Dunkin' Donuts introduces 'ground shaking' change

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Dunkin' Donuts is rolling out a new app that will let customers skip the line.

On Friday, the coffee-and-donut chain announced it is launching a new app on June 6 that will allow loyalty program members to order and pay via mobile, and then cut the line to pick up their items.

"This is ground shaking," Dunkin' CEO Nigel Travis told Business Insider.

Dunkin's new app, available in the App Store or Google Play as "New Dunkin' Donuts," allows customers to place on-the-go orders up to 24 hours in advance, skipping the line to pick up the orders inside the restaurant or via drive-thru. Payment is automatic, using the Dunkin' Donuts card through the app.

The app will help improve two of the most important parts of business at any quick-service chain: increasing speed, and reducing mistakes.

RELATED: Check out photos of gourmet donuts around the world:

Doughnut shops across the US
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Dunkin' Donuts introduces 'ground shaking' change
ARIZONA- BoSa Donuts
CONNETICUT- Neil's Donuts
DELAWARE- Fractured Pruned 
INDIANA- Square Donuts
LOUISIANA- Southern Maid Donuts
MARYLAND- Glory Doughnuts
MASSACHUSETTS- Kane's Handcrafted Donuts 
MICHIGAN- Hinkley's Bakery
MISSISSIPPI- Blue Star Donuts 
MISSOURI- Old Town Downtown

MONTANA- Granny's Gourmet Donuts

NEW JERSEY- Montclair Bread Co.
NEW MEXICO- Rebel Donut

Skipping the line has long been customers' dream for any fast-food chain, cutting precious minutes from an already speedy process.

"We're famous for speed," says Travis. "Some other the businesses that have similar apps don't have the same speed as us, so we see that as a real competitive advantage."

According to Travis, Dunkin' has created a culture where speed and convenience are extremely important, thanks in part to the chain's New England base. ("People from the Northeast are slightly impatient," he says.)

The company has measured the time for each piece of the puzzle — waiting in line, ordering, paying, food preparation — and worked to make each piece as time-efficient as possible. Using the app to cut the line out of the equation is simply the next step in this process.

However, as speed picks up, mistakes often also increase.

"One of the biggest challenges we have — it's not just Dunkin', it's everyone — is order accuracy," says Travis.

At a chain known for speed with a wide range of menu options, it's easy for mistakes to slip through the cracks, from forgetting an item in a large order to simply adding the wrong kind of milk. The app can help fix that, allowing customers to plug in exactly what they want, as well as save favorites for repeated orders.

"We have a lot of variations, we have a lot of personalization," says Travis. "This teaches people about Dunkin'. If you go to, say, a company that starts with S that I can't remember the name, they'll make you put your own cream and sweetener in... The app does it for you."

Of course, the new app also has some qualities that benefit Dunkin' in addition to the consumer.

Dunkin's app allows the company to gather more information on individual customers, as well as market to loyalty program members on a personalized basis. By making the app only available to DD Perks members, the company has the chance to grow its loyalty program, which currently has 4.6 million members, compared to the more than 12 million Starbucks' Rewards members.

It could also cut down on labor costs, with employees taking orders currently accounting for about 30% of in-store workers at Dunkin' Donuts locations.

"I think this is a win for franchisees, and a win for the consumers," says Travis.

Dunkin' Donuts isn't the only chain exploring mobile apps. Earlier this week, Chick-fil-A announced it was rolling out an ordering and payment app of its own, in part to speed up service. Starbucks has one of the most popular mobile order-and-pay apps in the industry, while Taco Bell launched an app with similar features in 2015.

Dunkin' began testing the new app last year in Portland, Maine in late 2015, rolling out the test in recent months to Boston and New York City. According to Travis, its roll out is just the beginning of new, tech-focused innovation for the chain, which is currently testing delivery and curbside pick up in select markets.

"This is the architecture for the future," Travis says of the app. "We're trying to speed up things even more."

RELATED: Click through for some of the most expensive desserts in the world:

The most expensive desserts in the world
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Dunkin' Donuts introduces 'ground shaking' change

What: Krispy Kreme Luxe Doughnut

Where: Krispy Kreme, Selfridge's (Oxford Street location, London, United Kingdom)

How much: $1,450

Special features: Edible diamonds and 24-carat gold leaves, gold-dusted chocolate flower, served on top of a cocktail that features 500-year-old Courvoisier de L’Esprit Cognac and 2002 Dom Pérignon.

Photo credit: Facebook

What: Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence Dessert

Where: The Fortress Resort & Spa (Koggala, Sri Lanka)

How much: $14,500

Special features: Made with a gold leaf Italian cassata and Irish cream served over Dom Perignon alongside a hand-carved chocolate statue of a fisherman and an 80-karat aquamarine stone

Photo credit: Instagram 

What: Chocolate Pudding

Where: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel (Windermere, United Kingdom)

How much: $35,000

Special features: Infused with champagne jelly, covered in edible gold leaf, handcrafted edible flowers, caviar and a 2-karat white diamond

Photo credit: Facebook

What: Golden Opulence Sundae

Where: Serendipity 3 (New York, NY)

How much: $1,000

Special features: Wrapped in edible gold leaf and the extremely rare Venezuelan Chuao chocolate, served in a Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet

Photo credit: Getty

What: Three Twins Ice Cream "World's Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae"

Where: Three Twins Ice Cream (San Francisco, CA)

How much: $3,333.33

Special features: Covered in syrups made from a vintage port, a Chateau D’Yquem and a German Trockenbeerenauslese, served with a 19th Century collectors spoon.

Photo credit: Facebook

What: Strawberries Arnaud

Where: Arnaud's Restaurant (New Orleans, LA)

How much: $3,900,000

Special features: Strawberries marinated in vintage port, served with a 7.09-karat pink diamond

Photo credit: Facebook

What: Platinum Cake

Where: Custom made by pastry chef Nobue Ikara (Japan)

How much: $130,000

Special features: Frosted white cake draped in platinum necklaces, pendants, chains and edible platinum flakes

Photo credit: Getty

What: Frrrozen Haute Chocolate

Where: Serendipity 3 (New York, NY)

How much: $25,000

Claim to fame: Infused with five grams of 24-karat gold, topped with a La Madeline au Truffle that's flowin in from France, served with an 18-karat gold bracelet bedazzled with 1-carat of white diamonds and a golden spoon

Photo credit: Getty

What: Golden Phoenix Cupcake

Where: Bloomsburys Cupcakes (Dubai)

How much: $1,000

Special features: Served on a Villari 24-carat gold empire cake stand, covered in 23-carat edible gold sheets and edible gold dust

Photo credit: Instagram

What: Golden Cannoli

Where: Jasper's Restaurant (Kansas City, MO)

How much: $26,000

Special features: Edible gold leaf shell, served with a diamond necklace

Photo credit: Facebook


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