Need for speed now more important than food menu choice or value, research claims

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People are placing increased pressure on restaurants to deliver a quick and convenient service, with speed now considered more of a priority than menu choice and value, new research has claimed.

The research, conducted by Barclaycard, shows that the need for speed is causing customers to become more impatient when eating out, prioritising quick service (37%) over value (21%) and menu choice (33%).

The research found that Brits are demanding faster service and more convenient ways to pay when eating out and ordering takeaways for delivery. It advised that pressure is mounting on restaurant operators to respond with technology which balances speed with providing a more personalised dining experience.

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What’s more, consumers report that slow service is the most frustrating part of the dining experience, with nearly 60% losing patience when their food takes too long to arrive. When in a restaurant, almost 50% also become impatient when left to wait too long to pay at the end of their meal.

In response to the convenience-driven diner, payment technology was identified as a crucial factor. Barclaycard said pressure is mounting on restaurants to offer a range of solutions to speed up the payment process, with consumers more likely to choose venues which offer contactless payments (15%), the option to pre-order and pay via an app for both delivery and eating in a restaurant (15%) or payment via mobile device at the table (14%).

23% of consumers anticipate they will increase their usage of contactless cards and devices when dining out in the next 12 months, while a further 10% expect to pay using an app more often.

When it comes to paying the bill in a large group, technology is also invaluable for restaurateurs. 85% of diners admit they often end up frustrated when eating out with friends or family, citing having to figure out how much each individual spent (33%) as their key concerns. Customers are calling for bill-splitting apps or tools for large groups and automatic payment services, the company said.

Diners would also like restaurateurs to make their experience feel more personal with a third (33%) more likely to choose somewhere to eat if they receive tailored offers based on personal data they have provided, such as free drinks for birthdays.

Sharon Manikon, customer solutions director at Barclaycard, said: “Time is of the essence for today’s busy Brits and this need for speed now seems to be translating to the dining experience.

“But instead of being a special treat, eating out and ordering food in are increasingly becoming the norm, with consumers turning to restaurants and delivery services to provide quick and easy meal-time options, whether it’s a bite to eat after work or a mid-week takeaway ordered from a mobile device on the move.”

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