What tech must restaurants put on their menu of services?
According to a new report, the restaurants that go “digital-first” are the ones that are set up for success.
Consumers are looking for in-restaurant mobile payments and QR code ordering, according to a new study by Paytronix Systems and PYMNTS, as reported by Yahoo! Finance. This in-store technology is especially attractive to the same customer demographic — typically Millennials with higher incomes — that utilizes multi-platform restaurant aggregators to order food. The time savings of such digital solutions appears to be the major appeal, and it works as a loyalty builder.
QR code menus became common in restaurants in the initial waves of the pandemic, when experts had yet to determine that COVID-19 was not commonly spread via surface contamination.
Pay-at-table solutions are also catching on. A separate report prepared by Paytronix in conjunction with PYMNTS, called the Restaurant Readiness Index, found that 28 percent of top performing restaurants allow customers to pay with QR codes.
An article on QSRWeb touts pay-at-table technology, including that which uses QR codes, as an industry poised to grow throughout 2022. The purported advantages of the technology include allowing customers to interact directly with a loyalty program, increased security over card-based payment, faster processing and allowing restaurant staff to focus on customer service instead of shuttling cards back and forth to tables and processing payments.
Not all in-restaurant diners, however, are excited about digital solutions like QR codes.
Opponents of QR code menus complain of the technology forcing diners to use smartphones at the table, interrupting conversations, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Some further say that when customers scroll menus on their individual smartphones, it destroys the communal aspect of browsing a print menu together. And some find the process cumbersome, rather than a time-saver.
There are also some potential downsides to pay-at-table technology, according to Toast. Besides the large upfront costs of replacing a POS system, the new process may make restaurant-goers feel rushed and less likely to linger, since the decision to pay is entirely in their hands instead of signaled when a waiter puts down a check.
- Paytronix and PYMNTS Report: Restaurant Brands with Digital-First Features More Likely to Succeed – Yahoo! Finance
- Technology at the forefront for restaurants in 2022 – QSRWeb
- Sunday CEO Says QR Code Payments End Game is Making Cost of Payments Free for Restaurants – PYMNTS
- Hate restaurant QR codes? Here’s why they’re not going away anytime soon. – The Philadelphia Inquirer
- Your Guide to Restaurant Pay at the Table Technology – Toast
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think that QR code-based menu and payment solutions, and pay-at-table technology, are what customers are looking for from restaurants? What do you see as the most purposeful technology being used by restaurants at this point in time?