New research from the National Restaurant Association, and presented this week at the Restaurant Innovation Summit in Denver, shows that customers want to incorporate smartphone technology into their dining experiences.
The majority of Americans have used technologies such as touchscreen ordering, smartphone apps and mobile payments while dining out. The research said "even more are interested in doing so if provided by their favorite restaurants."
"Technology can add convenience and efficiency to the customer experience, as well as provide productivity benefits to restaurant operators," said Hudson Riehle, the NRA's senior vice president of Research and Knowledge.
Research highlights include:
When asked in which area they would most like to see restaurants adding technology options, loyalty programs and ordering topped the list, followed by reservations, entertainment and payments.
Consumers also ranked the most useful features of a restaurant smartphone app:
"There is a bit of a gap between what consumers want and what restaurants currently offer when it comes to technology, but more operators are working to close that gap," Riehle said. "Following wider societal technology trends, we're seeing that younger consumers are much more likely to interact with restaurants on their smartphones than older adults. However, there is a substantial number of older consumers who say they would use smartphone apps for certain things, like looking up directions and finding nutrition information."
Read more about technology trends.