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Waze Navigation App Launches Doughnut Service for Drivers.

By Israel Hayom

Waze drivers can now order Dunkin' Donuts. Waze's traffic navigation app already shows ads prodding drivers to swing by fast-food joints like Dunkin' Donuts and Taco Bell. Now it's adding a new item to its menu -- the ability to place orders at some shops.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Google-owned app started letting drivers purchase coffee and other items from Dunkin' Donuts for pickup along their way. This is the first time that Waze has offered this kind of "order ahead" option, but unlikely to be the last.

If all goes well with the Dunkin' Donuts test, Waze plans to team up with other merchants so its millions of users can order pizza, reserve parking spaces, fill prescriptions and even buy groceries without having to use other applications on their phones. "It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up," said Jordan Grossman, head of Waze's business partnerships in North America.

Waze won't earn a commission on the Dunkin' Donuts sales made in its app. Instead, Dunkin' Donuts has agreed to increase the amount it spends on advertising on the Waze app. Neither Waze nor Dunkin' Donuts would disclose the size of the increase.

Dunkin' Donuts has its own app, which until now was the only way to order ahead at the chain's stores. But working with Waze made sense, said Scott Hudler, chief digital officer for Dunkin' Brands. "Waze involves the ritualistic behavior of driving to work on your daily commute, and we are a brand built on a ritual, too," he said.

Drivers using Waze's "order ahead" option will need to install the Dunkin' Donuts app as well, although they won't have to open it. They'll also need to be registered with Dunkin' Donuts customer loyalty program. The push into e-commerce is Waze's latest step to move beyond its original purpose of recommending the fastest route to any destination.

Waze also offers a carpooling feature that pays drivers to pick up passengers headed in the same direction. This feature is currently available in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Sacramento, as well as Israel. While still in its infancy, that service could siphon passengers away from ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

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Publication:Israel Faxx
Date:Mar 29, 2017
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