Sweetgreen revamps mobile app - Technical.ly DC

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Jan. 21, 2016 11:55 am

Sweetgreen revamps mobile app

It's a complete overhaul, which is good because people hated the previous version.

Sweetgreen's new app fixes many of the issues people had with the last version.

(Courtesy photo)

Sweetgreen, the D.C.-born fast-casual salad chain, unveiled version 2.0 of its (branded LevelUp) mobile app this week, and it’s being billed as a major renovation.

If the App Store reviews on version 1.3.0 were any indication, a major renovation was needed. That latest (now outdated) update came in May 2015, and people hated it.

Here’s a sample of some recent reviews:

The general consensus on version 1.3.0.

The general consensus on version 1.3.0. (Screenshot)

Of course, there were some good reviews too — reviews from when Sweetgreen first launched their app in 2013 seemed to be positive, but complaints grew with subsequent updates.

Given the general App Store consensus (just two stars on the last update), we decided to take the new app for a spin to see how it has (or hasn’t) addressed user concerns.

Here’s what we found:

Privacy concerns

  • The new app still asks for location information in order to let you know where your nearest Sweetgreen is (there are currently 19 in the area). While we understand the privacy issues this might bring up, it’s also not exactly unusual behavior for a mobile app. And you can disallow location if that’s your preference.

Loading bugs

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  • The one small issue we encountered was in setting a birthday in the profile set up. We were excited about this because the app promises to “hook you up with something special on your big day,” but we weren’t able to change the default. While this is the only bug we experienced, we won’t bet on the new app being bug-free either. It’s a new release, after all.

In-app payment

  • This is probably the biggest win for the new version — it enables in-app payment. It also enables other cool things, like integration with the iOS health app and the ability to call an Uber to take you to pick up your salad. Just in case.

Other selling points of the app include the special pick up point for pre-ordered and pre-paid salads (“bridging the gap between health and convenience”) and the rewards loyalty program with three tiers, each “with varying degrees of swag and perks.”

The company says online ordering revenue is up 80% year over year, so a revamped mobile app is key for Sweetgreen as it expands across the country. The chain recently announced that it’s planning to move the company HQ to Los Angeles, citing California as a key market. An Android version of the new app is currently in development.

And what does the app store think of the overhaul? Early reviews are mixed:

Early reviews of version 2.0. (Screenshot)

Early reviews of version 2.0. (Screenshot)

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Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier is the lead reporter for Technical.ly DC. The California native previously worked for NPR and the editorial board at USA Today. She can talk travel plans all day, and has strong opinions on the best doughnut in D.C.

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