New technology has been a game-changer when it comes to how consumers engage with restaurants, according to a new study by American Express. They found that Millennials are leading the way in dining out trends-ones that bring together social media, technology and social consciousness.
The 2017 American Express Restaurant Trade Survey looked at the restaurant industry, discovering that ordering food fast and easily is trending with consumers. Social media, online ordering, delivery services, and tabletop ordering all on their radar. Not surprisingly, Millennial consumers are outpacing their older counterparts when it comes to using mobile apps or websites to order take-out, with 62% having done just that over the past 30 days, while just 28% of Baby Boomers ordered take out using technology.
GrubHub and Seamless are popular food delivery services, and here too, Millennials are more than happy to use this technology, with 58% using these services, while just 35% of Gen-Xers and 21% of Baby Boomers are on board.
These trends have not gone unnoticed by restaurant operators, and in response, 24% have teamed up with online ordering and delivery platforms, while 31% are planning on signing up for such a service.
On the other hand some restaurateurs are doing it for themselves, with 24% already offering consumers the ability to order ahead of time via their app or website, and 42% ramping up to use this technology.
Tipping, food pics and locally-sourced food
Tipping may be becoming passé if some restaurateurs have their way, with some adopting a no-tipping policy deciding to pay their employees more instead. In the study, 15% indicated that they already have a no-tipping policy, while 14% said they may well do it, too. That said across the generations 63% of consumers want to leave a tip, yet when you do the generational breakdown, 46% of millennials are more likely to want to forgo tipping, while just 34% of Gen-Xers and 32% of Baby Boomers say the same.
Social media and dining out go hand-in-hand for some consumers and Millennials are more excited about posting their restaurant experience and taking food pics than the other generations, with 72% of Millennials posting about their experience and 25% posting pictures.
What about the actual food restaurants are serving? There is a trend toward using locally sourced ingredients, with 56% of people preferring that restaurants know where the ingredients they use come from. But food waste is an issue too, with 83% saying they ask for leftovers to take home, and 27% said that they may well order a meal that is comprised of leftovers if it was available.