Software Development
Apps / Design

CAVA launched a redesigned app this week as digital orders continue to grow

The D.C.-based Mediterranean culinary brand offers new menu categories and ordering formats in its mobile app. Here's what CEO Brett Schulman had to say about the development process.

You can build a bowl just like this in CAVA's newly redesigned app. (Photo via Twitter)

As a business that prides itself on using data to enhance the customer experience, CAVA is rolling out a redesigned app this week in response to rapidly shifting consumer needs.

The popular D.C.-based Mediterranean culinary brand manages restaurants that offer healthy fast-casual salads, grain and rice bowls. The company first launched a decade ago and now has branches in more than 10 states, including California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. CAVA’s CEO Brett Schulman told that CAVA was founded with the idea that hospitality must be at the center of its guest experience — and that has been proven to be true especially during the pandemic, when folks are often placing food orders digitally, he said.

“The act of placing a digital order is traditionally a transactional experience. In an increasingly digital-first world, we are using technology to enhance the human experience with an elevated sense of discovery,” he said. “Our digital customer journeys are designed to balance speed and joy. Further, the pandemic accelerated our plans to expand access points with curbside pick up and delivery, knowing the vital role these components play in a newly adapted dining experience.”

Schulman reports that 30% of revenue comes from those new access channels that did not exist before the pandemic.

The company’s new app release comes after CAVA saw a significant increase in digital order volume once the coronavirus hit the U.S. (Schulman did not share specific user numbers.) The CEO said the company’s in-house tech teams were at the helm of setting up those new access channels, and that CAVA’s app was co-designed by its in-house engineering team and digital product agency Work & Co.

The first version of the app was conceptualized by the pair in 2018 with the focus on creating a unique user experience. As development continued through this year, the app team continued to make updates and develop new features.

The app now has new menu categories and better ordering formats, Schulman said. One of the new categories includes an option for large-format offerings, like ordering meals for an entire family at a time. The app includes a highly visual, walk-the-line-inspired user experience, more customization capabilities and a more seamless check-out.

“As CAVA continues to evolve the app, customers can expect the app will feature more capabilities, including improved location search and group ordering in the future,” Schulman said. “We’re adapting to shifting habits in real time, with our goal to make the Mediterranean way of life accessible to more people and in more convenient ways. We will continue to integrate these priorities into our digital growth plans, while continuing to work to bridge the gap between the in-store and digital experience.”

Here’s what CAVA’s redesigned app looks like:

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