Research conducted by Edelman Berland and released by Velocity today (7 October) revealed that the average wait for a bill in the UK is 11 minutes, meaning most people waste more than a month of their lives waiting for the bill in a restaurant.
If restaurants could eliminate this wait by using mobile payment apps they could increase table turnover and sales by 14.1 per cent, equating to a potential revenue gain of £5.6bn across the £40bn restaurant industry, the study said.
The research also suggested that mobile payment could boost eating out in the UK, with 43 per cent of diners surveyed stating they would eat out more often with a restaurant payment app, and half of those saying they would eat out at least once more every week.
By improving service efficiency, mobile payment could also help restaurants drive return visits. According to the study, 76 per cent of consumers find slow and inefficient service a turn off when eating out, making it second only to rude staff (77 per cent) when it comes to putting people off a return visit, and more influential than receiving the wrong order (48 per cent) or incorrect bill (46 per cent).
When it comes to dining out for lunch, quick and efficient service was voted the most important factor (59 per cent), above variety of food (49 per cent) and ambience (23 per cent).
Over half (57 per cent) of consumers agreed that having a system that allowed them to pay easily, such as a mobile one-click system, was important.
“New technology is increasingly empowering consumers to take control, enhancing our experiences with immediate gratification. We are already seeing this in the transport, hotel and home entertainment sectors with the likes of Uber, AirBnB and Netflix, but these advances aren’t happening in a meaningful way in the UK dining sector yet,” said Alex Macdonald, co-founder at Velocity, which is developing a mobile payment app.
“These technological advances have the potential to transform the dining sector resulting in quicker bill payment, personalised service and increased customer loyalty & sales, a rare win-win for both consumers and restaurants.”
The research was based on a survey of 1000 UK consumers aged between 18 - 55, who own a smartphone, download apps and eat out at least once a week within a restaurant setting.