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Consumers on the fence about using technology at restaurants, study shows

Customers who visit restaurants of all types expressed a split decision as to whether technology facilitates or complicates their experience, a study by the Puerto Rico Restaurants Association showed.

The EAT study, commissioned by the professional group to The Research Office, “found a very marked contradiction in the use of technology in restaurants,” said José Alfonso, CEO of the research firm. 

“We’re at that point where the lines cross and many people are using it and others show resistance. However, if we seize the moment, we can take advantage of the use of technology and lessen that resistance,” he said. 

For his part, José Salvatella, chairman of ASORE, as the restaurant association is known in Spanish, said “without a doubt, the industry must invest more in technology to strengthen their quality of service, beyond posting a menu, pictures, and contact information.” 

“The study tells us that more consumers are using certain applications to pay for food and to also order take-out food, even if this entails an additional cost,” he said.

Other findings of the study released related to the most common uses of the smartphone. These include checking driving directions to restaurants, checking opening times, looking at locations and explore their specials. 

Furthermore, the study showed that restaurant patrons coincided that eateries have the opportunity to improve customer service, while they are looking for ways to save money when visiting each establishment, Alfonso said. 

To conduct the EAT study, The Research Office personally interviewed 1,000 adults (men and women) between the ages of 18 and 64 from August to September of last year. 

A representative sample of various socioeconomic levels from both the San Juan metro area as interior towns was chosen. People who had visited a limited service restaurant in the past three months and/or full-service restaurants in the past six months participated in the study.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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