It’s no secret that customer expectations are changing. Just ask any restaurant owner you know. But making big-picture business decisions requires more than gut feelings — it requires hard numbers.
At HungerRush, we trust the power of statistics. That’s why we commissioned The RushReport — a new comprehensive study of American dining habits. (For the full picture, download the report.)
The Key Takeaways
- Get Local — Customers care about their local communities and expect you to as well. Restaurants that invest in their community will improve their local reputation and may see higher foot traffic.
- Don’t Get Left Behind — Diners understand the pressures you’re under. Inflation, staff shortages, and rising gas prices affect us all. With that in mind, most customers expect restaurants to utilize the latest in technology to ease the burden and maintain standards.
- Get a first-party app — Younger Americans prefer to use apps and online platforms for ordering. They expect you to either be on third-party apps or have a high-quality, first-party app that isn’t a pain to use.
Let’s look at these key takeaways in more depth.
80% Of Diners Think You Should Be Active In Your Community
For the Rush Report, we interviewed a broad cross-section of Americans about their dining expectations. 80% of respondents told us that restaurants and fast-casual chains should be active in their local communities — think: working with local charities, participating in events, and so on.
They also said they’d rather dine at a restaurant that sources food from the local community. More than half of Americans said fresh and local produce was very important to them when making dining decisions.
Finally, three in five respondents told us they thought that restaurants should use local produce to help cope with supply shortages. These stats show restaurants ought to consider partnering with local suppliers and taking an active role in their communities in order to stand out from their rivals.
80% Of Americans Expect You To Use Restaurant Tech To Cope With Staff Shortages
The staffing crisis has been a needle in the side of restaurateurs for too long. And customers are noticing it — half of all Americans, regardless of age, have stopped going to a restaurant because of staffing issues. And 82% think restaurants are doing a poor job dealing with staff shortages.
Those are huge numbers. But here’s the silver lining: 80% of respondents agree that technology can help restaurants become more efficient and cope with the labor crisis.
Diving deeper into this:
- 79% of customers want to be able to use technology to place food orders.
- 50% think technology can help restaurant owners manage staffing and scheduling issues.
- 37% say using more text and/or mobile ordering would help solve the employee shortage.
- 29% think kitchen automation would help.
- And a pessimistic 6% say nothing can help.
Business owners who want to address staff shortages and be more efficient with their labor should consider implementing QR-code ordering, first-party online ordering, or whatever other tech suits their situation — safe in the knowledge that customers expect and, in some cases, even prefer that you do this.
51% Of Younger Customers Want To Order From Your App
Our final set of questions was all about customer expectations regarding ordering channels. When we broke their answers down by age, it become clear that younger customers (18-29) prefer ordering food:
- 65% — online
- 62% — over the phone
- 51% — through the restaurant’s app
- 38% — through a third-party app
- 38% — in-store at the counter
Younger customers are very familiar with mobile apps and online ordering. Digital ordering seems to be the path of least resistance amongst younger guests. If you want to make the most of this highly profitable demographic, you need to meet them where they are.
Restaurant Tech Helps You Meet Changing Customer Expectations
Your customers understand how difficult things are in the restaurant industry. But they expect you to use the latest in restaurant technology to address these issues — while also actively contributing to your local community.
If you’re not meeting these expectations, they’ll go to your rivals who are.
HungerRush has been helping restaurants meet customer expectations — and a whole lot more. That’s because we’ve been at the forefront of the restaurant tech revolution since the beginning.
We know what works because we’re not just another tech company — we’re staffed by scores of ex-restaurateurs and hospitality industry veterans.
We help restaurants implement:
- Bespoke first-party online ordering (that online presence customers are looking for)
- Targeted local marketing campaigns (to let locals know what you’re doing for the community)
- Smart AI text and voice ordering (that take the burden off your staff)
Ready to see what HungerRush can do for you?
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