A new study has shown the internet plays a large part in helping people to make dining arrangements. Researchers from OpenTable, an app that enables people to make reservations online, looked at how diners use the internet to help them plan a meal out. They surveyed 6,000 people for the study and found that 88% of diners mainly use the internet for making reservations.
Research also showed that 87% of people use the internet to find a restaurant, while 86% go online to look at menus. The study also found that many people turn to online reviews to make a decision on where to eat out, with 60% reading amateur reviews and 59% reading reviews from professionals. Other internet activities included getting directions, browsing restaurant photos, finding deals and making special arrangements.
The study also looked at whether or not diners put their phones away once they are at a restaurant and found that 63% do not look at their phone during a meal, while 25% use their phone regularly while dining.
Leela Srinivasan, marketing leader for OpenTable, said in a statement: “Dining out, like virtually every other area of life, has been transformed by technology, but in an industry in which hospitality is paramount it’s important to strike the right balance for your restaurant concept.”
OpenTable conducted the study for a new e-book, titled “Technology and Dining Out 2015”, which includes experiences from diners and explores topics such as how technology can enhance dining experiences and what type of technology diners would like to see to make it easier to plan meals beforehand.
The company also conducted a poll asking diners how they feel about restaurants researching customers beforehand online. The majority of people said that they did not have a problem with a restaurant Googling them, while 31% said that they find it “creepy” and “intrusive.”
The e-book also looks at how people feel about “in-meal technologies,” such as using a touchscreen at a table or using a mobile to make payments.