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Survey: Millennials Want Complementary Technology


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The largest dining cohort out there wants more technology, but they want it to enhance their restaurant experience, not overshadow it.  

That’s according to a new survey by guest management platform SevenRooms that was carried out by YouGov, a research organization. 

“Diners expect the conveniences and personalization that technology offers, but want it implemented with a human touch so it doesn’t overshadow the personal elements of an exceptional dining experience,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO of SevenRooms in a press release. 

Millennials were excited about new technology far more than older diners, as seen in the chart below. 

Clearly, millennial diners are eager for better ways of finding and integrating restaurants into their tech-heavy daily lives so they can quickly find and investigate a restaurant before they make a decision. 

And when it comes to transactional aspects of dining, it’s incredibly important that whatever the technology is simplifies the process. 

Both Pizza Hut and KFC made big additions to their technology suites, adding mobile ordering for a quicker transactional experience. Since adding the technology in June 2016, KFC user satisfaction grew by 7 percent. Since updating its online ordering, Pizza Hut saw a 5 percent increase in user satisfaction, the highest increase among the pizza segment according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual Restaurant Report

And there are technologies that millennials want that aren’t here yet, with personalization at the core of those desires, according to the SevenRooms survey. A total of 51 percent of respondents said they wanted their server to remember them from a previous visit and 25 percent said they wanted the ability to request a waiter that they had during a previous visit. And 20 percent said they would book a reservation at a restaurant that created a personalized menu for them. 

None of those things are technology for technology’s sake, which is a good reminder for restaurants pondering the new gizmo. Nobody wants to learn how to use a clunky tablet or fight a tableside payment device instead of enjoying their avocado toast. Millennials are like most generations; they don’t really know or care what goes on inside their smartphone or tablets. They are used to the “it just works” mentality of the iPhone era. 

“… What we discovered is we are tech dependent … my generation does not know how technology actually works,” said generational guru (and millennial) Jason Dorsey during the 2017 NRA Show. “We just know we cannot live without it. It’s all about how simple can you make it so it just works.”

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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