Mobile Commerce

Survey Says Diners Have Increasing Appetite For Mobile Technology

OpenTable, the online restaurant reservations company, said on Thursday (July 16) that it has debuted the results of a study titled “Technology and Dining Out.”

The company contends that the study shows just what diners using technology want from their apps before, during and even after they eat. The technologies discussed range from “Googling diners before they arrive” to mobile payments.

The survey reached 6,000 diners across the U.S., focusing on 10 metro areas, ranging from Atlanta to Boston to Denver to New York. In terms of demographics, the respondents had a minimum age of 18 and had used OpenTable to make at least one reservation in the past 12 months.

The survey found that 86 percent of diners responding to the survey check menus online before they go to dine out. And 25 percent of people are likely to take their cues from other diners rather than from what might be termed “professional critics.”

In reference to what diners would like to see: A whopping 85 percent of diners said they would like to know how long the wait for a table would be, conveyed via online information. And roughly the same tally would like to be able to add their names to a waiting list before arriving at the eatery.

And as far as restaurants Googling guests? A minority, or 31 percent of guests, say it’s “creepy” to be Googled before arriving. Yet a majority, or 64 percent, actually wish their restaurants knew about seating and other preferences before they arrive. Only 18 percent surveyed said they’d like businesses to know “absolutely nothing” about them.

That’s information pertaining to before a meal; while during the meal, some bifurcation over using mobile tech was observed. At fine dining eateries, 63 percent of diners said they “rarely or never” use phones during meals, a figure that drops down to 35 percent at full service or casual places.

Nearly half, or 46 percent of diners, say that they have “never” used a phone to pay at a restaurant, but they “like” the idea, OpenTable reported. And for post-meal technology, only 18 percent use tech-driven loyalty programs after dining.

Finally, there seems to be a fair amount of room for tech adoption via apps — only 6 percent of diners said they are “very likely” to download and use the app of an individual restaurant or group.

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

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