Burger King Uses IoT to Deliver Whoppers to Drivers Stuck in Traffic

Burger King will be introducing the Traffic Jam Whopper project that uses real-time data in order to determine hungry drivers in highways and congested roads / Sorbis via Shutterstock

 

Feeling thirsty or hungry can impact a person’s driving performance. It affects both the driver’s focus and mood, especially in heavy traffic. And just like how cars need to fuel up before a drive, our body also needs a fill. This inspired American fast food restaurant company Burger King to use the Internet of Things to target drivers who are stuck in traffic. It said that their plan is to deliver burgers to drivers while they sit in their cars amid a particularly bad traffic jam.

IoT and the Traffic Jam Whopper Project

Nations Restaurant News reported that Burger King will be introducing the Traffic Jam Whopper project to selected cities. It uses real-time data in order to determine hungry drivers in highways and congested roads so the fast-food chain can deliver foods by courier service on motorcycles. They will be utilizing an automated message sent through their Burger King app or through personalized messaging on various digital billboards that are located in busy roads close to a nearby Burger King outlet. All these are made possible with the use of real-time IoT data, including the driver’s speed and location, as well as the billboards content about the remaining time to order and deliveries that are in progress. 

The company emphasized that its Traffic Jam Whopper Project is only limited to Whopper Combos for now in consideration of speed preparation. This is also because they want hamburgers and drinks to arrive still hot and cold. However, they are planning to provide their customers with a wider menu should their project prove a success in LA and other cities, such as Shanghai in China and Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The direct-to-car delivery test

The American fast food restaurant company further announced that they have already conducted a direct-to-car delivery test in Mexico, causing 63% of deliveries in some locations during the month of April. Burger King Latin America’s Head of Marketing Bruno Cardinali said that their IoT Traffic Jam Whopper campaign has created awareness not only in the capital but in the whole country, as well. In fact, the number of orders has increased, especially during rush hour.

The delivery zone

The Nations Restaurant added that drivers are encouraged to order in their app when they are in the delivery zone, which is within the 1.9-mile radius from the nearby Burger King outlet. To also avoid tickets and ensure safety, customers can take advantage of the app’s voice commands when making their orders. Within the delivery zone, drivers can likewise see a countdown clock in the digital billboards, informing them of the number of minutes left to send an order while their vehicles pass through the delivery zone.

Once the food and drinks are ready to be delivered, the Burger King motorcyclists will use GPS technology and Google maps that are embedded into their app so that they can quickly locate the car that sent them the order. Trend analysis and tech news daily Network World stated that motorcyclists can easily pass through the traffic since lane-splitting is not illegal in some areas, like California. 

Drivers are encouraged to order in their app when they are in the delivery zone, which is within the 1.9-mile radius from the nearby Burger King outlet / ddisq via Shutterstock

 

New York-based creative advertising shop We Believer is Burger King’s agency that released the video about the recent delivery campaign. We Believers’ co-founder Marco Vega said that the average time it takes to deliver the burger and drinks to the drivers is about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the food chain states that compared to the 15 minutes waiting time, most traffic jams actually hold drivers waiting longer than 15 minutes.
Burger King did not release a timeline yet when they will be releasing the expanded menu. Yet, Cardinali shared that the number of Burger King Mexico app downloads and the increase of awareness about their campaign have provided an uplift in their delivery sales and the whole experience encouraged them to extend their program. After the campaign test in Mexico, Burger King showed how IoT technology can be used to turn bad traffic into an opportunity to gain more sales even during slow periods.

Whopper Wi-Fi

To provide better in-restaurant experiences to their customers, the fast food restaurant has moreover previously given emphasis to the importance of their store Wi-fi upgrade. They called it the Whopper Wi-Fi, powered by the American multinational telecommunications company AT&T. Burger King Miami’s spokesman Alix Salyers stated that they are committed to enhancing their digital platforms and their mobile app. The Wi-Fi upgrade is the start. Whopper Wi-Fi is the same technique used in coffee shops a few years ago. Aside from paying through a mobile app, customers can also get information about what music is currently playing in-store through the Wi-Fi.

For quick service restaurants like them, using technology will help them understand the types of customers that are coming into their stores and this will, in turn, help the chain have a better understanding of what deals and offers to create.