Technology in restaurants is no longer a novelty, consumers expect it. As a result, we added several technology attributes to the Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program in Q1 2015. In the recent Consumer Brand Metrics: Canadian Restaurants white paper, “Emerging Tech at Restaurants: Consumer Perceptions of Technology at Leading Chains,” consumers particularly praise pizza chains for their adoption of technology.
More than four out of five consumers rate Panago Pizza, Pizza Delight and Domino’s as good or very good on the attribute integration of technology into the ordering process, based on their most recent ordering experience. Among the 44 restaurant brands we track in Canada, pizza chains earn three of the top five spots for this attribute.
It’s no surprise that consumers recognize pizza chains in this area, as they were early adopters of technology, including online ordering and payment. Despite similarities among the top-rated chains, pizza chains stand out for other advancements. For instance, Panago and Domino’s mobile applications allow customers to customize their orders and create their own pizzas. Furthermore, Domino’s has integrated an order tracker into its online and mobile platforms, which allows consumers to see when their order is being made and sent out for delivery.
While pizza chains generally earn the highest praise from consumers in this area, two other chains also rank in the top five on their integration of technology into ordering: Swiss Chalet and Tim Hortons. Swiss Chalet’s online ordering platform is interactive and easy for consumers to order and pay for their meal. Furthermore, Tim Hortons’ mobile application, TimmyMe, allows customers to pay and earn rewards by using their smartphone.
An operator’s ability to successfully integrate technology into the restaurant experience, particularly into the ordering process, goes a long way with consumers. While pizza chains have set the technology adoption curve, other national chains are changing consumer expectations, increasing the urgency for operators to innovate in order to enhance the guest experience.