Technology may be an increasingly important tool for getting guests to walk through the doors of a restaurant, but consumers still prefer the “human touch” once they arrive.Des Moines – January 15, 2018 – Research from the National Restaurant Association reveals that having the ability to view an online menu before choosing a restaurant was the difference maker for 60% of patrons looking for restaurants. Millennials were even higher with 74% citing access to an online menu as the primary factor when opting for one restaurant over another, and 68% of Gen Xers and 50% of baby boomers saying the same. Additionally, the ability to read online reviews is important to all ages with nearly six in 10 adults saying this was a key decision maker when picking a restaurant. However, once that decision is made, most patrons prefer to interact with people. Nearly half of consumers surveyed said technology can complicate restaurant visits and ordering. In fact, 74% said the inability to ask questions can detract from their restaurant visit or ordering experience. “Given the demographics and culture of our state, most Iowa restaurants are taking a blended approach to integrating technology,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Even Mom-and-Pop Shops are taking strides to be intentional about their online presence, but the importance of real people making patrons feel welcome and cared for in the hospitality industry can never be replaced by a smart phone or tableside tablet.” Results cited from the National Restaurant Association’s Technology Consumer Survey.
Iowa Restaurant Association The Iowa Restaurant Association provides advocacy, education and promotional support to Iowa’s restaurant and tavern industry. www.restaurantiowa.com
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