5 characteristics of the leverage of the best restaurants

Over the past few years, the restaurant industry has changed a lot, and restaurants that fail to meet new consumer expectations are at risk of falling behind. Technical and fulfillment features go a long way in boosting sales and separating top performing restaurants from the rest of the pack.

Research from the PYMNTS’ 2022 Restaurant Friction Index, created in conjunction with Paytronix, which is based on a survey of more than 500 Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and Full Service Restaurant (FSR) managers across the United States, identified the factors that separated the top 30 restaurants that participated from the rest.

See also: Loyalty programs Best way to get customers to spend more

Digital order for in-store pickup

The study found that the top 30 restaurants offered the ability to order online through a website and/or mobile app and pick up their order in-store. In contrast, only 10 of the worst performing restaurants offered the same.

Additionally, according to data from PYMNTS’ April study “The Digital Divide: The Key Factors That Drive Restaurant Choice,” also created in conjunction with Paytronix, pickup options are a major factor for nearly half of all consumers when deciding between restaurants. The study, which is based on a survey of more than 2,600 American adults, found that 47% of restaurant customers cite convenient pickup options as an important factor influencing their choice, and 19% rank them as the most important factor.

Read more: From outdoor seating to contactless payments, dining habits are changing

Digital order for payment in store

Even when restaurants don’t offer consumers the option to pay online, digital ordering capabilities can go a long way; many restaurant customers are ready to pay when they arrive at the store. The Restaurant Friction Index study found that top performers were more than six times more likely than bottom performers to offer the option to order online and pay in store, with 43% of the former and 7% of the latter offering this option .

Saved Payment Methods

The study also found that top performers were almost twice as likely as bottom performers to offer the option for a customer to save their payment method for future purchases, with nearly all of the former and roughly the half of the latter presenting this option.

Digital wallet payment options

Of course, saved payment methods aren’t the only low-friction options — digital wallet acceptance can do a lot, too. The study found that the same proportion of top performers and bottom performers offered digital wallet payment capabilities as registered payment methods.

“Consumers are not only forced to order food for e-commerce. They also use platforms like Shop Pay. They also use Amazon.com,” noted Noah Glass, CEO of Olo, in a February interview with PYMNTS. “They’re used to having frictionless checkout experiences.”

Related News: Olo CEO: Removing payment friction allows restaurants to compete with aggregators

Check splitting capabilities

One feature that can go a surprisingly long way for restaurants is allowing consumers to pay separately when ordering in groups. The study found that 77% of the top performing restaurants offer split capabilities, while only 27% of the worst performers do the same.



About: More than half of utilities and consumer finance companies have the ability to digitally process all monthly bill payments. The kicker? Only 12% of them do. The Digital Payments Edge, a collaboration between PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide, surveyed 207 billing and collections professionals at these companies to find out why going digital remains elusive.