Diners want a faster, more flexible way of dining that adopts technology and digital advances to personalise their experiences, a new report has claimed.
The quarterly dining trends report, released by booking platform Bookatable, said that personalisation is key, with almost half (47%) expecting to curate their entire dining experience in the not so distant future. Choosing a table (43%) and live cameras in kitchens (18%) were included in the list.
40% of people would use technology to optimise their dining experience, such as choosing the exact time meals are served and 20% would opt to pay and order meals more efficiently by using mobile payment services.
The firm reported that people are looking to streamline dining processes with more efficient ‘fast-track’ and pre-booking options when organising their evening out. Diners looking for a speedier service seek time saving tools, like choosing the specific time slots meals will be served (40%) and the ability to order additional items off the menu via a mobile app (18%).
Although people welcome digital advances, they still consider restaurants that offer a personal service from staff (71%) as an imperative factor when deciding where to dine out.
|Brits’ dining essentials for the future of dining, according to Bookatable|
|Personal and attentive service||71%|
|Digitally divided bills between large groups||39%|
|Using technology to choose a seat before entering the restaurant||42%|
|Previewing portion size via technology such as hologram / plate projection||24%|
|Efficient mobile ordering & payment options||20%|
In just five years’ time, almost a quarter (24%) of Brits would like a preview of portion size, ingredients used (21%), and the presentation (22%) of a dish shown via technology such as hologram projection or mobile app. While, more adventurous eaters (15%) may be more inclined to try dishes before committing by ordering 3D printed meal samples.
39% of diners would like the bill automatically split between larger groups, 24% would prefer to pay using a digital dining card (a restaurant equivalent of an Oyster card) and 20% would opt for simple mobile payment.
Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable commented: “More and more restaurants are looking to elevate the customer experience with convenience being at the forefront of future innovation. We can definitely see a shift in how restaurants are using technology, including one of the valuable elements of the Bookatable app which features a pay-at-table option, offering diners faster service and essentially granting them more time to enjoy their meal”.
Over 50% of Bookatable’s reservations across 15,000 restaurants in the UK are now booked through mobile devices, 93% up from two years ago.
Noel Hunwick, owner of tech-inspired Pan Asian restaurant Inamo, commented: “Inamo is leading the way in restaurant innovation, offering diners a personalised and unique eating experience with fewer interruptions from waiters than any traditional restaurant around.
“Our modern approach and tech-enabled tables allow diners to order their food, set the mood, discover the local neighbourhood, play games, and even request the bill, on their terms. As partners of Bookatable, we’re conscious of the ever changing needs of our guests, which is why we are always looking for ways technology can enhance and improve their eating experience.”