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Majority of Diners Expect Tech to Place Orders

A recent survey from Technomic has revealed that while restaurants may not be incorporating technology into their operations in overwhelming numbers yet, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t interested in the latest tech amenities when dining out. A majority of consumers expect to use technology to order food at restaurants more often in the coming year, and very few (just 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.
Trending in the early stages of foodservice tech usage, 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.  
Consumers are not only curious about, but also receptive to trying an array of new technologies at their favorite restaurants, according to findings from the Technomic survey. Noteworthy discoveries include:
  • More than half of panelists (51 percent) consider it important for restaurants to integrate technology into their ordering capabilities.
  • Technologies related to ordering, coupons or special offers sent via email 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-goers, Wi-Fi access and LCD flat-screen TVs are used the most.
  • Out of all restaurant segments and types of retail stores, consumers are most receptive to technology-based orders at casual-dining restaurants.
  • In general, younger consumers are more interested in technology at restaurants than older diners. Consumers from 18–44 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.  
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