pay is transforming the pizza industry, with chains like Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s adding various features to their apps like order tracking. However, the roll out of mobile ordering has not come without challenges for some restaurants, including adjusting operations behind the counter to keep up with increased volume from mobile ordering or how to accommodate separate customer flows for those ordering in-store and those ordering on mobile. The complexity added by mobile for employees in quick-service restaurants has also been a challenge.
Little Caesars' approach is interesting in that it leverages QR codes and food lockers to streamline pick-up service, an approach that sounds promising as long as the lockers are able to keep up with demand if there's a mobile-driven surge. The chain introduced its Reserve-N-Ready and Pizza Portal system at an Arizona location in August, with plans to roll it out nationwide. Franchise operator Sizzling Platter is part of that expansion with the addition of 55 locations in Utah that have Pizza Portals.