client story

Distribution Delivery Optimization

A leading quick-service restaurant chain engaged Artisan to create a mobile app that would close the identified communication gap by including delivery drivers in the real-time conversation flow.

Innovation Strategy
Digital Transformation
Unified Commerce


A leading quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain had recently established its own internal distribution business to support sustained accelerated growth. This new distribution business ran out of a state-of-the-art facility and invested in innovative tools to streamline communication with the restaurants it served. However, the delivery driver, a critical front-line service role, still lacked direct access to the systems and communication tools critical for working with the restaurants directly. This posed several challenges:


  • Out-dated Delivery Instructions - Drivers depended on printed and laminated restaurant profiles for proper instructions for parking and unloading at each location. Restaurants change and make improvements regularly, and often the distributed materials did not reflect the most up-to-date information resulting in confusion and time-consuming scenarios.
  • Missing Critical Information - Drivers often have critical information required to resolve issues with delivery but they were not equipped to share their knowledge directly with the system.  Additional issues and reports were commonly submitted without full awareness of delivery details, contributing to increased resolution times and confused restaurant managers.


The QSR quickly realized it needed to include delivery drivers in the streamlined communication flow with restaurants to realize the benefits of its internalized distribution strategy fully.

The QSR engaged Artisan to create a mobile app that would close the identified communication gap by including delivery drivers in the real-time conversation flow. The goals were to provide dynamic restaurant profiles, include delivery drivers in the flow of communication with restaurants, leverage delivery drivers’ advanced knowledge of delivery-related issues to further improve customer service response times, and simplify everyday tasks through a modern digital tool.

We began with an Understand phase, a process where we learned from subject matter experts and hosted driver focus groups. We also rode along with delivery drivers on their routes and helped unload trucks to establish a tangible understanding of our users’ pain points. The Understand phase resulted in a conceptual design prototype that included delivery drivers as important members of the ongoing conversation with restaurant managers.


Using the conceptual design prototype as a long-term vision, we worked with the QSR to define a minimally viable product (MVP) that could be launched quickly and become the basis for rapid incremental improvements driven by continuous driver feedback. We continued to refine the concept during the Build phase of the MVP, keeping delivery drivers involved and at the center of the process. Ultimately, we launched the MVP ahead of an aggressive schedule, which included:


  • Improved Transparency – Dynamic restaurant profiles with a feedback mechanism for suggestions and updates if improvement possibilities or discrepancies are recognized
  • Open Communication - The ability to respond directly to delivery issues reported by the restaurant
  • Efficient Issue Resolution - The ability to proactively report delivery issues on behalf of the restaurant teams 
  • Automation - Automation of key manual processes


"The increased communication with the Restaurants and Customer Support makes the Drivers much more efficient." --Distribution Supervisor


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