Operators of quickservice and fast-casual restaurants say they plan to increase utilization of technology at their businesses to make the customer experience even faster and more efficient, research by the National Restaurant Association has found.
According to the 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 41 percent of all adults surveyed said they’d likely place their orders online through a website if that option was offered to them at a quickservice operation, while 40 percent said they would use a smartphone application to view a menu or place an order. Another 44 percent indicated they would place their orders using a self-service, customer-activated ordering terminal and 27 percent noted that mobile or wireless payment options, such as Google Wallet or a smartphone application appealed to them.
“Utilizing the latest technology to provide the customer with a faster, more efficient experience can provide restaurant operators with a distinct competitive advantage, especially among certain patron demographics” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group. “Restaurateurs understand that today’s consumers live a busy, connected on-the-go lifestyle and embracing various new technologies can enhance operational productivity as well as customer satisfaction.”
Operators further indicated that they plan to spend more on customer-facing technologies, like Wi-Fi, iPads/tablets, smartphone apps and ordering kiosks this year. Roughly 50 percent of quickservice and fast-casual operators surveyed said they would devote more resources to those technologies. Conversely, just one out of 10 said they would cut back on technology spending at their restaurants.
Order the 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast here. NRA members can download it for free.