Technology/Services

Subway Tests Mobile Ordering

Text-to-order tool lays groundwork for future loyalty integration

MILFORD, Conn. -- Subway has partnered with Mobivity to launch a text message ordering tool powered by blockchain.

Mobivity is currently previewing the technology at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. The preview showcases the interactive abilities of the Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging standard to allow customers to find a store and view, select, refine and order Subway menu items without ever needing to leave a text message conversation. RCS reaches customers within their default text messaging app.

The program allows customers to access capabilities usually confined to apps via text message, while a blockchain ledger lays the foundation for future loyalty and cryptocurrency applications. Blockchain is a strategy to structure data, originally utilized for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is a public, digital ledger kept accurate through shared data, and it does not need a central authority behind it to verify its accuracy, according to Fortune.

Customers using the program can search for a Subway unit by sharing their location with the push of a button and ordering their sandwich with a text reply, or by choosing from on-screen options. Users can also select a side dish, beverage and dessert.

The test will continue beyond the Mobile World Congress event, according to a Mobivity spokesperson. "Availability is intended for all Subway consumers utilizing an RCS-enabled phone on a wireless carrier supporting RCS. We are accumulating a lot of demand," the spokesperson told CSP Daily News. Sonic Drive-In and Baskin Robbins are also adopting the technology.

“This is a cutting-edge, exciting opportunity to continue to evolve how we serve our customers,” said Carissa Ganelli, chief digital officer of Subway. “Our goal is to make ordering and receiving your favorite Subway meal as easy as possible. We have been using text conversations to engage our guests and now we are taking it to the next level. With RCS technology and real-time conversations, we are delivering a personalized ordering experience in seconds and in clicks. We are excited to partner with Mobivity and to create a unique on-demand digital experience for our loyal customers.”

Phoenix-based Mobivity provides a marketing platform for restaurants, retailers and personal-care brands. The company’s clients include Subway, Sonic Drive-In, Chick-fil-A and Baskin Robbins.

Subway, based in Milford, Conn., serves subs, soups and salads at more than 44,000 restaurants in 113 countries. The family-owned business includes more than 21,000 franchisees worldwide.

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