The world has many divides. There are red states opposed to blue states. Dog people aligned against cat people. Mac users vs. PC people. However, few divides are as contentious as where to buy one's morning cup of coffee. There the divide is between Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.
While the quality of the coffee can be debated, what was not in dispute was that Starbucks was ahead in mobile payments. The coffee chain boasts the most popular mobile payment app on the planet.
But Dunkin' Donuts is fighting back. The company announced it is finally launching its own mobile application that includes the ability to pay for coffee, donuts and merchandise at Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the U.S. Customers can download the app on their iOS or Android devices and pay in-store or at drive-thru windows.
Along with payments, users of the new Dunkin' Donut app can also send virtual gift cards through text, email and Facebook Connect. With its app's mGift feature, Dunkin' Donuts becomes the first national coffee retailer to enable people to send virtual gift cards three ways.
"With our new mobile app, we are enabling an entirely new level of speed and convenience for our guests that will further distinguish our brand throughout the country," said John Costello, Dunkin' Brands chief global marketing and innovation officer, in announcing the app. "We know that our guests rely on their mobile devices now more than ever, and we are glad to provide them with this exciting new service in a way that is uniquely Dunkin'."
The new app from Dunkin' Donuts is free to download and use. Customers can load money onto a virtual Dunkin' Donut card using a credit card or PayPal account. Payment is made using a barcode scanner at the register.
"This is a clear example of our determination to invest in technologies that help us exceed our guests' expectations and enable our franchisees to run their restaurants as efficiently and effectively as possible," said Dunkin' Brands CEO and president Nigel Travis.
For more stories like this, visit our Restaurants research center.