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ParTech has released the results of a survey that assesses consumers’ views on dining and technology. The survey is revealed in a whitepaper, “The Dining Customer’s View on Emerging Technologies & Restaurant Operations.” The consumer study, an online survey, was completed by 1,277 consumers in the United States and Canada.

“The results of the restaurant consumer survey highlight just how early technology now becomes involved in the dining consumer’s thought process and how pervasive technology is in delivering an interactive restaurant experience,” said Scott Langdoc, chief technology officer, ParTech. “This validates the contention that focusing traditional investments in restaurant marketing, loyalty and POS will simply not be enough to maintain competitive positioning and existing market share, and that those operators who broaden interactions with their consumers with advanced technologies are set up to win in a very big way.”

The influence factors that are impacting restaurant customer behavior have been expanding in number and complexity for some time. The broadest contribution to this rapid change has been the near-universal adoption of new, easy-to-use, socially-oriented technologies by consumers among all demographics.

Analysis of the survey results revealed five significant trends impacting the consumer dining experience, which are now detailed in the white paper:

  • A very successful shift to targeted restaurant promotions is underway
  • Technology creates proportionally more opportunities with frequent diners
  • Social networks are changing restaurant marketing – forever
  • Real-time order influence works
  • The “Millennials” demographic is influenced much differently than the average restaurant customer

Other key findings include:

  • 52 percent of dining customers have selected a restaurant solely because of an online (banner) advertisement or email offer.
  • 66 percent of frequent diners (5+ times/week) would like servers to use mobile ordering technology.
  • 42 percent of consumers have eaten at a previously unvisited restaurant solely because of information gathered online from user-generated reviews at sites like Epinions, OpenTable, Yelp or Zagat.
  • 62 percent of respondents said they “might consider” or “seriously consider” changing their order based on a specific discount, combo, or promotional offer made during the creation of a restaurant order (via either POS terminal or server).
  • 72 percent of the “Millennials” demographic (16-24 year olds) expressed serious interest in receiving location-based restaurant offers on their mobile phones.

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