Restaurant 2025 Report Reveals Seismic Shift in Adoption of Digital Technologies to Meet Demanding Consumer Experience
Fast and accurate drone food deliveries, 3D printing of unappetising food into nutritious meals, and biometric diner recognition are some of the new technologies under development as the restaurant sector rapidly gets set to satisfy the seismic shift in consumer expectations for a great customer experience.
That’s according to Restaurant 2025, a global research study conducted by Oracle which has identified key consumer attitudes to emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing, biometrics, voice activated responses and virtual reality, all of which destined to reshape the dining experience.
Overall, insights from the report highlight that consumers are most willing to engage with brands with new technology if they feel that they are in control of their experience and enjoy a personal experience. Indeed, as disruptive technologies continue to make an impact, anticipating consumer trends and implementing new innovations that enhance guest experiences will reshape business and be vital in ensuring success.
Key Restaurant 2025 report findings include:
Recognition and Personalisation Will be a Driver for Future Technologies
· 33 percent of restaurant operators say that guest recognition via facial biometrics will be in use within the next five years.
· 31 percent of restaurant guests will be more likely to visit an establishment with greater frequency if they are recognised by a server or associate without having to give their name or show a loyalty card.
· 49 percent of restaurant guests agree that having this recognition would improve their experience.
· 28 percent of restaurant customers would visit more often and 45 percent said it would improve their experience if service was faster because they were recognised.
· 42 percent of restaurant guests find suggestions based on health invasive and 68 percent find suggestions based on digital footprint invasive.
· 72 percent of hotel operators agree that AI-based systems that leverage guest preferences and buying history to make targeted dining recommendations will be mainstream by 2025.
Consumers are Warming to Voice-Activated Experiences
· 36 percent of restaurant guests say ordering through a virtual assistant would improve experience and 17 percent would visit more often.
· 38 percent of consumers said being able to adjust lighting/music in a restaurant by voice would improve their experience, and 22 percent would visit more often.
· Operators are keen on gathering customer feedback by voice with 61 percent of restaurant operators saying this will be in use in the next five years.
Robots Won’t be Replacing Hospitality Staff Anytime Soon
· 50 percent of restaurant guests said being served by a robot would not improve the guest experience and 40 percent would visit less.
· 64 percent of restaurant operators say that the use of robots for cleaning is appealing.
Operators Begin To Consider Investment in Wearable Technology
· 51 percent of restaurants say staff activity monitoring via wearable devices will be in use in the next five years.
· 59 percent of restaurants say that staff checking into work and onto workstations via wearable device will be in use in the next five years.
· 66 percent of restaurant operators said guests paying by wearables would be mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025 while other users for wearables would include marketing to guests outside the restaurant, guest recognition and tailoring menus to guests using their wearables.
3D Printing on the Menu
· 44 percent of restaurant operators said 3D printing of cutlery/plates would be mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025.
· Printers also now have the capability to make what is currently considered unappetising or inedible into nutritious and delicious meals.
Virtual Reality Becomes A Reality
· 53 percent of restaurant operators predict that restaurant design/flow optimisation via virtual reality would be mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025.
The Drones Are Coming
· 48 percent of restaurant operators said deliveries to guests’ homes by drone would be mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025. This has already been demonstrated by Domino’s Pizza in New Zealand completing the world’s first pizza delivery by drone in 2016.
Finally, the report highlights that 60 percent of restaurant operators said restaurant location planning using artificial intelligence would be mainstream or in mass adoption by 2025 with potential applications also including menu planning for personalised nutrition plans, waitlist and capacity management, dynamic prep times and seating planning and forecasting.
“Restaurant 2025 suggests that consumers want a continued human connection with their food and beverage of choice despite the emergence of new technologies. However, consumers are most willing to engage brands with new technology if they feel that they are in control of their experience,” said Christopher Adams, Vice President Sales — Food & Beverage at Oracle Hospitality Asia Pacific. “The path forward will rely on technologies that make restaurants smarter, accelerate service and importantly, personalise experiences for each and every consumer.”
The Restaurant 2025 report can be downloaded here
* The Oracle Restaurant 2025 report audited 250 restaurant operators and 702 consumers in February 2017 on their reactions to technology’s role in the guest experience over the next eight years.