New report shows how payments and technology are transforming restaurants

From booking a reservation, to ordering and all the way to payment, smartphone technology such as apps, QR codes and other new payment methods have been a key change catalyst in the way consumers interact with restaurants.

A newly published white paper in the restaurant and out-of-home eating and drinking market, “How payments and technology are transforming restaurant success in challenging times” is a collaboration between Discover® Global Network, CGA and UKHospitality. The white paper explores how COVID-19 has accelerated the tech-led transformation by looking at the industry from two different perspectives:


1. CGA’s suite of research in the restaurant sector
2. Exclusive interviews with the managing staff of six leading UK restaurants


In the first part, the report draws from CGA’s suite of research sources to review how digitization, in light of COVID19, has impacted the restaurant customer journey.


CGA’s data indicates that three quarters (76%) of GB consumers have pre-booked to eat or drink out since last summer. Nearly half (45%) now like to order food and drink on their mobile devices.


Additional data shows that 96% of leaders think technology will be fundamental or important to their operations —including by providing easy, quick and contact-free payments.


In its second part, the research presents six exclusive interviews with leading operators such as Hawksmoor, Camino, Mitchells & Butlers, Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Pizza Pilgrims and Tortilla show. The group shares how technology has impacted their operations in recent months, at every single point of the consumer experience.


If you don’t let people book these days, they will go somewhere else,” says Gavin Smith, Marketing Director of Pizza Pilgrims.


Anna Marie-Mason, Marketing Director of Mitchells & Butlers adds:

For younger guests, online ordering has become expected because it’s so convenient.”


Topics such as delivery and partnerships with hotels in generating additional sales are also explored in the research. Additionally, the interviews explore the importance of effortless payments.


Mac Plumpton Operations Director of Rosas’s Thai Café adds “It has to be one of the quickest and smoothest aspects of the service steps.”


The report ends with key recommendations for businesses seeking to make more use of technology, including around personalisation, bookings and training and lessons from the Quick Service Restaurant sector.


Chris Winter, Vice President of Global Acceptance, EMEA at Discover® Global Network, says:

“The accelerating shift to digitisation in the restaurant experience has become a defining aspect of the customer journey in 2021, and the rise of new payment technology has played a key role.

The need for social distancing, the rise of online ordering, the push for contactless transactions—this overall absence of human interaction has forced restaurants to pivot away from traditional operating models.

While some of the pressure brought by these trends might ease as the pandemic subsides, the impact from these changes is certain to remain—embedding the recent lessons into lasting business priorities.”


Karl Chessell, CGA’s Business Unit Director, Hospitality Operators and Food EMEA, says:

From booking to ordering to payment, technology has pushed the industry forward in irreversible ways. All businesses will need to achieve a deep understanding of consumers’ needs in the new landscape of eating and drinking out.”


Click here to read the full report from Discover® Global Network, CGA and UKHospitality.



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