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1. Do you develop the application in-house or seek an outside vendor?

Irving, Calif.-based Taco Bell developed its own “Live Más” platform rather than opting for off-the-shelf solutions, which could have been a quicker way to bring mobile ordering to fruition. Customers at the 5,300 U.S. units can customize menu selections, and the app offers “smart upsell” opportunities, suggesting a drink or dessert if the user hasn’t ordered one. To ensure that the food is prepared when the guest arrives, the system uses a GPS locator to recognize when the person placing the order is near and gives the kitchen a signal to fire the order.

2. Have you set success metrics?

Companies of all sizes need to set goals at the outset to measure how successful the ordering platform is, Aaron Allen of Aaron Allen & Associates LLC said.

3. What kind of budget can you allocate?

The budget depends on the size of the restaurant chain and whether franchisees’ point-of-sale equipment is compatible.

4. How do you capture the biggest audience quickly?

A successful marketing program for the new platform must be in place to let customers know it’s available.

5. Should you link mobile ordering to a loyalty program?

Because mobile platforms can provide demographic data on each customer, coordination with a marketing program can be beneficial, Allen said.