A new study explores everything from whether googling diners before they arrive is creepy or cool to what diners think of emerging in-meal technologies like on-table touchscreens and mobile payment. However, 46% of diners say they have “never” used a phone to pay at a restaurant but like the idea.
The research from OpenTable, a provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group released the results of its “Technology and Dining Out” research survey, which provides insight into what diners want from technology before, during and after the dining experience.Before the Meal:
• The menu matters: 86 percent of diners regularly check out menus online before dining out.
• Everyone’s a critic: 25 percent more people are likely to turn to reviews from other diners than from professional critics.
• Tech wish list: 85 percent of diners wish they knew how long the wait for a table would be; 83 percent would love to add their names to a waitlist before arriving.
• Googling guests: Creepy or Cool? 31 percent of respondents think it’s creepy for restaurants to Google them before arriving; 64 percent of consumers wish restaurants knew their seating preferences before walking in the door; and, 18 percent want restaurants to know “absolutely nothing” about them.
During the Meal:
• Fine dining versus casual dining etiquette: 63 percent of diners eating out at a fine dining restaurant say they “rarely or never” use their phone during the meal, as compared to 35 percent of diners at a full-service casual restaurant.
• In-meal technology: 25 percent of diners “always” or “frequently” use their phones during meals to research and decide what to order, and 23 percent take photos to purely remember the experience.
• Mobile payments: 46 percent of diners say they have “never” used a phone to pay at a restaurant but like the idea.
After the Meal:
• Post-meal tech use: 18 percent of diners routinely interact with a restaurant’s loyalty program using technology.
• Mobile app download: Just 6 percent of diners are “very likely” to download the app of an individual restaurant or restaurant group; 31 percent are “very unlikely” and 24 percent are “somewhat unlikely.”
The survey also revealed that Americans embrace technology and dining very differently depending on their location, with some cities interacting with and embracing technology more than others.
OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 830 million diners around the world. OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the UK.
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