Wingstop (WING) Perks Up Digital Ordering With Amazon Alexa

Dallas-based, Wingstop, Inc. WING is further expanding its digital ordering capabilities with the launch of voice-activated ordering through Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN Alexa.

Starting Jan 10, Wingstop customers can speak simple command prompts to activate Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa. Vocal prompts include the ones such as, “Alexa, ask Wingstop to order wings”; or “Alexa, ask Wingstop to order favorite”.

Through the commands, customers will be able to place fresh orders, re-order from their past favorites from the menu as well as process payment and obtain anticipated pick-up times.

With this latest offering, Wingstop became the first in the industry to offer voice-activated ordering with menu item customization through Amazon’s Alexa.

Venture into Technology

The digital wave has hit the U.S. fast casual restaurant sector. Therefore, more and more restaurants are deploying technology to enhance guest experience. Similarly, Wingstop is also investing heavily in technology-driven initiatives like digital ordering to boost sales. The company keeps on adding various ordering apps and platforms to its digital capabilities.

Notably, digital leadership is helping the company expand its brand both domestically and overseas. At the end of the last quarter, digital orders accounted for 19% of the total orders for the company. Meanwhile, online sales made up 17.7% of total sales and have been generating $4 higher average check than the current average order. As the company has a takeout mix at approximately 75% of its sales, it expects to continue growing its online ordering mix much higher, over time.

In fact, growing online channels is part of the company’s core long-term strategy. One of the key enablers of online ordering growth is the rollout of its new Point Of Sales system that integrates online orders straight to the kitchen.

Last June, the company debuted industry’s first-ever multi-channel social ordering capabilities on Facebook, Inc.’s FB Messenger and on Twitter, Inc. TWTR. The omni-channel text and voice conversational technology, powered by Conversable, Inc., allowed customers to start an order, customize it and enjoy easy check-out.

Bottom Line

Wingstop’s shares have widely outperformed the broader Zacks categorized Retail–Restaurants industry over the last year. While the stock gained 30.1%, the broader industry witnessed a gain of 0.4% in the same time period.

Notably, the company has reported positive comps in all the six quarters since its IPO in Jun 2015, on the back of menu innovation and solid unit development. Moreover, it has beaten earnings and revenue estimates each time since then.

Going forward, the extended ways to order are poised to keep Wingstop in the forefront of digital ordering and customer convenience, and should further aid in improving the company’s sales trends, and enhance its competitive position.

Wingstop currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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