National Restaurant Association (NRA) research suggests that younger adults’ ease with technology may be shaping their attitudes about its role in the restaurant experience. Not only do younger adults research restaurants, make reservations, and place orders online more than older adults – those aged 18-24 would be dramatically more likely to watch a small TV, access the Internet wirelessly, and use customer-activated ordering/payment terminals at the table in fullservice restaurants.
Source: National Restaurant Association.
“Restaurants have gone from being America’s dining room to America’s family room,” says Hudson Riehle, sr. vp, Research and Information Services, NRA. “Younger customers want some of the entertainment options traditionally associated with that.” This is not to say that every fullservice restaurant should place TV monitors on the table, cautions Hudson, but they should think ahead. “This will always be a service business, but the young have entirely different expectations about how to use restaurants. The trend towards technology as an expected part of the restaurant experience won’t reverse as these consumers mature and increase their spending power and younger generations come along.”