No where it is more evident that brand, technology, and operations are intrinsically connected than in the fast casual restaurant industry. It’s not just for Panera either – we’ve seen this consistently for our work with Dunkin’, Toast, Keurig, and other clients. When it came time for Panera to launch their own delivery service, we were asked to lean in so we could create a delivery experience that brought the Panera brand to life at every touchpoint...
Launching Panera Delivery
What happens when you let brands like Grubhub, Doordash, and UberEats into your restaurant business to capture an immediate uptick in sales? They start owning the customer relationship, data, and putting more pressure on already-thin restaurant margins. For these reasons, Panera saw the value in a delivery service that could control the end-to-end brand experience.
As a partner in this endeavor, we were asked to help design a branded delivery experience for consumers, as well as ensure that a focus on customer experience was central to the operational side of delivery. The result was a delivery service that launched months ahead of schedule and a gain in operational efficiences in back-of-house systems and cafe operations.
Tip #1: Service Blueprinting is a great first step in branded service design
In simple terms, Service Blueprinting is a high-level service map that includes the desired customer journey, operations, and tech systems that are needed to bring the CX to life. A Service Blueprint plays three valuable roles early on: 1) Provides an organized view of the service across marketing, technology, and operational teams, 2) allows teams to view top-level challenges and opportunities across the entire service chain, and 3) can be a central document to help with integrated planning for executional activities.
Tip #2: Spending time with frontline employees to see problems and opportunities first-hand is key
As we designed the delivery experience, we spent just as much time riding along with delivery drivers and behind the counter with cafe managers so we could better understand the service we were designing for. It didn't just uncover new challenges and opportunities, it ensured that, as we rolled out this new service, that the needs of employees and managers were considered from the start.
Tip #3: When in doubt, prototype it out
Prototyping out ideas for new app designs and operational adjustments was a key activity that was pervasive in almost every stage of the product. Whenever we had an idea, we immediately prototyped it out and put in the hands of customers, delviery drivers, and managers to see how they respond to something that felt real. It ended becoming an amazing tool to help us learn quickly avoid future pitfalls.