Why Portability is Just So Cool
The increased level of accessibility to information using mobile technology is one of the biggest influencers on food consumption. The Internet is a big accessory here, too. Why bother going into a restaurant just to check a menu when you can conveniently do it from your phone? Identifying nutritional facts, ingredients and allergens are other major benefits of Internet-based menu technologies worth mentioning.
More and more, we see mobile technology creeping into areas that we never realized it could and has become the norm in some areas of our lives. Why? Because it’s so easy to get the information you want from a device that you can easily carry around.
U.S. smartphone industry trends for December 2013 specified “156 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones”, equating to a market share of 65.2% of mobile phones (in 2012, it was 125.9 million). It should not come as a surprise that in a matter of one year those figures flourished by 30.1 million. With that kind of growth spurt, we can anticipate continuous growth in mobile communications.
According to a study conducted by Experian Marketing Services in 2013, the average adult spends about one hour using their phones. Additionally, mobile statistics revealed “50% of the average global mobile web users now use mobile as their primary or exclusive means of going online.” Setting aside those desktops and laptops, these days consumers simply pick up their web-accessible phones and easily browse for dining-related inquiries while on-the-go. In 2012 Technomic reported, “young internet users are especially likely to associate their phones with food”, particularly to look over menus. Undoubtedly, Internet-based menu technologies are expected to boom via smartphones as they have with computers.
We couldn’t agree more with Hudson Riehle, Senior VP of research at the National Restaurant Association, regarding the outlook of technology in foodservice and how it “is becoming more of an expectation than a novelty.”
In your foodservice operations, do you use mobile technology to get part of your work done? Are you leveraging your consumers’ mobile online habits to your advantage (such as increasing visibility of your retail areas)? Do you have a need and you wished that it could be accomplished by this kind of technology? With millions of people using smartphones and with an ever-increasing number of capabilities that they could provide you…if it hasn’t happened yet…there will probably come a time where you will benefit from this technology in areas that you never realized it could.
Article by: Sosi Minasian, Marketing Analyst; Fusion, 2nd Quarter, 2014