March 19, 2018 - Comments Off on Order Ahead @ Sonic Drive-in

Order Ahead @ Sonic Drive-in

It's been a great few years... pulling and pushing and progressing the brand towards Order Ahead. No one else does Order Ahead personalization like Sonic -- If you were to build a Order Ahead footprint/concept in today's day and age, you would build a Sonic Drive-In (Elon... seriously, let's talk).


Recap: It's been a pleasure leading the teams working to make this happen. First in 2014-2015, coming on-board at SONIC focusing on Digital Innovation, a small team tasked with creating the future of burgers at SONIC. The first year we built a new POPS experience both UX/UI and backend functionality. We also remade, folding in a re-imagined web presence and mobile first menu with our backend CRM -- My SONIC -- enabling users ability to login, track rewards, create favorites, and check gift card balances. In addition to the new site and POPS experience, we also delivered a Proof of Concept (POC) of loyalty. This loyalty experience included separate check-in and reward injection experiences on mobile and POPS -- as well as our first GAP experiences POC (Mobile check-in to POPS).

The learning from this POC allowed us to create the best Order Ahead experience in the QSR industry, an omni-channel experience with personalized check-in and carhop delivery.

The POC also uncovered some needed work on our backend infrastructure, and in 2016, I was given the chance to lead teams down in MarTech (formerly IT). My specific role was to lead technology delivery on the ICE platforms (POPS, Mobile, APIs, Web), a collaborative effort with our Product Team, Enterprise Architecture, and App Services to first migrate our legacy codebase on in-house servers into the cloud, and secondly to retire the monolithic API codebase. We spent the better part of a year strategically breaking apart these core functions into multiple micro services that could feed omni-channel platforms.

With the infrastructure in place, and our new continuous delivery model churning out production releases of new APIs daily, it was time to build. So, in 2017-2018, I was asked to come back to Marketing to lead Product Management of Order Ahead on multiple platforms (POPS, Mobile, POS, Digital Menu Management, and Web), each with their own Product Manager, vision, roadmap, and budget.

Needless to say, it has been a ride and I couldn't be happier at the progression.

Now for some shout outs: First off, the vision of our Sonic leadership to get us in this position to deliver has been phenomenal. Over 5 years in the making, a great problem to solve, with fantastic support from our executive sponsors. And I could not say enough about our teams -- a hard working, focused, collaborative group of developers, project managers, product managers, designers, producers, business analysts, enterprise architects, and operations (in-store technical and operational leadership) working as one team. Truly a great group of individuals, scattered across the US and Brazil!! BIG thanks to each and everyone that had a part in creating this game changer for SONIC!!

Now let's keep adding some features!! #roadmap #productmanagement #productleadership

Press: #3 on the Franchise 500: Sonic Drive-In Looks to the Future Sonic brings 'order ahead' to Oklahoma City

Payments Journal: Sonic Serves Up Mobile Order And Pay

Nation's Restaraunt News: Sonic banks on order-ahead platform Why Sonic is Ready to Change the Convenience Game Sonic Just Unveiled An Ordering App That Makes Other Drive-Thru Feel Ancient

KATC Lafayette: SONIC Drive-In chooses Lafayette as test market for new Order Ahead app feature

Business Insider: Sonic has a new weapon to compete with McDonald's and Chick-fil-A

QSR Magazine: Sonic's Digital Strategy Could be a Game-Changer

The Spoon: Sonic Drive-In Rolls Out Its Mobile Ordering System Just in Time for Summer


Published by: samuel in digital

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