TD Bank: Mobile tech is top of mind for restaurants

Mobile technology growth and integration is one of the top priorities for restaurant franchisee owners and franchisors, according to a TD Bank survey.

According to the survey, more than half (59 percent) plan to integrate smartphone/tablet apps and/or mobile ordering, or develop a mobile app this year, while just under half (45 percent) plan to integrate a mobile employee scheduling/time tracking app.

The survey, conducted at the 2017 Restaurant Finance and Development Conference in Las Vegas, polled franchise owners and operators of quick-service and fast-casual restaurants. About 54 percent of respondents own or operate stores that are part of a national brand, 25 percent have an independent store and 20 percent have a store that is part of a regional brand.

When asked how mobile ordering has influenced their restaurants, respondents said it could:

  • Expand their customer base (55 percent);
  • Eliminate the need to hire more staff (16 percent);
  • Speed up food preparation, cooking and delivery (15 percent).

“In addition to the back-end benefits, mobile apps provide an opportunity for restaurants to communicate with customers in new ways by offering customized service and incentives that provide a more seamless experience and help encourage needed repeat business,” said Mark Wasilefsky, head of the Restaurant Franchise Financing Group at TD Bank. “We live in a mobile society in which consumers expect that ordering food ― like any product ― should be quick and easy. Smart franchise owners will take advantage of the latest technology to reach customers through their devices.”

Survey respondents also reported the biggest investment they’re planning for 2018 to stay ahead of the competition is location expansion (70 percent), followed by social media strategies to target Gen Z (56 percent) and customer loyalty programs (55 percent).

Mobile ordering is a huge influence for the way respondents think about their business, with 55 percent reporting mobile ordering could help expand their customer base.