[Report] Managers and Customers Divided on Restaurant Tech

Tal VinnikDigital Transformation, Restaurants

Managers want to make their customers happy. That was easily apparent in the latest edition of the Restaurant Readiness Index, the last in a series from Bypass, PYMNTS and Bank of America Merchant Services. The problem? They often don’t know what makes customers happy.

In our third Restaurant Readiness Index, we found that customers had big appetites for technology innovations, with 62 percent of QSR and fast casual customers even saying new tech makes them more likely to visit restaurants in the future. That was after our first two editions where we tracked how technology was being adopted across 178 QSR and fast casual chains. While some chains ended up at the top with high adoption of new and alternative payment methods, self-service kiosks, cloud POS, and other features to drive customer experience, the average score was still 38 out of 100 in 2017 and increased only .7 points in 2018.

Download the report and learn how well managers know customers

In this report, we took a look at restaurant managers and owners for insight into the disconnect between the buzz around tech and slow rollout of that tech. What we discovered is that, much of the time, managers think customers don’t like tech. For example, 65 percent of managers think apps to place orders are a good experience, compared to 91 percent of customers. We saw this pattern for not just ordering, but also pickup and payment methods. And they also disagree on what technology will bring customers back, with a 44.4 percent gap between self-service kiosks.

That’s not to say that managers and customers disagree on everything. 80 percent of both groups have a positive view of kiosks, everybody loves credit cards, and they both cite speed and convenience as the most major things tech should accomplish.

Finally, along with customer experience, we looked at other factors causing restaurants to invest in (or avoid) technologies, including non-customer facing tech like kitchen automation systems. They cited reasons like price and their own satisfaction with their current systems for avoiding tech—while also underestimating the revenue increases some of those technologies would bring.

Click below to download the full report and learn:

  • Why size matters for technology—but not as much as you think
  • The divide between managers and customers in three phases: placing, paying for, and picking up orders
  • How perception of the popularity of different tech colors perception of satisfaction with it