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Report: Restaurants Are Hungry For Tech Without The Headache

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:02 pm

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) set out to explore the landscape of current technology adoption in restaurants, plans for future adoption and restaurant operators’ thoughts and opinions on restaurant technology in its just-released Mapping the Restaurant Technology Landscape report.

“Restaurant operators and consumers generally agree on the benefits of technology use in restaurants, but they’re also in agreement that while new technology is useful it can complicate the restaurant experience,” said Annika Stensson, NRA’s director of research communications

“About four in five restaurant operators agree that technology can help make restaurants more productive, increase sales and provide a competitive advantage. However, half say it also makes the customer experience more complicated. This research highlights the important role that user-friendly, streamlined tech solutions play in creating an innovative restaurant environment and that closing this divide will be a priority for the industry going forward.”

The survey found varying adoption rates among restaurant industry segments and ownership categories. For example, limited-service restaurants have a significantly higher adoption rate of customer-facing technologies that facilitate speed of service or ease access to off-premises options, such as online ordering, smartphone apps and mobile payment.
Franchisees and chain-owned restaurant operations have implemented more technology overall, likely due to the resources available via the larger brand network.

The Mapping the Restaurant Technology Landscape report reveals that 81 percent of restaurants use a POS or electronic register system; 68 percent of restaurants offer Wi-Fi for guests; 37 percent of restaurants offer online ordering; 32 percent of restaurants accept mobile payments; 53 percent of restaurant operators say they would implement predictive ordering technology if it were available to them today; 37 percent of restaurant operators believe the most important area of technology development in the next five years is customer ordering; 32 percent of restaurant operators consider their operations to be lagging when it comes to technology use; and 12 percent consider their operations to be leading-edge.

“Operators say that costs in various forms remain the primary barrier to implementing more technology in their operations. Cost-effective solutions and strong arguments for ROI are going to make all the difference going forward, as operator interest in exploring the technology arena is clearly there,” Stensson said.

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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