Appetite for Mobile Solutions to Feed Experiences Grows

Interactive and personalised experiences are shaping the out-of-home eating and drinking sector, according to the latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA.

The quarterly report, which tracks the hospitality technology habits of 5,000 GB adults, shows the mobile generation of 18 to 24-year-olds are using their smartphones in increasing numbers to settle their bills (22%). But trust and lack of personalisation are key barriers to more widespread uptake, with one in six (16%) saying they don’t use their mobile to order because of customisation issues.

A further one in six (17%) of all respondees say they would pay by mobile more often if they had confidence in the payment app, suggesting that brands should prioritise establishing trust with their customers.

And almost a quarter (22%) would be tempted to pay by mobile more often if they were offered an exclusive app-based loyalty scheme.

Also, as 18 to 24-year-olds seek interactive experiences on a night out, augmented reality (AR) could become more popular in venues, as 25% believe AR in menus and ordering could enhance their visit.

Zonal’s group product director Alison Vasey said: “As we are the mobile generation, it comes as no surprise that consumers are clearly open to using technology as part of their going out experience, whether browsing a menu or paying for a round of drinks, in order to satisfy their thirst for convenience and speed of service.

“As consumers’ dietary requirements and preferences evolve, coupled with the growth in delivery and click & collect, the ability to customise orders within apps will become ever more important.

“But it’s important that brands don’t lose sight of the personal touch and that any technology solution adopts the brand’s personality in order to build trusted relationships that last.”

For those brands that continue to ignore adopting mobile solutions, it could prove to be costly. The typical monthly spend on eating and drinking out by those who pay with a smartphone is £97 per month, that’s £14 more than the GB average.

Overall, one in four (26%) consumers have used their mobile to find a restaurant. Almost as many (23%) now use their mobile to check a menu, a jump of 7% since mid-2018. Numbers using a mobile device to make a booking have also leapt from 14% to 20% in the same period.

Karl Chessell, Business Unit Director of Food & Retail at CGA added: “This fascinating snapshot of consumers’ behaviour shows how mobile devices are transforming the way people and brands interact. But as with all forms of technology, there is still a huge opportunity to improve guests’ engagement. Establishing trust, focusing on convenience and rewarding loyalty are just three of the many ways to achieve that, and operators that provide a secure and satisfying mobile experience can secure an important edge in an ultra-competitive market.”

To get a free copy of the report visit www.cga.co.uk/all-reports/cga-zonal-go-technology-report-november-2019/