Apps earnings

This could explain why fast food apps are more popular than ever

Topping the list of most downloaded apps is McDonald’s, with 4.3 million downloads in July. Next come Starbucks, Domino’s, SONIC and Chick-Fil-A to complete the top 5.

Why are these apps exploding in popularity? Adam Blacker, vice president of Insights at Apptopia, the company that compiled the data for RSQ, highlights the many incentives and promotions offered by fast food chains. These include McDonald’s National Fry Day offer, which Initiated explains gave customers using the app a big free order of fries on July 13. For its part, Starbucks has reduced the price of cold drinks on Tuesdays in July by 50% for those who use its proprietary app, says Delight.

What was once considered incremental revenue to a restaurant’s traditional in-person business model, digital sales are increasingly becoming a critical revenue stream for quick-service and full-service restaurants. An analysis by found that 37% of high-income restaurants—those with more than $1 million in annual revenue—get 50% or more of their business from digital channels.

And it’s not just an American phenomenon. Advertising week recently covered the accelerated app growth for McDonald’s and Burger King in the UK. It’s worth noting that McDonald’s loyalty program credits one point for every penny spent on customer accounts, which can be redeemed for menu items or donated to charity, such as the Ronald McDonald House.