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National Restaurant Association - To use or not use technology: That's the question

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To use or not use technology: That's the question

Many consumers, especially millennials, expect technology to be a part of their dining experience. However, our new research finds that the human element is still important to them.

A number of customers say they prefer certain types of restaurant technology, like online ordering, kiosks and mobile payment. Yet many claim they aren’t sure how they feel about automation and robotics. In addition, they cite distrust in the technology’s ability to work correctly, a lack of knowledge in how to use it and a preference for dealing with humans as reasons to avoid tech as a main course in restaurants.

In addition:

  • 44 percent of adults surveyed said technology interfered with human service.
  • 31 percent said technology is replacing human service.
  • 24 percent said technology enhances human service.

Video: More restaurants byte into technology

Annika Stensson, our director of research communications, explained the reason for consumers’ reticence to rely heavily on technology.

“We’re an industry of hospitality, so it's only natural our guests would appreciate the human element of customer service,” she said. “While it’s true technology can facilitate the restaurant experience, it's not a substitute for the human touch.”

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