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Dunkin’ Donuts debuts with Waze's Order Ahead feature to boost brand loyalty

Dunkin’ Donuts is the debut partner with Waze to launch a service that lets consumers order from within the real-time, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, a move it hopes will further brand loyalty.

The service, name Order Ahead, lets Waze users place orders prior to hitting the road – with additional brand options to come, according to Jordan Grossman, head of business partnerships in North America at Waze.

As of March 28, the more than 6 million members of Dunkin’ Donuts’ DD Perks rewards program can order coffee, donuts, breakfast sandwiches and the like by searching for Dunkin’ Donuts within Waze, prompting the app to find the closest location. Users then select the Order Ahead option, pick their menu items and select “I’m ready for pickup”.

Then, upon arrival at Dunkin’ Donuts, consumers can skip the line and pick up their orders, according to a company press release. (However, a video noted speeding past the line is not available in all locations.)

Users must also be both DD Perks members and have the Dunkin’ app on their phones to take advantage of the new capability. A Dunkin’ rep said the app has been downloaded more than 18 million times, which means 12 million of those users will have to sign up for the rewards program if they want to Order Ahead.

The rep also noted Order Ahead is intended to take place pre-drive.

“The user should submit his/her order before navigating to the given Dunkin’ Donuts location,” the rep added.

In other words, users who decide they want coffee en route will have to do it the old-fashioned way. Or they will at least have to pull over.

To utilize Waze’s Order Ahead feature, customers must also update their Dunkin’ apps.

“We are proud to be the first brand to integrate with Waze to enhance the mobile experience and offer our DD Perks members… faster, more convenient ways for ordering ahead,” said Scott Hudler, ‎chief digital officer at Dunkin' Brands, in a statement.

“Loyalty is the main focus for all that we do at Dunkin’ Donuts. Leveraging the best technologies and partnering with leading brands like Waze helps our brand continue to stand apart for valuing our loyal guests and providing them with exciting and innovative new ways to purchase Dunkin’ Donuts food and beverages as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”

Waze's Grossman added: “Our new Order Ahead feature expands Waze’s mission of saving time on the road by enabling consumers to now also save time in-store, while giving brands a new opportunity to engage with their customers. We’re excited to launch this feature with Dunkin’ Donuts… and look forward to rolling it out with more brand advertisers in the near future to further personalize the driving experience for Wazers, saving them time and money.”

Dunkin’ said it has been a Waze partner since 2012, when it mapped all of its locations through the app. And, in 2016, Dunkin’ said it became the first company to utilize the Favorite Brand Campaign feature that invites Waze users to “favorite” the brand through native-style ad units with the tap of a button.