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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 20, 2015

Survey reveals appetite of U.S. diners for mobile

How do diners use mobile before, during and after a restaurant experience? That's the question OpenTable set out to answer in a recent survey in the U.S.

by Helen Leggatt

OpenTable's survey of 6,000 diners across the U.S. has ascertained the appetite for technology before, during and after their dining experience. With smartphones firmly established as being an essential tool in day-to-day life, few people go out to eat without first checking a menu online, taking a photo of their food when it arrives or downloading a restaurant's app.

"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 Leela Srinivasan, OpenTable's VP of Restaurant & Product Marketing. "Dining out, like virtually every area of life, has been transformed by technology, but in an industry in which hospitality is paramount it's important to strike the right balance for your restaurant concept."

The survey findings have been curated into an ebook - 'Technology and Dining Out 2015'. It reveals that, before a meal, the vast majority (86%) of diners check online to browse a restaurant's menu. A quarter check out reviews. One thing diners wish they could do before heading out to restaurant is check wait-times (85%) or at least put themselves on a waitlist prior to arriving (83%).

During the meal, mobile behavior differs between different types of dining experience. Diners are less likely to use their smartphone when at a fine dining establishment (63% said they "rarely or never" use their phone in such restaurants), while only 35% do not use them in more casual venues. Using mobile at the table may be considered rude by some, but a quarter "always" or "frequently" use them to research or decide what to order, and 23% take photos of their meals.

Even after the meal, mobile can play a role. Despite the surge in mobile payment technology, nearly half (46%) said they had "never" paid for a meal via mobile, yet they like the idea of doing so.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: dining, mobile, payment technology, restaurant

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