Bringing The Outback Straight to your home dinner table
A look into the user experience workflow implemented on the Online Ordering and Delivery workflow implemented on each of the Bloomin’ Brand sites, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s.
The importance of offering Customers Convenience
This is a look into the user experience workflow implemented on the Online Ordering and Delivery workflow implemented on each of the Bloomin’ Brand sites, Outback Steakhouse, and Carrabba’s.
The food delivery market is changing at an accelerated pace. And as a large franchise, being online is the way to go when it comes down to expanding a fluctuating customer base with lots of options available to them, & boosting the stream of revenue.
The benefits of online ordering systems for restaurants are becoming more evident every day. Today’s diners tend to prefer using technology to access restaurant services. Online reservations, online take-out, and online pick-up are favored over picking up the phone, and it is essential to meet their needs if you want to remain competitive.
My Approach to the challenge,
the work, & the results
To implement online ordering, I first focused defined a North Star. The intention of Bloomin’ Brands was to save their customers time by offering delivery to customers’ doors, avoiding time spent taking orders, and free-up employees to better serve customers. The idea was to create an experience that increased the cost-effectiveness and productivity of their restaurants, with less manpower.
As a digital strategist and UX researcher on this initiative, I began with a customer development exercise. By questioning the core business assumptions, we could establish a solid foundation that consisted of explicitly knowing what business assumptions were wrong, what was the customer’s problem, and what could be a solution. This resulted in us being able to identify a need, define a solution, and what basic features it would need to perform.
Frequent diners between the ages of 25-60 who lived within a 5-mile radius of a franchise.
Customers being able to self-serve order and enjoy a lunch or dinner from Outback Steakhouse or Carrabba’s without leaving the comfort of their home.
Overall, the solution would be an online ordering terminal that would empower users to select from the menu, choose their delivery date and time, enter payment information, and place the order.
One aspect of the Online Ordering solution was that unfortunately, online ordering would be a pilot that would be implemented as franchises were able to either secure a GrubHub account or hire a delivery person. The way I was able to work around this challenge was to first, confirm eligibility for delivery before we made the customer go thru the process of placing the order. This would alleviate customers of the frustration of doing all the work to then find out they could not get their food delivered.
I was then able to develop the ideal workflow with processes and verifications that in the end, produced an amazing experience for their customers while meeting all of the business requirements. Today’s online ordering experience has been an implementation that grew from the research and design I helped foster at Bloomin’ Brands. I am proud to say I helped!
An online terminal that would allow customers to access the full menu, place orders online, and accept all forms of digital payment.
It’s always a win when you can offer alternatives to dine in, like ordering from the comfort of their home, as well as offering time-saving options for those customers who do not have the time to leave their job to grab lunch.