The use of technology in restaurants has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. According to USA Today, a new national survey of 1,007 consumers by the National Restaurant Association shows that more than one-third of consumers are "more likely to use technology-related options in restaurants now than they did just two years ago."
Nearly one-third of consumers who owned smartphones also revealed that they would use a smartphone app — like Cover, Settle, and Dash — to pay for their check instead of traditional methods such as cash or a credit card. Many smartphone users already use their devices for "several restaurant-related tasks" like checking out menus, reading online reviews, and ordering food via apps like Seamless and Caviar.
This is great news for the restaurant industry, for which an increased use of technology may help lower overhead costs and provide additional data about their consumers. A growing number of chains such as Applebee's and Chili's have installed tablets table-side, so that customers can order, pay their tab, and play games while waiting for their food. Other restaurants, such as Taco Bell, have been promoting their mobile apps, which customers can use to order meals ahead of time.
Not everyone has gotten behind the rise of tech in restaurants, however. The survey reveals that people resistant to apps and tablets at the tables give the same explanation: "They prefer to deal with people."