While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry especially hard, many quick-service restaurants (QSR), a staple of American dining since the first White Castle opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, have managed to weather the storm by prioritizing mobile orders and focusing on app-first customer experiences. 

Many QSR apps enable consumers to order ahead for curbside pickup while others have adapted their services to include delivery options. Online food orders via apps grew 3,868% between February and June of 2020. Bluedot reported in April of 2020, that 43% of consumers surveyed have used fast-food branded apps, and in a report released by Market Force Information, 80% of consumers are turning to brands they trust during the pandemic when making restaurant purchases. 

Convenience aside, these apps help build customer loyalty. QSR apps encourage repeat purchases by utilizing push notifications and in-app exclusive offers like discounts, free food, and rewards. In 2018, a large QSR chain offered free food in exchange for downloading and installing their app. Within 8 days the branded app rose from the 56th spot to the number 2 overall app in the United States in all major app stores.  

As the usage of these apps increases, so do the instances of fraud. Sixty-two percent of QSR customers have reported they are concerned about potential fraud when interacting with a QSR app, and for good reason. Accounts created on QSR apps are packed with critical information including financial payment information, rewards points, and stored passwords.  Ensuring consumers have safe and authentic experiences when interacting with a branded QSR app is critical. For more information on how to plan an effective mobile app enforcement program to complement your overall mobile strategy, we’ve published an informative guide that you can download here.

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