Food Customers’ Expectations Rise as Technology Evolves

Digital technology continues to shape customers’ expectations when dining out.

According to a new report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP) and Windstream Enterprise, rapidly evolving guest expectations and digital technologies are driving a major transformation in the restaurant industry.

“The Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations” report, based on research conducted by Incisiv and sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise, combines findings from surveys of 1,225 restaurant guests and 60 restaurant executives.

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“As guest expectations continue to rise, restaurants must transform their business with new technologies to make the dining experience more seamless and frictionless,” said Scott Langdoc, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Unfortunately, many restaurant brands and franchisees have a long way to go to catch up to guest expectations. The good news is that restaurants are aware of the gap and their future plans include enhancements to key areas that guests deem important for a great experience: ease of ordering and payment, WiFi availability, and mobile POS.”

Restaurant guests expect a frictionless dining experience that empowers them with relevant, helpful information and makes it convenient for them to operate on their own time and at their pace. This requires restaurant operators to embed digital technology across the entire dining journey.

The Millennial and Gen-Z generations have the highest expectations for digital capabilities. The report identifies significant gaps between what younger generations feel is extremely important and what capabilities restaurant operators are operating excellently:

Ease of ordering and payment – Guests expect the ordering and payment process to be easy and frictionless.

74% of guests feel it is extremely important
45% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

WiFi availability – Guests expect fast and free WiFi in restaurants, especially where cell reception is limited.

60% of guests feel it is extremely important
44% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

Discounts and promotions – Guests expect to receive digital discounts and promotions on any platform they choose, especially their mobile devices.

60% of guests feel it is extremely important
35% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

To download the complete Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations report, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2018-restaurant-research-report/.