Diners at big chains ‘demand app ordering’

Family meal from Ordamo

Customers of chains including Nando’s, Pizza Express and Wagamama want to be able to order their food and drink using a digital tablet or app, according to a new report.

Over 50% of Nando’s customers would like to see digital ordering according to hospitality tech company Ordamo, which carried out an interactive menu survey of 1,500 people.

Its research claims that more than half of customers find it annoying having to go to a bar or counter to order and subsequently wait in a queue when dining out in a restaurant.

It insists that the introduction of tablet or app-based ordering would eliminate some of the biggest bugbears consumers have – for example, 91% of consumers find it annoying being ignored by staff because this slows down service or involves waiting for the bill, which are frustrations for 87% and 72% of diners respectively.

“Our leisure time is becoming ever more precious and, consumers expect fast, efficient service as a must.  The survey found that consumers value having their order taken quickly, their food arrive with minimal delay and the bill provided promptly, particularly at lunchtime and breakfast,” commented CEO Daniel Potter.

While some operators are reluctant to adopt digital ordering systems due to concerns about the effects it could have on back-of-house operations, many chains are finding success with app ordering.

JD Wetherspoons already offers such a system at some sites. Meanwhile, sushi chain Inamo uses interactive tables and a tablet ordering system but maintains that the kitchen is able to cope with unpredictable orders.

QSR giant McDonalds, which is rolling out digital kiosk ordering across its sites, is coping well with any stresses digital ordering places on kitchen and has just posted record quarterly sales.

Potter concluded: “Armed with digital menus, operators have the ability to fight food envy, which 88% of those surveyed admitted to suffering from. Operators can upload images and videos for each menu item, which 62% of consumers believe would reduce the likelihood of them getting food envy.

“Similarly, operators should be thinking about personalising the customer journey, as 27% of consumers would like to be greeted by their name, 27% would like an operator to remember their preferred table sitting and 15% would like to receive email notifications when their favourite dish is on the menu.”

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