Mobile Ordering: Not Just For The Millennials

It is no longer just the millennial generation seeking the convenience of technology options when dining out.

Millennials are eating out more than ever. Studies show that millennials in the USA are eating out at least once a week, spending 44% of their food dollars at restaurants. Underlying this trend is their generation’s native desire for the convenience offered by technologies such as order ahead, queueless ordering, crowd-sourced reviews and more. In response to this trend restaurant owners have been increasingly integrating more technology into their businesses.

A concern that has held venues back from adoption of digital hospitality technologies is the fear that doing so will alienate their less technically savvy clientele. This is a valid concern, while the millennials market share is growing, many hospitality businesses rely on older generations to remain profitable.

However older generations are becoming more immersed in technology and we’re seeing a trend where, they too, are seeking technology in the service industry. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group says “It’s well known that younger consumers are more likely to accept and even request technology options being part of their dining experience, but we’re finding that older consumers are also willing to incorporate technology for a variety of restaurant-related activities,” In fact in a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association of users 45–64 found:

· 56% have used technology (such as mobile ordering) in restaurants

· 4/10 have looked up menus or placed an order online in the last month

· One third have looked up a restaurant location on a smartphone

· More than one out of 10 have placed a reservation, looked up nutrition information, or ordered take out on a phone or tablet

This same research stated customers in the 45–65 age range would do all the above more often if the apps were more widely available.

When thinking about weaving digital hospitality technology into your businesses consider both the millennials and the older generations. You can do this by ensuring the things older generations are looking for into the apps such as nutritional information, easy to find directions, and a complete menu. This will ease your loyal customers into the transition.