If you’re still concerned that touchscreen ordering systems or iPad wine lists are a tad too impersonal or complicated for your guests, you can stop fretting. Consumers are not just curious about, they are also also receptive to trying an array of new technologies at restaurants, a recent Technomic survey found.
Technology has become an accepted part of the dining experience, especially in the casual segment.
A majority of consumers expect to use technology to order food at restaurants more often in the coming year, and very few (3 percent) expect to use it less than they currently do, signaling opportunity for operators who haven’t already integrated the latest technologies into their business.
Consumers express the most interest in tableside touchscreen devices that enable them to self-order and pay, iPad/tablet menus and digital rewards tied to loyalty programs.
“Technology can be used as a point of differentiation within the restaurant industry…especially with Millennials,” says Technomic executive v.p. Darren Tristano. “Operators who stay ahead of the curve, in an increasingly competitive market, will need to evaluate the best use for the latest tech trends and decide how to integrate them into their operations in a way that’s efficient and beneficial to consumers.”
That may mean offering less tech-savvy patrons the option of a printed menu to supplement one on a tablet.
Additional findings from the Technomic survey include:
• Technologies related to ordering, coupons or special offers sent via mail or text message have the highest usage rates. Nearly three-fifths (58 percent) of panelists say they use these at least once a month.
• Among technologies designed to entertain restaurant guests, wi-fi access and LCD flat-screen TVs are used the most.
• Not surprisingly, consumers are most receptive to high-tech ordering at casual-dining restaurants.
• As would be expected, younger consumers are more interested in technology at restaurants than their older counterparts. Consumers from 18 to 44 years old are far more likely than those over 45 to say they might connect to their favorite restaurants via a mobile app and order using a touchscreen kiosk. Interest is highest among 25- to 34-year-old Millennials.
Technomic’s Market Intelligence Report: Consumer-Facing Technology examines consumer behavior, attitudes and preferences toward technology at restaurants, with data based on survey results from 500 U.S. adults. It includes industry and trend data from the firm’s digital resource library, food industry tracking reports and secondary research.
To learn more about this report, visit Technomic.com.