Thursday, June 4, 2020

When we go back to eating out, more of us will pay with our phones

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)Major restaurant chains are trying to make it easier for customers to get their food without touching anything but their own phones.

It's a trend that started before the pandemic hit and has only accelerated as consumers and restaurants adjust to a new normal, where contact with others is discouraged. Now, restaurants are betting people will want to peruse digital menus instead of physical ones and opt for mobile ordering rather than paying at the register with cash or credit card.

"The handling of cash creates consumer concerns about the spread of viruses," Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in an open letter in early May describing the company's plan to reopen. He noted that Starbucks is adding new features to its app to include voice ordering through Siri and more opportunities for rewards. The app already shows which restaurants have mobile order and pickup so that customers can plan their visits and manage expectations before they get to the store.

Johnson predicted that "the mobile app will become the dominant form of payment."  Read more >>