Report: More Dine-In Tech To Come



Customers today looking for a sit-down fast-casual restaurant meal would be hard pressed not to run into some form of technology during their visit, be it through a reservation kiosk, ordering on a tablet or paying via smartphone. And the technology is only increasing, per the recently published National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Technology Landscape Report 2024.

The report, available here, analyzes customer expectations in terms of dine-in as well as delivery technology, in addition to differing tech preferences based on generation. 



Customers can only expect more technology integrated into their dining experiences in the near future, with 55% of operators planning “tech investments to improve their service areas, while 60% are looking for technology that will enhance the customer experience” in 2024. A portion of those operators (16%) plan to invest in AI, which includes voice recognition tech.

"The data clearly show that restaurant operators and owners are rapidly embracing technology and integrating it into their daily operations," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge for the National Restaurant Association, in a release. "Understanding which technologies customers in each segment would like to have, really want, and consider essential, provides operators with substantial opportunities to enhance the customer experience, amplify marketing and operate more efficiently."

The study also found Gen Z is comfortable (82%) placing an order at a limited-service restaurant via their smart phone app, and 65% of all adults customers are comfortable paying their check at a full-service restaurant using a computer tablet at their table.

Yet boomers aren’t quite as tech-friendly; when asked how likely they'd be to interact with a tablet at the table, a solid majority of Gen Z adults, millennials and Gen Xers say they'd use these options, but fewer than half of baby boomers said they would. Baby boomers were also found to be the least likely to say they’d use QR codes at restaurants.


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