Koala, a leading provider of premium, customizable apps and websites for restaurants, recently revealed the findings from its “Customer Ordering Preferences” survey, which examined how Americans want to interact with ordering at a restaurant.

The survey of more than 600 American consumers ages 18+ revealed a dependence on convenience, indicating a preferential engagement with digital ordering. Among the findings:

  • 70% of people surveyed prefer to order digitally over in-person.
  • When ordering digitally on-site, 80% of those surveyed prefer to use a personal device to order over restaurant provided devices.
  • When ordering digitally in general, 66% of people prefer to use their mobile phone as a medium.
  • When ordering from a mobile phone, 62% of people are drawn to rewards programs. Nearly 50% of respondents are drawn to reduced wait times and previously saved orders.
  • 77% of people choosing an online ordering system, kiosk or mobile app cited convenience as the primary reason.

“The profound shift to digital we’ve seen in order-ahead and delivery over the last 18 months is visible on-site as well, with 70% of survey respondents preferring to order via a device versus from a human when in a restaurant,” says Nat Trienens, co-founder and chief executive officer of Koala. “As brands invest in their digital ecosystem, it’s important they consider the on-site experience alongside order ahead and delivery. That on-site, digital offering needs to meet consumer expectations of being accessible on their own device, easy to use and integrated with the loyalty and rewards program.”

“This survey shows that 98% of consumers used digital ordering in some form in the last 18 months, and that they overwhelmingly prefer that experience to the alternative. It’s pretty clear that the shift to digital is here to stay,” Trienens adds. “Restaurants with strong digital ordering experiences will surpass those without.”