Canadians’ return to restaurant dining will be more digital, and will be complemented by their newfound affinity for delivery, according to a new survey by Clover® from Fiserv.
Digital experiences will be integral to in-person dining, from the moment an order is placed to the minute the check is paid, and consumers are ready to embrace the change. Among Gen Z and Millennial respondents (ages 18-34), 57% said they’d prefer to order and pay at the table using their own mobile device, rather than through a server. The younger generations are not alone, as more than one-third (35%) of those aged 35 to 54 said the same. In addition, 31% of 18 to 34-year-olds and 10% of 35 to 54-year-olds would be more likely to frequent a restaurant that offers this payment option.
The new survey, conducted by data services firm Maru/Blue, also revealed that the pandemic has created a penchant for delivery. Prior to the pandemic the majority of Canadians (51%) ordered takeout or delivery one to two times every month. Since the start of the pandemic, the majority of Canadians (52%) order takeout or delivery one to two times a week, more than quadrupling the frequency. And 11% order takeout or delivery three or more times every week, a figure that rises to 19% among 18 to 34-year-olds. This newfound habit might stick too. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Canadians said they’ll choose takeout and delivery over in-person dining in 2021, even when restaurants reopen.
“The story of dining in Canada in 2021 is all about digital and delivery,” said Brian Green, Country Head, Canada at Fiserv. “Through the Clover platform we’re enabling restaurants to provide customers digital engagement options for ordering and payment – whether that means online ordering for delivery or curbside pickup, scanning a QR code to order and pay in-app, or enabling touch-free payments at the table.”
In additional notable findings, 10% of Canadians said they are more likely to register for a loyalty account to receive digital rewards from a restaurant than they were before the pandemic.
For popular Calgary-based burger restaurant iyycburg, the pandemic has been the only normal its staff have known since their grand opening in November of 2020. A few weeks after the launch, new public health guidance further restricted the dining experience and co-owners Rohan Wadhwani and Muzzamil Hussain needed technology to keep the business running and the momentum going through lockdown.
“Our priority was giving the best value to our customers, so profit margins were pretty small when we started and we needed to be able to sell our food directly through channels we could manage,” said Muzzamil. “As a brand-new business, we wanted to avoid using third-party ordering vendors and maximize our revenue. That’s when we partnered with Clover, which gave us low-cost options to enable the digital technology we needed to manage our business and serve our customers effectively.”
The launch of the Clover online ordering capability was particularly timely for iyycburg, as 15% of Canadians said they order food directly from a restaurant’s website more often now than they did before the pandemic.
First launched to Canada in mid-2019, Clover is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) platform that brings business owners a modern approach to managing their business operations, including smart, flexible POS hardware, intuitive software and a robust set of tools to run operations. Globally, Clover has more than 1 million devices in market. In Canada that includes a fast-growing number of merchants across the country.
iyycburg implemented the Clover online ordering solution so customers could order directly from the restaurant’s digital menu of hamburgers, milkshakes and bubble teas. The business was also able to pivot efficiently to curbside pick-up during the second wave of the pandemic, and the owners are able to track sales through a dashboard accessible via their mobile phones or the Clover platform. Clover is also integrated with the latest digital technology to enable touchless payments.
“Last year, Clover helped us stay on track as a new restaurant,” said Wadhwani. “Now, Clover will help continue to strengthen our business as the pandemic evolves, so we can stay open safely with confidence.”
The survey polled 1,507 Canadians across the country in March 2021.