Take us through some of the changes, starting with the “walk-the-line” feature. Why was that an important element—to recreate the in-store experience digitally?
CAVA is known for customization and the culinary journey of walking the line to select each unique element of our Mediterranean menu. Our team designed the UX very intentionally so that each component is added at the right time to both reflect this in-person experience but also, from a culinary perspective, build upon existing flavors and textures. Each bowl is often unique to the guest's personal tastes and flavor profiles—and we want to ensure that the process of creating each meal flows as seamlessly as it would in-person so that they have the same creative liberty regardless of where they order from.
Elaborate on image-based ordering as well. It seems like a theme is starting to emerge in terms of bringing day-to-day interactions into a new digital arena.
Yes, our digital customer journeys are designed to balance speed and joy. We aim for digital ordering to be more appetite inducing with emotive imagery which encourages fluid decision making based on the whims of the moment. We designed this feature to help serve customers who are strapped for time and want to make quick, easy decisions, as well as help visualize the experience for guests who are looking for more inspiration when crafting their meals.
Especially given COVID-19 restrictions, accessibility has gained relevance. Firstly, how has this evolved for CAVA over the past nine or so months? How quickly did the system get curbside up, and what other tech needed to be added or enhanced to serve customers during this time?
The strength of our in-house engineering capabilities and team agility greatly accelerated the launch of new contactless access channels. Projects that typically took 6-12 months were accomplished in a matter of several weeks and drove meaningful access improvements like curbside pickup and in-app delivery when guests needed contactless options most. We also completely adapted the customer journey and redesigned our restaurant experience with guest and team safety top of mind.