Restaurant brands are investing big in technology but are struggling to keep up with changing consumer expectations, according to new research from the NRA in partnership with Technomic.
The study, titled Harnessing Technology to Drive Off-Premises Sales examined key factors driving the growth of off-site consumption and explored how operators are using technology to drive and manage off-premises sales.
It revealed that approximately 60% of restaurant occasions are now off-premises across all forms, including drive-thru, takeout, and delivery.
Furthermore it showed that customers are most receptive to consumer-facing technologies such as drive-thru enhancements, order accuracy tracking, and frictionless mobile ordering.
Although 74% of companies are investing in off-premises programs, none of the top 5 investments include customer-facing technology.
Amongst the other findings, was the fact that 43% of delivery users place orders via restaurant apps while only 18% of operators offer mobile ordering via their own app.
66% of operators offer delivery through a third-party service and 55% offer delivery through internal staff.
Meanwhile 22% of consumers used kiosk ordering last year and 11% used voice assistant ordering, while 44% of restaurant operators who offer voice ordering, and 50% who offer location intelligence to target new customers based on their position, say it has a large positive impact on their business.
Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s research and knowledge group, said: “The restaurant industry is constantly changing and technology’s role in it continues to become more critical.
“Now in our centennial year, we are seeing the industry change and adapt faster than ever before in response to the macro-environmental factors driving consumer behaviour.
“In today’s on-demand world, off-premises capabilities are more important than ever to keep restaurants aligned with the wants and needs of its customers. We’re excited to continue to guide restaurants through these developments as we navigate the tech-forward future ahead.”