Automation, Micromarkets, & New Age Vending Machines: Understanding consumer and operator usage and perceptions of automation in U.S. foodservice

Dec 2018| MDK033A| Datassential

Report Highlights

Mobile apps are the most used automation among operators overall. Nearly a quarter are using a reservation system, while around one in six operators uses kiosks and one in six uses tabletop devices like tablets.

Increasing sales is the key motivator for why operators add automation. Labor-related factors are also very important drivers, but it’s not just about slashing costs. Operators value the “coolness” factor of automation, but they’re slightly less likely to adopt it just because their competitors do or because it’s part of their brand image.

Expense overwhelmingly is why operators are not using more automation. Many also feel that their patrons have no interest, or they aren’t sure how it will benefit their operation.

Tech-savvy consumers are twice as likely to say they like using automation when getting food AFH as is the general population.

Time and money factors are top automation benefits for consumers. Both tech-savvy consumers and the general population perceive automation similarly, so the messaging around its benefits does not need to be segmented heavily.

Broken technology, removing the personal touch, and other slow patrons are top frustrations. Again, the concerns with automation are universal to the general population and tech-savvy consumers.

For many consumers and operators, the future is now. While we’re a long way off from robots prepping food and bussing tables, automation is definitely spreading fast across the front and back of the house. Adopting automation the right way not only meets guests’ expectations for convenience and customization; it also makes more money for operators. One fast-growing area where innovation around automation is driving guest satisfaction and operator interest is micromarkets. Read on to find the technology and tactics that will delight customers while driving your ROI.

“Tech-savvy” Consumers and What Drives Their Behavior
Discover what influences this important, loyal consumer group. See which trends in automation and digital ordering resonate higher with this group compared with the general population.

Consumer Usage and Attitudes Toward Automation
Determine which tools and services are expected as part of a modern meal away from home for most consumers. Know what consumers want from tablets, kiosks, mobile apps, and more.

Barriers to Adopting a More Automated Experience
Learn how foodservice operators balance cost concerns with automation’s sales- and traffic-driving potential. Find technology investments with the greatest impact on operators and customers.

The Appeal of Micromarkets
Uncover the service attributes of micromarkets and new-age vending that drive such high satisfaction among consumers. Fortify your micromarket against common challenges facing operators.

Datassential, a Chicago-based food industry research and consulting firm, brings clients real-world information on foodservice and consumer packaged goods in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s services, including its extensive MenuTrends database, provide in-depth reporting on trends in menu offerings, flavor profiles, ingredients and preparations. Datassential helps operators, retailers, and suppliers understand and capitalize on these important trends.

Datassential makes the food industry smarter. We provide trend software, predictive analytics, and consumer insights that help manufacturers, food retailers, and chain restaurants innovate and sell more intelligently.

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