Digital dining experience

Restaurant diners want digital

Restaurant diners want digital on the menu

Getting to know your customers better is always good for business, and our research shows that restaurants could gain an edge on the competition by using technology to enhance the experience.

More than a quarter of people aged 18-34 say they would be more likely to choose a restaurant if it allowed them to pre-order and pay via an app for pick-up or dining in.

Similarly, over a third of 18-34 year-olds say they are more likely to choose a restaurant if there is the opportunity to use an app for home delivery.

“We’re evolving into time-precious consumers, and the mobile facilities that are available have created a demand-driven nation,” says Wendy Warren, Corporate Customer Solutions, Barclaycard. “For restaurants, technology has become a priority and many customers want the convenience it delivers.”


So how are customer expectations changing?

 Customer expectations changing

The demands being placed on restaurants stem from broader changes in consumer behaviour. Many of them manage their lifestyles through mobile devices, and they want to engage with restaurants in this way too.

And whether that’s through apps connecting consumers to food delivery from a range of takeaways, or services delivering food on behalf of restaurants, convenience is becoming a key ingredient for customers and one that is driving success for those that offer it.

Barclaycard research backs this up. Almost three-quarters of all people ordering restaurant food via home delivery apps say they do it because of the convenience it offers.

“I was talking to a Managing Director of a national restaurant brand, which is using an on-demand online delivery service,” said Paul Manktelow, Strategic New Business Manager, Barclaycard. “Its delivery turnover is £4m and it’s got to that in just two years. That’s £4m of growth without a bricks and mortar overhead.”

Are you giving customers the experience they want?

Alongside the popularity of in-home restaurant dining, there is also a trend for the restaurant sector to be creative in order to tempt people to visit in person.

Whether that’s through funky street food markets, stocking unusual craft beers or any other means, engagement is key.

Consumers are looking for different experiences that many are choosing to share in real-time via social media channels. But there’s a role for mobile technology here too, as customers increasingly look for their payment experiences to be seamless.

 Evolving consumers

Our research shows that by 2020, more than 1 in 5 consumers expect to be paying via mobile app at the table more frequently than they do today. This rises to nearly 1 in 3 when you look at 18-34 year-olds.

“Restaurants will make paying the bill become increasingly invisible,” says Paul. “Customers can wait too long at the table when all they want to do is go home. Paying via an app allows them to leave straight away, while owners can turn the tables around quicker too.”

Are you using contactless to your advantage?

 Consumers expect to use contactless

Our research shows that by 2020, more than a third of diners expect to pay by contactless more often – whether by card, wearable technology or mobile payment. For the 18-34 group, this increases to almost half at 44%.

In contrast, 29% of people expect to pay by cash less frequently by 2020.

This indicates two important points for restaurants. Firstly, customer demand for contactless payments remains strong – not surprising when you consider the fact that contactless now accounts for one in five of all card transactions in the UK1.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, those customers will increasingly expect restaurants to be offering the ability to pay that way.

It all feeds back to the growing desire for speed and convenience. Failing to deliver this could put you at a disadvantage – particularly if your competitors have been more forward thinking in their strategy.

“We’re in a great position to help,” says Sharon Manikon, Customer Solutions Director, Barclaycard. “We’re constantly working on new technologies and we also have a huge amount of data from both the consumer and business side of the payments industry. We understand how consumers want to engage with restaurants.”

What else is cooking for restaurants?

The question on everyone’s lips is what’s coming next? Recent developments point strongly to two things – more intuitive payment experiences, and for biometrics to be a key part of those transactions.

For example, consumers can already use voice-operated equipment to order takeaway food online. ‘Pay by selfie’ technology is on the way too, with the picture being used to verify the consumer’s identity when making an online payment.

“There are lots of different payment experiences being trialled and the choices will be made by consumers,” says Sharon Manikon, Customer Solutions Director, Barclaycard. “Restaurants need to think about how much they adapt to that consumer driven behaviour, but they should certainly be having conversations with technology companies and payment providers. This will help to ensure they don’t get left behind, and may even give them a competitive advantage among their peers.”

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Speak to our experts today

Is your business prepared to make digital a success? We can help you put it on the menu. Give us a call on 0800 096 8237* to find out more.

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All statistical information is derived from Barclaycard research conducted by Opinium, September 2016.

Please note that the views expressed in this article are personal opinions. Barclaycard cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information set out in it.