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As retailers look to in-store tech to improve the shopping experience, and make it more efficient, restaurants are facing similar questions. Will automated, tech-enabled options entice, or alienate, diners?
As of March 2015, according to research by dining reservation app provider OpenTable, a majority of US internet users had already encountered only one of these tech options at restaurants: on-table touchscreens to order. Overall, 53% of internet users surveyed had used on, and just 22.6% of that group said the disliked it. The bulk were neutral rather than positive, however.
While not many people had tried other in-restaurant tech options, like on-table buttons to call wait staff, they liked the idea of them. Respondents were especially warm, at least in theory, to technology that would enable mobile payments.
Many respondents are already using their mobile phone as a dining companion. The survey found that 25% used a smartphone to research food items on the menu and decide what to order. That was ahead of the 23% who took photos to remember their experience.
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