Technology and Sourcing Gain Importance with Consumers
According to the National Restaurant Association's 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, roughly one-quarter of consumers say technology options are important features that factor into their decision to choose a restaurant.
This is up from the nearly one-fifth the prior year that said the same, underscoring that technology quickly is becoming an expectation rather than a novelty when dining out.
In addition, consumers are showing increasing interest in local sourcing, with eight in 10 table-service operators saying their guests are more interested in locally sourced items this year, compared with seven in 10 who said the same a year earlier.
And, 69 percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally produced food items, up 5 percentage points from what consumers said a year earlier.
Eight in 10 of consumers say restaurants offer a wider variety of healthy menu options now compared to two years ago, and three-quarters say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers healthy options; seven in 10 say they also order more healthful options in restaurants than they did two years ago.