When fire-grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco was ready for a new mobile app that offered the company greater control over the technology, Bounteous was ready for the job.
The objective, according to Lead Developer Savannah Carr, was to create a brand-new application that enabled long-term customization, integrated a look and feel that aligned with El Pollo Loco’s brand and served as the core of the company’s reimagined loyalty program in order to offer a more robust customer experience.
Carr and her team utilized a combination of the open-source Ionic application development framework along with Bounteous’ own proprietary NomNom Core Accelerator technology, which supports building out cross-platform online-ordering apps. This combination of tools not only allowed her team to build out El Pollo Loco’s new app to specification — but to do so efficiently and effectively.
“The Ionic framework allows us to build hybrid mobile apps from a single codebase, an alternative to native apps and the necessity for multiple teams of developers with different skill sets,” Carr said. “We use the Ionic framework to expedite time to market, create a seamless web to app user experience and optimize time, cost and resources.”
That optimization was key to the project’s success.
“El Pollo Loco was on a very tight timeline,” Senior Project Manager Danny Foote said. “We needed a solution that would allow us to have a minimally viable product to market by the end of Q1 2023, while offering a custom look and feel and new loyalty features. Using NomNom allowed us to build custom apps while integrating with El Pollo Loco’s third-party vendors and providing a seamless tech stack.”
Bounteous has spent years building solutions for third-party integrations, specifically tailored to each industry partner. With that in mind, Foote and his team were ready for the challenge ahead while moving quickly across Bounteous’ cross-functional team, the clients at El Pollo Loco, and alongside an array of external stakeholders.
While the El Pollo Loco application launch stands out as a success, Carr and Foote found the experience reflected much of the value Bounteous offers to clients and the opportunities the company offers to colleagues, as well.
“The best moment was when we got the custom designs implemented and online ordering data connected,” Foote said. “Suddenly everything went from a design on a page to a beautiful online ordering experience that looked and felt like the future El Pollo Loco was envisioning.”
“Suddenly everything went from a design on a page to a beautiful online ordering experience that looked and felt like the future El Pollo Loco was envisioning.”
Foote: We used Agile scrum to structure our workflows and broke everything into two-week sprints. This allowed us to utilize the scrum ceremonies as checkpoints, demos and syncs to keep everyone on the same page through the discover, conceive, and build phases of the project. No matter where we were in the project timeline, everyone was in the loop, able to get questions answered and provide input.
Carr: We worked closely with all teams, both internally and externally, which included third-party partners, client stakeholders and internal practice leads. We created a healthy culture based on collaboration and shared goals by attending regularly scheduled meetings, one-on-ones and using tools like Slack to post updates and blockers.
Foote: With our NomNom Accelerator and our deep experience in the restaurant space, we have developed various approaches that allow us to customize how we work with each brand. We start with a deep understanding of what restaurant brands want and need, best practices and pitfalls, as well as opportunities for innovation. We know the third party vendors and have built custom solutions with them for years. All of this allows us to move into action quickly, problem solve on the fly, and get to MVP in a unique way.
“We start with a deep understanding of what restaurant brands want and need.”
Carr: Throughout the project, I developed my leadership skills by managing and leading the technical side of the project and working with cross-functional partners and client stakeholders to ensure goals were met. Specifically, I developed the ability to build out a project plan by organizing all features into sprints ahead of time. I expanded my communication abilities by partnering with third-party counterparts and attended my first client on-site, which taught me how to develop a strong relationship with the client and earn trust.
Foote: Our great team on the Bounteous side was matched by a great team on the El Pollo Loco side so we were able to act as one team towards the common goal of a new loyalty program roll out which went beyond the Bounteous work of building an app. Being a good partner is more than building a great product and meeting deadlines and expectations — it is working together to make our partners successful in everything they are working hard to accomplish.