Denver-based Smashburger is one of the latest fast-casuals implementing new strategies to streamline online ordering and better manage off-premises operations.
In an effort to bridge the gap between digital ordering and back-of-house operations, the burger chain teamed with Curbit, a restaurant software company, to utilize its AI-driven dynamic throttling technology in 129 company-owned locations.
Curbit dynamically adjusts order promise times through historical data and real-time analysis of on-site kitchen conditions. The approach aims to minimize guest wait times and provide fresher food delivery, while maximizing kitchen output without overburdening employees.
“With digital ordering, you have one opportunity to impress a first-time guest and very little room for error with returning guests,” said Veronica Luna, senior director of digital engagement of Jollibee Group North America, Smashburger’s parent company.
With Curbit’s tech stack, Smashburger can now send live updates on order progress to delivery drivers and guests, reducing discrepancies between expected and actual pickup times.
In addition, the tech company offers integrations with various online ordering systems such as Olo, Toast, PAR, Oracle and more.
The rollout follows a pilot that looked at 60 Smashburger restaurants, 30 of which were equipped with Curbit’s order throttling software, while the remaining locations continued their traditional operations. Performance metrics such as speed of service, repeat rates and guest sentiment were evaluated at all locations.
The testing period found that the restaurants using order-throttling saw an 84 percent improvement in time to pickup, reducing wait times and decreasing remade orders due to quality issues. The fast-casual also saw a 22 percent increase in repeat orders and 11 percent improvement in Google review ratings.
“Curbit’s collaboration with Smashburger and Jollibee Food Corp. stands as a prime illustration of a technology-driven brand dedicated to embracing digital transformation, and it has clearly yielded the benefits of AI-driven kitchen intelligence,” said Curbit co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Scott Siegel. “We are elated to provide a solution that optimizes operations and substantially elevates customer satisfaction without the need for any capital expenditure.”