CAVA Launches Mobile Ordering App

As part of a new technology roll-out, the fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant brand is targeting digital sales to comprise 20% to 30% of its business in 2017.
January 10, 2017

WASHINGTON – CAVA, a rapidly expanding fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant brand, has announced the launch of its new app as the latest step in its use of technology to create personalized experiences for customers.

The app will allow customers to order ahead and reorder meals, pay ahead of time, pick up and avoid the line, and earn rewards. Customers will be able to order on a range of devices and the app offers a completely customized menu for individual preferences and diets.

Through the app, customers can create profiles on pick-up area tablets that allow CAVA team members to greet customers by name and offer personalized rewards based on a customer's ordering history and preferences both at CAVA and retail.

CAVA partnered with Made by Many to create the app, which will be available for free on desktop, iPhone and Android. Built using React & Elixir, the app is designed to allow a huge number of people on the same system at the same time, without sacrificing speed, which means that CAVA can offer digital ordering at scale as they continue to open new locations. When it hits 12:00 pm and everyone is trying to order their lunches at the exact same time, the concurrency from Elixir means customers won’t experience delays.

“There are lots of ‘order-ahead’ apps, but restaurant technology is typically clunky and unreliable for both customers and operators. We wanted to change that,” said Brett Schulman, CAVA Group CEO. “Our app mirrors the in-store experience allowing people to customize their meal just as they would if they were ordering from our staff in-store.”

Digital ordering will just be one form of payment at CAVA. “We are not a brand of the 1%, we’re a brand of the 100%,” said Schulman. “We want to bring better and healthier food to everyone, no matter whether you pay in cash or through the app, whether you live in a city center or in the suburbs.”

The new app is just one way that CAVA is utilizing technology to disrupt the industry and improve the customer experience. CAVA employs an in-house data science team and uses motion and environmental sensors to monitor its restaurants around the clock, analyzing the data daily to predict sales and operations trends, and to make design recommendations with the goal of maximizing customer flow and efficiency. The new app will offer a wealth of additional data, all of which will be analyzed and used as a basis for changes to the restaurants and menus to improve the customer experience.

CAVA is a fast casual restaurant and packaged product brand focusing on fresh, modern, Mediterranean, better-for-you cuisine. CAVA’s 23 current locations are in both suburban and urban areas of the Washington, D.C., metro area, in New York City’s Union Square and in three Los Angeles-area locations, as well as more than 10 additional locations set to open within the next year. CAVA also has a product line of small-batch dips and spreads available at more than 200 Whole Foods Markets and other specialty grocery stores.