Study: Mobile orders skyrocket in 2017, but 2 in 5 still use cash

Restaurant visits paid via mobile app grew by 50 percent over the last year, a new NPD study finds. However, cash payment still captures two of every five restaurant visits, a news release said. 

Both of those revelations were provided in a report just released by NPD Group on the "Digital Evolution of Foodservice." The growth in mobile app use is stunning news when seen through the lens of overall foodservice traffic statistics which have been stalled between flat and 1 percent growth for several years. 

But the cash usage among consumers is equally eye-opening in an industry that has been increasingly inundated with tech news and innovations over the last several years. The NPD results suggest consumers are split on how they want to order, pay and receive services from the restaurants they love. 

NPD's latest analysis indicates that convenience-enabling technologies, like mobile ordering and delivery apps, are the ray of sunshine in what is otherwise a relatively slow time for foodservice overall. Time-starved consumers said they use mobile apps so the restaurant food they order is ready and paid for when they get to the store, or when the restaurant delivers to them.

Supporting reasons for app usage also include:

  • Earning rewards and loyalty points.
  • Receiving specials and coupons. 
  • Accessing menu offerings. 

However, as mentioned, tech isn't a slam-dunk with consumers, according to the NPD report which found last year that a substantial two in five visits to restaurants were paid for in cash. Of these digital non-users, 22 percent said they preferred to pay in cash, while 18 percent didn't want to pay service fees, and 16 percent were worried about identity theft or credit card fraud. 

Topics: Mobile Payments, Online / Mobile / Social, Online Ordering

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