What is a non-app person?
“Favorite app” is really an elusive term. Even as an “IT guy” for more than 20+ years, I am often wary of technology and forever concerned about the security of my data and devices. When everyone started saying “there’s an app for that!” I kind of felt like I was missing out on some things, but I’d still couple it with an eye roll.
Don’t get me wrong, I use the biggies and always have, like map software or social media, but in general, I’m very reluctant to grant an app access to my phone and/or my data. I don’t want to worry about the “fine print” after I click “agree” to their terms and conditions. It’s great when technology can marry perks or a great loyalty program with increased convenience. I’ll be following this post up with a couple other apps that I use, but I didn’t want to drone on and cram them all into a single post. Let’s get to it.
Chick-fil a, technically didn’t even have a location in New York City until 2015. Now there are 4 locations and maybe that’s part of the reason I’m not making any progress on my weight loss. (see final paragraph below)
When I had seen an “Olive Garden” close and a sign go up, “Chick-fil-a Opening soon”, I was really happy. The other locations weren’t very convenient for me, but this new location was at the end of a bus route that I take frequently. Boom. That was the tipping point for me to install the app.
The first thing I noticed about the app is that you could order on the app, and then pick up your order in the store. According to several Yelp reviews, that function didn’t always work seamlessly, but I love the idea. Starbucks had some challenges with people that were ordering on the app and picking up in the store, but I still wanted to give this a try. I’ve used the feature about 5 times so far, and every single time it’s worked flawlessly and has decreased my wait time by about 10 to 15 minutes per visit. I love that. No…really…I LOVE THAT!
The app allows you to keep a balance on the app, that you can fund with a credit card and then draw down from that balance. After you create your order, you receive a 5 or 6 letter code. When you arrive at the location, you enter that code on a kiosk and go directly to the “Pick up” counter.
The app also let’s you bookmark your favorite location, so it defaults to that location when starting a new order. The order arrives with my full name printed on the bag, and is fully announced by the server. With my diminished hearing from riding the subway for decades and the extreme diversity of names in NYC, I no longer have to awkwardly walk up to the counter when they cry out “Zim” or “Tim” when I thought they said “Jim”. This might seem trite, but that’s a big deal. I can quickly snatch the bag like a hawk and hustle to my little corner of said establishment.
Most loyalty programs are designed to get you to buy more stuff. This one is no exception, but at least they track the levels, present it clearly, and let me use my freebies within the app itself. I’m never going to be “getting rich” off using any app, but it does serve to drive my choices.
The app also allows individual stores to send you their own little special offers, “Just because”. I love that. No…I LOVE THAT. I often wonder why I see so many car ads on TV, yet I’ve never own or intend to own a car. Targeted perks are an amazing thing that are practical and frankly, make me feel a little special.
After I visited a new location near Grand Central Terminal for the first time, a week later, I received a special offer from operator Ellie Kim.
She has an interesting and unique NYC story that I found on YouTube. That kind of direct communication is something I appreciate, and again might serve to steer my purchases.
Wrapping it up
In general if an app makes my life easier and offers me some kind of quantifiable perk, then I’ll consider using it. It also must be stable on my device of choice and not act wonky or crash a lot.
What happened to losing 20 pounds?
Now….those of you who might follow this blog on a regular basis, might remember that I returned from Fincon19, inspired and I set up a challenge of writing 20 posts and 20 pounds. Well, you probably figured out, since I’m writing about a fast food app, that I haven’t made any progress on that front. In all reality, I did make some headway on that goal and was down about 7 pounds, but it wasn’t married to any motivation for writing at the time so I had a backslide, and gained it all back.
Don’t give up on me though…it’s one of my goals for this blog to share information that can help us live healthier as we hit middle age. I have a couple posts related to that in the pipeline and no more of my “favorite apps” are food related. Stay tuned! Let me know your favorite apps that improve your quality of life and how they achieve that! I’ll be including 3 more in upcoming posts.