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Fast-casual chain Abuelo’s enhances curbside pickup experience with AI

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Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant is integrating machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) with its curbside pickup operations.

The fast-casual dining retailer is utilizing the Flybuy Pickup platform, based on proprietary ML and location AI, to streamline its curbside pickup offering. Customers can place a curbside pickup order using the Abuelo's app or site, and will receive a text with a link to tap when they are on their way to pick up the order.

With customer permission, the software tracks their location while en route, so Abuelo's can prioritize the order for their arrival time. When the customer arrives, they can park at a designated curbside pickup spot, tap the "I am here" link, and an Abuelo's associate will bring the order to the vehicle. Location tracking ends at pickup.

The Flybuy Pickup integration enables individual Abuelo's store locations to anticipate each customer’s arrival for their pickup order, so wait times can be shorter and curbside orders are served at the correct temperature.

Another restaurant chain operating with a Mexican fast-casual concept, Chipotle, is leveraging the Flybuy platform to engage with Chipotle app users upon their arrival and utilize real-time data to enhance their experience with interactive services such as order readiness messaging, wrong pick-up location detection, and reminders to scan the Chipotle Rewards QR code at checkout.

"We want to make the to-go experience personal and hassle-free for our guests who order food from Abuelo's," said Robert Lin, president of Abuelo's. "We're also committed to guest privacy, so the Flybuy Pickup partnership is a perfect fit since the location feature is used only with guest permission during the pickup process. The software is fully integrated with the Abuelo's app and site to ensure we can deliver food curbside when it is freshest and at the correct serving temperature.

"Our partnership with Flybuy Pickup makes getting a to-go meal from Abuelo's almost completely effortless after the guest places an order," Lin said. "All customers have to do is tap their screen a couple of times, first to let us know that they're on the way and again when they arrive, and we'll take care of everything else. It makes getting freshly prepared Mexican food from Abuelo's easier than ever, and that can give busy families more time to spend with each other."

Owned and operated by Food Concepts International and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, Abuelo’s currently has 26 full-service restaurants located in nine states.  

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