Market analysis firm Oracle has reported that restaurant operators will have to improve their digital presence off and on-premise, with customers expecting instant gratification with minimal wait times. Their survey found that for counter and drive-thru service, over 50% of customers will be annoyed if they have to wait more than five minutes. As the rate of takeout and delivery dining continues to increase in light of COVID-19 precautions, traditionally dine-in restaurants must pivot in-house technology and physical infrastructure. The transition has been at times clumsy. Restaurant owners and managers adapt to supply chain disruptions for paper goods, higher costs resulting from fees charged by apps like UberEats and Doordash, and a continued staffing shortage.
In-person customers also reported feeling adversely impacted by the increase of online orders, citing concerns including a sense that in-person customers are less prioritized than online customers, or that the flow of delivery drivers and take-out customers negatively impact the dining experience.
Oracle posits ‘click and collect’ as a popular hybrid model, where customers can order online through a website or app then pick up on the premises. 63% of surveyed customers felt positive about this option, and 44% indicated that such an experience encourages brand loyalty. Millennials were the group most likely to be influenced by this option. Other factors of the online ordering experience that were rated favorably include personalized offers from local brands, offers from partner brands, saved dietary preferences, and personalized order suggestions based on purchase history. And while personalization has emerged as a benefit, half of the survey respondents said they wanted full visibility and control of data stored by the app.
And with nearly 90% of surveyed customers indicating that transparency about sustainability is important to them, it’s clear that businesses will need to show measurable results of their strategy to reduce environmental impact.