Study: Restaurant Customers Want More Mobile Payments Systems in Place

February 21, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

While we’ve heard plenty look at the restaurant market—particularly quick-service restaurants (QSRs)—and recommend the use of powerful and expensive new technologies, there hasn’t been much information about what happens to the restaurants who actually put these technologies to use. That’s a point that’s been at least partially corrected thanks to a new report recently released from PYMNTS.

The new report notes that restaurant customers have been, commonly, pretty happy with the results. Sixty-two percent believed that these features actually improve the odds they’ll come back another time. What’s more, 84.1 percent of QSR customers believe that “fast in-store pickup”, commonly accomplished by these new systems, is actually key to long-term survival for a QSR chain. The same goes for 83.6 percent of QSR customers who believe likewise when it comes to online or app-based ordering.

Also key to the survival of QSR chains according to clear majorities of customers included loyalty programs for 79.5 percent, mobile wallet acceptance for 83 percent, and self-service kiosks for 73.9 percent.

Yet managers at these restaurants are often staying out of the new technology because they believe—clearly erroneously—that customers don’t like these systems. Operating under that belief, it becomes readily apparent why managers are so slow to make this leap: if the customers don’t want it, then what is the point of investing time and money into the establishment and use of such tools?

This clear disconnect between what customers think and what managers believe customers think is stark at best and disastrous at worst. With obvious majorities of customers believing that several different technologies are crucial to survival of QSRs and QSR managers believing that customers will be actively repulsed by the use of said systems, it’s readily apparent that some managers need to see this study.

While the introduction of new technologies may not be quite so vital to the long-term health of the QSR industry as some customers think, the fact that so many customers are this convinced of the overall value of mobile payments and similar tools makes it clear these should be on the short list of things to add soon. Customers clearly want them; failure to bring them in may leave a QSR behind the eight ball.