Technology in Restaurants - US - March 2014
"Technology continues to increase at a rapid pace and the majority of the population use smartphones or other mobile devices. However, the majority of consumers either do not use technology in restaurants or have maintained similar usage compared to last year. More than half of respondents do not use online or mobile ordering or payment apps or loyalty programs. Since the use of technology by consumers at restaurants is a developing opportunity, these rates are likely to increase over time, especially as Millennials gain spending power."
- Bethany Wall, Foodservice Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How to reach consumers most effectively?
- How can operators encourage repeat business?
- Will tech be an effective way to gain efficiencies?
- How to encourage consumers to dine-in?
Providing an optimal dining-out experience means different things to different consumers. To be successful in creating a good experience, restaurants must understand what their target customer groups are looking for and match their offerings accordingly.
Consumers are busier and desire a convenient and efficient dining experience. This has caused consumers to seek faster and faster service, often opting for limited-service restaurants and are using out of store ordering options like to-go, drive-thru and delivery. Restaurants must keep up with new technologies to stay even with their competition, including offering online and mobile ordering and payment options, online brand interaction, mobile loyalty programs and using push marketing methods.
With Americans’ on-the-go lifestyle, many restaurant dining rooms are empty. Operators must grapple with how to lure consumers into restaurants for higher check averages. It is all about finding the right balance of technology and service, as well as finding ways to allow both to exist in the same space. The dining experience shouldn’t be rushed; however, maximum convenience and a unique experience will help drive traffic. Offering technology as an opt-in choice gives consumers power to control their experience, while not alienating those that wish for a more traditional experience.
This is a new 2014 report title centering on technology trends in the foodservice space. However, this report does build on the analysis in Mintel’s Dining Out Experience—US, April 2013, which explored both technology and ambience. This report covers both full-service and limited-service restaurants and focuses on how restaurants are utilizing technology to create operational efficiencies and marketing, as well as how consumers have adopted new technologies in terms of attitudes and behaviors.
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