McAlister’s Deli App Part 2: The Remix

A long, long time ago, in a class far away…

I wrote my very first blog.  It was an evaluation of McAlister’s app and how it was connected with the rest of their brand.

I went looking for signs of the app on their website. I also evaluated the mobile design of their website. And I broke down the McAlister’s Deli brand and how it was integrated into their digital presence.

What we learned the first time around…

  1. McAlister’s actually has two apps: Online Ordering and DeliClub.
    • Visiting their website on a mobile device prompted you to download the Online Ordering app, while DeliClub was nowhere to be found outside of a search for “McAlister’s” in the app store.
    • deli site
    • I decided that while the Online Ordering app only does one thing, it does it very well. But, I deemed there to be some missed opportunities for content within in the app. You can learn more about that by reading the first blog.
  2. McAlister’s does not advertise their app(s) through their social media.
  3. A Secret Shopper experience revealed that customers often find the DeliClub app glitchy and unnecessary, but the employee I spoke with agreed with me that the Online Ordering app is a great asset.

Overall, that first time around taught me that McAlister’s Deli lacked cohesiveness in their app presentation and promotion.

So, I decided to revisit it and reevaluate now that I’m a whole four months wiser. I was hoping to find that McAlister’s had magically heard my recommendations from the first evaluation, and put them into effect. Sadly, this is not the case.

What we learned when we got back in the saddle…

  1. McAlister’s no longer has a prompt to download their Online Ordering app when you go to visit their website on a mobile device.
    • image
    • However, website is no longer simply “optimized for mobile,” it now has a responsive design.
      • This is where me being four months wiser comes into play.
      • A responsive design means there is one set of code written for the website and it adapts to whatever screen it is loaded on without much fuss.
      • This allows for a more dynamic experience when visiting the mobile site. The photos on the home screen now scroll on a slideshow without the user having to prompt them to scroll, just like the desktop version.
      • However, online ordering is still not available through the mobile website, only the desktop version or the app.
      • So not prompting users to download the app when they visit the mobile site is a sorely missed opportunity.
  2. While McAlister’s social media is still mouth watering and hunger inducing, there’s still no sign of the app.
    • Essentially, this means that users will now only know of the app through word of mouth or if they search “McAlister’s” in the app store since there’s no CTA on the mobile site anymore.
      • Though the search will still leave them presented with two options. Confusing.

  3. The latest round of Secret Shopper brought me to an eager, young counter employee eager to help me work through the DeliClub app after I asked her about it.
    • I told her I only had, and used, the Online Ordering app and she said, “Oh that one’s great!” And then followed with something along the lines of, “The DeliClub could be great, but it’s got some problems. Having two apps might be a little excessive, but I still want people to use them.”
    • I pretended I was a McAlister’s executive and gave this eager, young counter employee an A+. (The food was an A+ as well. Yum.)

Revisiting Recommendations

Now, even more-so than the last time I did this, I’m urging McAlister’s Deli to promote their dang app. They have a great thing going with their Online Ordering app, but now, quite literally, there is no way anyone would know it exists without going looking for it.

And bravo for those proactive people who do go looking for it, but the majority of people need to be prompted with something to know it’s available for use. Do better, McAlister’s.

I still think they need to combine the two apps. DeliClub is their rewards program, and would be more useful if users could gather rewards when ordering through the app. Currently, the app requires you to whip it out at check out or order pick up. A whole extra step for something means most people won’t do it.


The new, responsive website design really left me impressed. Their mobile site has never been difficult, but now it’s visually engaging instead of just optimized.

McAlister’s, I may be tough on you, but it’s because I just love you so much.


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