Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA’s Inaugural Restaurant Innovation Summit Spurs New Industry Technology Research

The National Restaurant Association’s first-ever Restaurant Innovation Summit in Denver last week brought together restaurant and foodservice professionals, as well as leaders from Google, Square, Wendy’s, Bloomin’ Brands and Dunkin’ Brands to focus on customer engagement through emerging technology.

The summit featured sessions on utilizing mobile technology, maximizing in-store and out-of-store customer interaction and leveraging big data. The NRA concurrently released new research on these topics. The research reveals that 63% of adults have used restaurant-related technology options in the past month. More than two in five have used a smartphone to find restaurant locations and directions or viewed menus and placed orders on a computer. One in five has ordered takeout/delivery or looked up nutrition information on a smartphone or tablet.

Younger consumers are more likely to have used restaurant-focused technology. Seven out of 10 consumers age 18-34 have looked up locations and directions on a smartphone or tablet on the past month, half have used a computer to order food or make reservations, 35% have placed takeout/delivery orders on a smartphone or tablet, and more than one-quarter has used a smartphone to find nutrition information.

Additionally, consumers say they are likely to use technology options if they were available in restaurants. Half of all adults say they would use a smartphone or tablet app to place takeout/delivery orders, while three-quarters of 18-to-34-year-olds say the same.

In addition to its latest technology research, the NRA has released a new policy paper, “Mobile Commerce in the Restaurant Industry,” addressing critical issues within the industry, such as consumer demand, privacy and security, technology integration and the cost of technology to accept payments.

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