White Castle Embraces 'Empowering and Never Repressive' Technology, Exec Says

April 16, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

From its self-serve kiosks to its mobile ordering app, the nearly 100-year-old White Castle has learned a few new tricks. Jamie Richardson, vice president of government and shareholder relations at the slider chain, said he expects application and delivery orders to pick-up as customers grow more accustomed to the changes.

"If you go back to the beginning of time at White Castle when we added the drive through, it wasn't a big percentage of sales in the beginning. Today, it's 70 percent of sales," Richardson told Cheddar. "We're seeing that mobile app part of business continue to grow, because it's a good customer experience and the heart for hospitality we bring to our work in the restaurants also comes through in the mobile app."

Despite famously taking 40 years to add a cheeseburger option to its menu, White Castle has embraced change more readily in recent years. The fast food chain, for example, introduced a plant-based version of its signature slider last year.

"It's been a huge hit, well beyond our wildest expectations," Richardson said "It got over 100 million impressions on social media, so there's lots of buzz and lots of energy around the Impossible Slider. Beyond that, it tastes incredible."

From a technology standpoint, White Castle also offers delivery through third party carriers like DoorDash, a mobile ordering application for customers, a separate app for employees, as well as kiosks for ordering in some locations. Richardson said technological innovations in the restaurant industry will likely hone in on improving delivery and back-of-house equipment in the near term, but that it will be important to keep up the "conversation with customers," which keeps the industry moving forward.

"We've got one law of technology at the castle and that comes down to this that it should always be empowering and never repressive," Richardson said.

For full interview click here.