Mobile apps are becoming essential tools for many fast-food chains. Customers can place pickup or delivery orders, accumulate loyalty points, and receive promotions with these apps. SimilarWeb recently compared ;the daily active users on the Android apps of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Dunkin' Brands' (NASDAQ:DNKN) Dunkin' Donuts, and Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), and found that Starbucks easily led the pack.

Daily active users for Starbucks, McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, and Domino's Pizza mobile apps.

Data source: SimilarWeb. Chart by author.

That wasn't surprising, since Starbucks launched one of the first fast-food mobile apps back in 2009, and mobile orders accounted for 11% of the coffee specialist's U.S. transactions last year. Starbucks' app was also the most popular proximity mobile payments platform in America, with 20.7 million users last year, according to eMarketer.

McDonald's arrived much later. It launched its mobile app in 2015, then added mobile ordering and payment features last year. Dunkin' Donuts launched a mobile payments app in 2012, then added mobile orders in 2017 via a partnership with Waze. However, mobile transactions only accounted for 3% of Dunkin's total orders last year.

Meanwhile, Domino's Pizza is testing driverless delivery vehicles with Ford, which could be eventually summoned with its mobile app. All these innovations should streamline orders, reduce wait times, and help restaurants collect more data for improving their businesses.

Leo Sun owns shares of F. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends F. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.