The survey of 2034 adults also found that 32 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds preferred a human approach to their dining experience.
Robin Gill, co-founder of The Dairy, The Manor and Paradise Garage, told BigHospitality that he believes that technology ruins the connection between the diner and front-of-house staff.
“If a customer wants any information on a dish then we don’t want any barriers between them and us. If you put a computer or an iPad there straight away it says that you don’t want to speak to the guest. It’s lazy,” he said.
“For me, what’s so important is customer interaction, that’s why our menu changes all the time, why we have specials on all the time and why our chefs serve our food. I want a nice, personal service. I want to go to a restaurant where I can have a nice rapport with people and have a bit of banter.”
The results may come as a surprise to some industry professionals who have started to implement guest-facing technology to improve the speed and quality of service to their diners.
London’s crowdfunding craft coffee house Grind is one of these companies. Its founder David Abrahamovitch explained to BigHospitality that, despite the figures, they won’t be turning their back on technology.
“It’s 2015; every business is a technology business. Sure, we’re all guilty of checking our phone at the dinner table when we ought not, but technology has been important to the restaurant industry long before we could put it in our pocket,” he said.
Due to customer demand, Grind have announced that they are developing a mobile app.
“It’s something people have been asking for from us for a while and something we’re looking forward to be able to share with them,” continued Abrahamovitch.
Sacla’s report also found that 34 per cent of people want to see GPS navigation integrated into apps, 41 per cent would want an app to show customer reviews, and 22 per cent feel that automated payments would be beneficial in an app.