The last six months have seen a rise in demand for hospitality technology such as pay-at-table apps, new research shows.
A study of 2,500 people by KAM Media and OrderPay found 41% said the availability of mobile ordering had become more important to them when visiting a restaurant, pub or bar since March.
This figure rose to 64% for those under the age of 34, although 15% of 55-year-olds also rated the technology as increasingly important.
The ability to book a table was ranked as the top feature people look for in a hospitality app, followed by the functionality to pre-order food and drink.
Half of the respondents also said they wanted to gain loyalty rewards through an app.
Katy Moses, managing director at KAM Media, said "Back in early 2019 our research found that one in two customers thought that pubs and bars in particular were behind other leisure outlets and retail when it comes to their use of tech. We've seen a phenomenal acceleration in the use of tech in the last six months, driven by the Covid crisis, which has proven just how quickly changes can be made if the need is there."
The research shows how technology could be used to reassure nervous customers, with 92% of respondents keen to see explanations of safety measures and procedures on websites and apps.
Just over a third wanted to be able to see how busy a venue is before they visit, while 29% said they would be keen to view a cleaning schedule before they visit a pub, bar or restaurant.
Joe Martin, chief marketing officer at OrderPay, said: "While many operators have data on their customers through a single customer view, it is not at a granular level. The ability of tech to be able to distinguish customers' eating and drinking preferences, spending habits, visit frequency and more, is an opportunity which simply cannot be missed."