OpenTable Research Reveals What Diners Actually Want from Technology
The study explores everything from whether googling diners before they arrive is creepy or cool to what diners think of emerging in-meal technologies like on-table touchscreens and mobile payments.
"At OpenTable we sit right at the intersection of food and tech, which makes us infinitely curious about what people want from technology when they dine out," said
The survey of more than 6,000 diners across
Before the Meal:
- The menu matters: 86 percent of diners regularly check out menus online before dining out.
- Everyone's a critic: 25 percent more people are likely to turn to reviews from other diners than from professional critics.
- Tech wish list: 85 percent of diners wish they knew how long the wait for a table would be; 83 percent would love to add their names to a waitlist before arriving.
- Googling guests: Creepy or Cool? 31 percent of respondents think it's creepy for restaurants to Google them before arriving; 64 percent of consumers wish restaurants knew their seating preferences before walking in the door; and, 18 percent want restaurants to know "absolutely nothing" about them.
During the Meal:
- Fine dining versus casual dining etiquette: 63 percent of diners eating out at a fine dining restaurant say they "rarely or never" use their phone during the meal, as compared to 35 percent of diners at a full-service casual restaurant.
- In-meal technology: 25 percent of diners "always" or "frequently" use their phones during meals to research and decide what to order, and 23 percent take photos to purely remember the experience.
- Mobile payments: 46 percent of diners say they have "never" used a phone to pay at a restaurant but like the idea.
After the Meal:
- Post-meal tech use: 18 percent of diners routinely interact with a restaurant's loyalty program using technology.
- Mobile app download: Just 6 percent of diners are "very likely" to download the app of an individual restaurant or restaurant group; 31 percent are "very unlikely" and 24 percent are "somewhat unlikely."
The survey also revealed that Americans embrace technology and dining very differently depending on their location, with some cities interacting with and embracing technology more than others.
Restaurateurs who are interested in learning more can download the entire OpenTable Technology and Dining Out 2015 study and e-Book for free and discover further insights and perspective on Open for Business, the
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