It’s my ‘virtual’ round! Consumers would spend more if they could order from their smartphones

The trend for mobile ordering and payment in the hospitality sector has seen a sharp rise, with the number of consumers using their smartphones more than doubling in the past three years, according to research from CGA and Zonal’s Go Technology report.

The latest GO Technology report, which polls 5,000 GB adults, reveals that 40% of 25 to 34 year olds prefer to use their smartphone to order food and drink and have items delivered to their table, rather than queue at the bar or wait for table service.

The research also reveals that 67% would spend more cash and buy more drinks if they could order from their mobile device, with 80% happy to pay via their smartphone using recognisable and trustworthy brands such as PayPal, Barclaycard and ApplePay.

Zonal’s Sales and Marketing Director, Clive Consterdine, said: “The rise of smartphone technology over the last 10 years has changed the way in which we communicate, shop and pay for things.  Our latest GO Technology report demonstrates a growing appetite from consumers to use smartphones as a digital wallet to order and pay for food and drink. These consumers clearly value the improved speed of service and avoiding the hassle of queuing at a bar or waiting for table service.

“The hospitality sector is opening its eyes to the opportunity technology can bring to enhance the customer experience and drive sales. There is still room for improvement and it’s those operators that embrace the change that will reap the rewards.”

The growing popularity in using smartphones as part of the eating and drinking out experience has also led to an increase in the introduction of apps, with several high street leisure operators successfully developing their own branded apps. 

“We are seeing a demand from our customers to create apps that surprise, delight and engage consumers with their brand.  The apps need to deliver advantages, from making a reservation to ordering and paying for food and drink ‘virtually’, to personalised offers and rewards,” added Consterdine.

To encourage consumers to download an app, the GO Technology report shows that of those surveyed, 44% respond to regular offers and rewards.  And of those who prefer smartphone app loyalty schemes, 68% are significantly more likely than average to be loyal to a brand.

CGA Director, Jamie Campbell, said: “We are seeing real momentum of consumers growing in confidence when it comes to ordering and paying, so it’s a great time to be developing your offer in this space as this is only going to increase with more usage. Outside of the core functionality, these apps need to engage and give a reason to download, consumers don’t want or have space for apps they don’t use on their phone.”


Download summary report


Working in partnership with Zonal and CGA, the GO Technology report tracks consumer attitudes and experiences with technology when eating and drinking out.  The research is conducted quarterly to gain an insight over a period of time to measure consumer behaviour and trends, helping operators to keep one step ahead.

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