sweetgreen's tech team focused on 'Innovation, impact, sustainability' to design mobile app
Customers at sweetgreen have a new app to explore as the chain recently launched one with seamless integration and single sign-on for mobile ordering, mobile payment and a rewards program, according to a company press release.
"When we started sweetgreen, it was all about bridging the gap between healthy eating and convenience. This new app brings us one step closer by reducing wait times," said sweetgreen Co-founder Jonathan Neman.
When designing sweetgreen Rewards, he said the team kept three things in mind:
Online ordering revenue is up 80 percent year over year, and 21 percent of in-store payments at sweetgreen are processed through the app. Integrating payment, online ordering and the POS system improves flow, accuracy and throughput, which enhance the customer experience
This app is the technological foundation on which sweetgreen will scale online ordering across the fleet in coming years, Neman said. Plus, the back-of-house updates eliminate complexity and improve the employee experience.
Neman expects the improvements to provide on-the-go ordering capabilities and shorten pickup times, bridging the gap between health and convenience. Each sweetgreen has the potential to dramatically increase its throughput with these changes, which means it can further scale healthy eating.
To date, sweetgreen has raised $95 million to fuel the company's growth — that includes growing the footprint of the company, meeting consumer needs and providing greater access to healthy food, Neman said. The tech and operations teams collaborated to develop an algorithm to optimize incoming online order flow and the in-store salad-production thresholds. This research has inspired a new back-of-house setup and a designated pickup area in the front, so customers can seamlessly grab their pre-paid salads in a separate queue, Neman said.
"We believe that great technology enhances real life experiences, it does not replace true human connections. We wanted to create a digital platform that mirrors the in-store experience, builds a foundation for future innovation and allows us to serve more people better food," he said
Ordering and pickup
The new app mirrors the in-store experience with compelling, bright imagery and local sourcing information. The app also flags dietary restrictions, lets customers save favorite salads in four taps, integrates with the iOS Health app to track meals and offers on-demand pick-up. Customers can even request an Uber to bring them to sweetgreen to pick up their orders.
Payments will be processed immediately in the app, using the credit card on file, which means all online orders will be pre-paid, and every app transaction will accrue loyalty rewards. For in-store purchases, sweetgreen app users can scan the app for quick payment and to earn rewards.
The loyalty program allows users to earn a $9 credit for every $99 they spend. There are three loyalty levels — green, gold and black — with varying degrees of swag and perks, including sweetlife festival tickets and exclusive dinners, Neman said. Customers previously earned rewards solely by paying in-store, but the new app and single sign-on mean guests will earn rewards for mobile or online transactions, and they can view their progress in the app or online in real time.
Showing local support
Because sweetgreen is invested in local communities, 1 perent of app purchases for green status and above are donated to local sweetgreen in schools partners to help teach kids about healthy eating and the importance of nutrition, Neman said.
The new iOS app is now available and will automatically download for customers who have the existing app and have enabled automatic updates. An Android version of the app is in development, Neman said.