Restaurant & Foodservice digital transformation

The shift to contactless in restaurants

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the demand for digital technology in restaurants. While many restaurants were gradually implementing delivery, curbside pickup, and other digital solutions for customers pre-pandemic, the need for contactless options has skyrocketed, compressing 10 years of consumer adoption of ecommerce into three months. 

In a Mobiquity survey, we found that when social distancing began:

  • 62% of consumers used an app to order food

  • 50% of consumers said they will use new methods for getting food after social distancing

Plus, we saw traffic increase 800% for some retail mobile apps.1 This data is proof that digital has become the go-to resource for customers looking for an easier and safer way to live their lives. We won’t ever go “back to normal” after the pandemic has been resolved. So, how can you provide the best value for diners both during and post-COVID?

Digital solutions for
your restaurant

The potential that digital technology in restaurants has to improve your customer experience is limitless. Here are the solutions we’ve found to be the most impactful in the restaurant industry:

Mobile apps

While there are many restaurant technology solutions to invest in, restaurant mobile app development is one of the most important. With so many consumers turning to mobile apps to get food in one way or another, here are some important considerations for every restaurant mobile app:

Contactless Payments

The coronavirus has caused a huge surge in the demand for contactless options with everything from picking up groceries to ordering food curbside, and even pumping gas. Enabling touchless payment is a key component to ensuring your customers have a completely contactless experience. Plus, 54% of consumers agree that they would like to use their own mobile phone to pay for food in a sit down restaurant and 59% agree that they would like to use a mobile app to pay for food in a fast food restaurant.

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Curbside Pickup

Did you know that 54% of consumers prefer the convenience of curbside pickup in restaurants and 64% agree they are more likely to order from a restaurant with curbside pickup than one without? Adding to that even more, 65% of consumers agree they are likely to make more frequent trips to a restaurant with curbside pickup than one without. And these trends are here to stay. Consumers said they'll use curbside pickup even more once social distancing is relaxed. Diners are increasingly demanding instant gratification with less hassle, and restaurants are racing to meet that expectation through digital innovation. Is your curbside experience as seamless and impactful as it could be to increase customer engagement and satisfaction?

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Rewards & Loyalty

Loyalty programs have become a key driver for businesses of all types, but especially restaurants. Research shows that the cost of a bad experience is high. 66% of consumers will consider switching to a competitor after one or two bad experiences. And in the wake of the pandemic, 59% report that customer experience plays a bigger role, impacting which brands they support.2 Now is the time to double down on your loyalty and rewards effort by creating a program that builds on the relationship you have with customers, but in a digital way. If created strategically, rewards can help build a one-on-one relationship, increase frequency of visits, check averages, and offer key insights on business performance. Consider including this important piece in your restaurant mobile app design.

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Contactless Delivery 

Restaurants exploring contactless delivery should embrace the opportunity to take back profits and customer loyalty that have been captured by third-party providers such as UberEats, Instacart, GrubHub, and others. Creating your own delivery program gives you access to the data you need to create personalized offers based on previous purchases, buying patterns, and other shared information. Trends point to this service sticking around for the long haul, so there’s no time like the present to develop your own program. Mobiquity research revealed that consumers say they’ll still purchase from food aggregators (Grubhub, Instacart, etc.) at 90% of the volume they were purchasing at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March4 – showing virtually no decline in the demand for safe delivery. There’s never been a better time to invest in your own restaurant food delivery app development.

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Contactless Dining

Beyond improving customer experience away from home, here are also ways to make your physical restaurant experience safer and more contactless. What if everything in your restaurant was done through kiosks or the diner’s mobile phone? You walk in, your phone brings up the menu via QR code, you order and pick a seat, the wait staff know where you are sitting due to geolocating, you eat, pay your bill on your phone, and then are asked to leave a review upon leaving the restaurant. Imagine the convenience and safety that this would offer your guests – and also your staff. 51% of consumers agree that they would like to use their own mobile phone instead of interacting directly with restaurant staff – how can you make this a reality for your guests?

Friction Report 

As you think about transforming your business and adding digital solutions for a better customer experience, consider looking at the Mobiquity Friction Report. The Friction Report is a proprietary tool that uses AI/ML to analyze thousands of customer reviews on mobile apps, websites, and similar tools to help businesses see what they’re doing well and where they could use some help. The Friction Report can also summarize how these digital touchpoints, such as mobile apps, across an industry are performing.

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We’ve digitally transformed

Whether you are looking to enhance your current digital products or create a new digital experience from scratch, we can help. We offer:

Omnichannel support

Your digital strategy will include many channels, such as: website, mobile app, voice skills, chatbot, and more. We can help you kickstart or enhance these channels so that they work together to create a better customer experience.

Digital transformation strategy session

Maybe you’re revisiting your digital approach altogether and need help thinking through the methods and strategies that will be most fruitful for your restaurant today, five years from now, or even 10 years into the future. Let us work with your teams to create a digital transformation strategy that you can be confident about as technology and consumer behaviors evolve. 

Innovation process

In a crowded marketplace, how do you plan to stand out? Will you create an experience that customers rave about? How you innovate now will define how your restaurant retains existing customers and attracts new ones for sustainable growth.

Customer experience & analytics

The way you measure the success of your restaurant often comes down to the experience you create and the analytics that prove whether that experience is working. Let us help you put a framework in place for your omnichannel digital strategy.

North Star ideation

What is your biggest driver of success? Do you know? Are you sure that the metrics you have in place are giving you the best picture of the overall success of your restaurant? Our teams will help you develop your North Star so that you can easily identify where you want to go and make a plan for how to get there.


  2. Customer Experience Trends & Challenges // 2020, CCW Digital
  4. Mobiquity proprietary research, April 2020
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Ready to digitally transform your restaurant?

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