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Restaurants Face The Need For Speed

New research exposes the bugbears of delays in eating out

Restaurant guests hate waiting when ordering, paying and in particular for their food to arrive, new joint research by CGA Peach and Zonal Retail Data Systems reveals. But the use of mobile devices is seen as a good way to overcome these frustrations.

The study of 5,000 people reveals that time-poor customers who value swift service and convenience – and it outlines the challenges operators face in meeting those demands.

Nearly half (47%) of all consumers say food not arriving quickly enough is their biggest frustration when going out for a meal, with another 24% saying their order being taken incorrectly is their leading bugbear.

Many consumers, especially among young adults, want to leave the table quickly after eating, too. One in six (17%) 25 to 34 year-olds says that not being able to pay quickly and move on is a major frustration.

The research from CGA Peach and Zonal Retail Data Systems also reveals that technology lies at the heart of solutions to these issues. A third of consumers (34%) told the survey they would be interested in using their mobile devices to speed up ordering—a figure that rises to more than half (54%) among 18 to 24 year-olds. Half (51%) of 18 to 44 year-olds say they are ready to use a mobile to speed up payment.

At present, less than 6% of guests said they had already their smartphones or tablets to either speed up ordering or payment.

As previous CGA Peach research has shown, the adoption of technology is a clear and pressing challenge for restaurant operators. From bookings to ordering to payment, new systems can make for a slicker experience for both restaurant and guest – but operators first have to identify the right platforms and help and encourage their customers to use them.

Zonal Retail Data Systems chief executive Stuart McLean says: “What is crystal clear from this research is that consumers won’t wait. Competition is fierce, and people know that if their restaurant or pub doesn’t give them speed and convenience, there are plenty of others who will. We need to make life for our customers as easy as possible, and the brands that identify the systems and processes to achieve that will be the ones that win the race.”

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