During the COVID-19 pandemic the hospitality industry has been forced to pivot towards a digital-first approach to deal with restrictions – reinventing what it means to dine in, order and pay at restaurants, cafes and bars.
New research by card payment provider, Dojo, reveals whether these technological innovations are a temporary fix, or forecast to be used and implemented beyond the pandemic.
Dojo surveyed 300 hospitality owners and management staff at small-medium sized businesses and 500 avid restaurant goers across March and April 2021 to find out.
95% of restaurants plan to continue using order and pay technology after the pandemic
One of the biggest digital changes to the hospitality industry in the past year has been the methods of ordering and paying.
The need for a reduced contact service between hospitality staff and customers has propelled the adoption of mobile and self service technologies. From mobile apps to web ordering, 43% of customers have been using some form of order and pay technology since July 2020. Before the pandemic, this type of technology was in its infancy and only just emerging in the UK hospitality industry.
This technology has been pushed to the forefront of restaurant owners minds as a useful solution to enable their establishments to open. 34% of hospitality businesses already use order and pay technology, and 42% of those who don’t, plan to introduce it in 2021.
Out of all the 300 owners and management surveyed, a staggering 95% of those using order and pay technology stated they plan to continue using it even after the pandemic is over – meaning order and pay is here to stay.
Digital menus are the new normal – with 88% of restaurants stating they will continue to use them after the pandemic
It is not only order and pay tech that has changed how the hospitality industry operates with customers. The pandemic has also seen a huge increase in the number of restaurants and eateries using online menus, with 57% of them now offering physical and digital menus at their venues.
The resurgence of the QR code has enabled restaurants to offer minimal contact for customers. Restaurant goers can now simply scan a QR code present on the table and be presented with the digital menu via their smartphone, improving both efficiency and customer experience.
88% of these restaurants stated they would continue the use of their online menus after the pandemic has subsided.
55% of restaurant owners expect to be dependent on delivery and takeaway services in 2021
With Government restriction only allowing takeaway services for hospitality during the lockdowns, businesses have had to adapt their models quickly to survive. 80% of small restaurants now offer a takeaway or delivery service making it hospitalities biggest success in the past year.
Takeaway has now become essential with 55% of these owners expect to be dependent on delivery and takeaway services in 2021.
This demand for delivery has prompted a boom in demand for courier jobs. According to a new study by Paymentsense, delivery drivers are the most in-demand job roles for 2020 with over 3.3 million vacancies across the UK.
83% of consumers favour app over phone orders when ordering a restaurant or takeaway
Consumer behaviour was forced to change, but consumer preference has also shifted alongside it – with most reacting positively to the new technology. Out of the 500 customers surveyed, 83% stated they prefer to use a mobile device when ordering food and drinks.
This has had a positive impact on brand loyalty and revenue with 29% of consumers more likely to order again from a restaurant that offers online ordering as opposed to telephone ordering, and 27% of consumers more likely to spend more online compared to in-person and telephone ordering.
Jon Knott, Head of Customer Insights at Dojo commented:
“Technology has played a huge role in our daily lives the past year – it’s enabled us to connect with our loved ones, as well as order our favourite meals, without leaving our homes.
As lockdown restrictions ease, it’s important for the hospitality industry to reflect on the changes it’s made to adapt. Perhaps this new tech adoption can help create even more efficiencies and help safeguard trading in the future.”