Waze, Dunkin Donuts team up to let customers order coffee ahead

The use of Waze's new "order ahead" feature requires Dunkin' customers to update their Dunkin' Mobile App for iPhone, iPod and Android smartphones.

Waze is one of the big leaders in navigation, but now it's added something extra for the mobile payments market: the ability to order food while figuring out where the food is.

"The user should submit his/her order before navigating to the given Dunkin' Donuts location", the rep added. A Dunkin' rep said the app has been downloaded more than 18 million times, which means 12 million of those users will have to sign up for the rewards program if they want to Order Ahead. But now, crowdsourced Global Positioning System app Waze is letting drivers give the orders - orders for Dunkin' Donuts, at least.

Dunkin' began its partnership with Waze in 2012 when all of its locations were mapped through the app.

"Waze involves the ritualistic behavior of driving to work on your daily commute, and we are a brand built on a ritual, too", said Scott Hudler, chief digital officer for Dunkin' Brands. It allows drivers to buy Dunkin' coffee and food ahead of time without using the DD Perks app - though, confusingly, they still need to be a registered user of it. However, instead of Waze getting a piece of any Dunkin' orders placed through the feature, Dunkin' has agreed to increase its advertising on the Waze platform. And, in 2016, Dunkin' said it became the first company to utilize the Favorite Brand Campaign feature that invites Waze users to "favorite" the brand through native-style ad units with the tap of a button.

Waze also offers a carpooling feature that pays drivers to pick up passengers headed in the same direction. And the three shops in the area - in South San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Half Moon Bay - are certainly temples of donut-y awesomeness to anyone who visits there for a box of Munchkins. Instead, they were sent to Capitol Hill as a set of "options" for GOP staff aides and lawmakers crafting a catchall spending bill for the ongoing budget year, which ends September 30.

  • Joanne Flowers