Press

December 23 2019

Research: A Majority of Consumers Use Their Mobile Devices When Making Restaurant Dining Decisions

BY Restaurant Technology News

The new research highlights important factors driving food purchase, visitation, menu trends and the benefits of elevating the customer experience throughout the dining journey.

 

AdTheorent, a digital advertising solution provider that uses advanced machine learning technology and solutions, has released the results of its Dining Trends Report, based on research conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of AdTheorent among over 2,000 U.S. adults.

The research sought to identify key dining trends related to consumers’ interaction with quick service (QSR) and fast casual (FCR) restaurants. The new research highlights important factors driving food purchase, visitation, menu trends and the benefits of elevating the customer experience throughout the dining journey.

According to the report, a majority of Americans use their mobile devices and restaurant-specific apps throughout the dining journey. Personalization is a key factor in building positive brand associations and driving repeat visitation, with consumers embracing artificial intelligence if it drives personalization and efficient experiences. Additionally, the report highlights increased credit card and mobile wallet usage and a desire for healthier plant-based menu items.

THE ROLE OF MOBILE: Majority of consumers are turning to their mobile devices when making dining decisions

  • 70% of consumers use their mobile devices on their QSR/FCR food purchasing journey
  • Consumers turn to their mobile devices to:
    1. Look for coupons/deals (42%)
    2. Look up menu items (38%)
    3. Search for the nearest location (37%)
    4. Place a food order (32%)
    5. Pay for a food order (28%)
  • App usage is on the rise:
    • 1/3 of consumers say they are placing take-out (34%) and delivery (33%) QSR/FCR food orders online via a mobile app more now than compared to 2 years ago
    • 56% of consumers say that the ability to place food orders online via a mobile app would make them order more frequently from a restaurant
    • 57% of consumers have a QSR or FCR app
      • 52% have a QSR app (18% of consumers have 3 or more)
      • 44% have a food delivery service app (11% of consumers have 3 or more food delivery apps)
      • 36% have an FCR app (11% of consumers have 3 or more FCR apps)
  • 89% of consumers who have FCR/QSR apps use them once a month or more
  • 59% of consumers who have FCR/QSR apps use them once a week or more
  • 43% of consumers who have a QSR or FCR app were motivated to download a QSR/FCR app due to a digital (mobile or computer) ad, while only 22% were motivated by a TV ad and 7% by a billboard ad

DRIVING VISITATION: Digital advertising, especially on mobile, is essential for driving visits to restaurant locations and an effective messaging strategy is key

  • The top promotional/advertising motivators for consumers to visit a QSR/FCR:
  1. Digital ads (mobile and/or computer – 58%)
  2. TV ads (39%)
  3. Launch of new menu item (31%)
  4. Email from restaurant (28%)
  5. Billboard ad (13%)
  • The top digital ads that motivate action:
  1. Ad featuring a special offer (38%)
  2. Ad with a location-based coupon (26%)
  3. Ad featuring a food item (26%)
  4. Ad that is personalized (24%)
  5. Ad that is eye-catching/unique (21%)
  • Competitive conquesting is an effective tactic:
    • About 1 in 4 consumers (24%) say they would be compelled to visit a competitor’s restaurant instead if they received a competitor’s mobile device ad while on the way to a QSR/FCR location

PERSONALIZED and RELEVANT ADS: Customization is key for a positive brand experience

  • 71% of consumers say receiving an ad that is relevant or tailored to them from a QSR/FCR brand would cause them to have a more favorable opinion of that brand
  • Nearly half (46%) of consumers say receiving a random advertisement that is not relevant to them would cause them to have a less favorable opinion of that brand
  • Majority of consumers would be more likely to visit a QSR/FCR if they received a personalized ad based on:
    • Past orders (70%)
    • Their location (66%)

PAYMENT: Cash is no longer king – credit card and credit card via mobile wallet payments are increasing

  • 49% of consumers would prefer to pay with a mobile wallet app or credit card instead of cash when purchasing food from QSRs/FCRs

For QSRs specifically:

  • 2 years ago, 40% paid for QSR food using a credit card; and currently, 43% use a credit card
  • Compared to 2 years ago, use of a credit card via mobile wallet app increased from 11% to 19%

For FCRs specifically:

  • 2 years ago, 43% paid for FCR food using a credit card; and currently, 45% using a credit card
  • Compared to 2 years ago, use of a credit card via mobile wallet app increased from 12% to 18%
  •  

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Consumers are amenable

  • 71% of consumers would be open to QSRs/FCRs incorporating AI into their businesses, if such use:
    • Drove down menu item costs (43%)
    • Sped-up ordering process (42%)
    • Improved the customer experience (40%)
    • Sped-up food preparation process (34%)
    • Offered personalized food recommendations based on previous orders (22%)
  • Many consumers would be interested in the following AI technologies if they were purchasing from QSRs/FCRs:
    • Using a touchscreen ordering system, i.e., entering order on a device instead of giving it to a human (66%)
    • Using a personalized ordering screen, i.e., a digital ordering system that suggests menu items based on different variables, like time of day, current or past orders (55%)
    • Using a voice assisted ordering system, i.e., speaking your order to a machine versus a human (42%)
    • Having food order delivered by a drone (37%)
    • Having robots/machines prepare their food (31%)

TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY: More consumers are eating at home or on-the-go and prefer to order online when purchasing food from QSR/FCRs

  • 50% say they place more takeout and/or delivery orders online now compared to two years ago
  • 26% percent say they place less takeout and/or delivery orders via phone now compared to two years ago
  • 52% prefer to order QSR/FCR delivery online
    • 35% via a mobile device
    • 17% via a computer
  • 50% prefer to order QSR/FCR takeout online
    • 34% via a mobile device
    • 16% via a computer

The report is available for download here (registration is required).


Back To Press
General Inquiries
Press Inquiries

NYC
330 Hudson Street
6th Floor
New York NY 10013