Customers to Reject Ordering Kiosks Due to Coronavirus Fears

● Research released today shows use of touch-screen kiosks to order food likely to collapse after lockdown ends

● Customers now more likely to want to use own mobiles to order due to hygiene concerns

● Majority of customers want to return to their favourite restaurants, cafés and bars within a few weeks of re-opening

New research released today by mobile order & pay provider Wi5 shows that nearly two thirds of UK adults (61%) say they will avoid using touch-screen kiosks to order food and drink in hospitality venues once the lockdown measures are lifted. Touch-screen kiosks have become hugely popular in fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s and Burger King in recent years, but fears over sharing the screens with other customers is now likely to hugely impact their usage.

Instead, 59% of respondents to the survey agreed they would now be more likely “to use my own mobile to order and pay from a table” than before the crisis took hold. Of those who said they’d avoid using a touch-screen, the number one reason was “not liking the thought of touching a screen used by so many other people before touching my food”.

The research found that over half of respondents said they were likely to return to fast food (59%) and casual dining restaurants (51%), pubs and bars (51%) and cafés (58%) within weeks of venues reopening.

The findings provide hospitality operators with some clear guidance on what customers will be looking for in order to entice them back to venues reopening their doors. When asked what would make them more likely to visit a restaurant, bar or café after the lockdown, most want to know there are clear hygiene measures in place, with 58% saying they would want to know the venue is being regularly cleaned, and 54% wanting to see provision of hand-sanitiser throughout the venue. The next most important issues relate to social distancing, with 48% wanting to see limits to the numbers of customers in each store, and 36% saying they would be swayed positively by seeing floor markers for social distancing.

Gavin Peters, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer for Wi5 said “These results clearly show how customer behaviour in hospitality will change after the lockdown ends, with ordering kiosks likely to be seen as too much of a hygiene risk for most customers. Helping customers use their own devices for ordering, making some simple operational changes to limit any perceived unnecessary hygiene risks and, crucially, communicating those changes well to customers will be key to helping rebuild consumer confidence and ensuring the sector recovers as fast as possible”.

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