According to Business Insider Intelligence reports, orders placed via smartphones and mobile apps will become $38 billion industry and make up nearly 11 percent of all fast-service restaurant sales by 2020. Today, mobile users are more comfortable with app-based transactions and digital payments of all sorts.

An eMarketer study showed more than 38 million Americans used some form of mobile payment in 2016. A survey from TD Bank at the 2017 NRA conference found that with more customers seeking choices about how and where they order food, it is no wonder that 48 percent of restaurants expect to introduce mobile technology in the future. Many leading fast food places in the U.S. are also seeing benefits from digital ordering in terms of efficiency and profitability. According to the Business Insider survey, some pizza chains registered an 18 percent rise in consumer spending from online/mobile orders vs. phone orders.

While the digital-ordering trend is primed for major growth, for many restaurants, the path has not been smooth. Some were initially reluctant to implement emerging technology. It is complex and time-consuming to build and install the digital infrastructure, as well as to train workers to integrate digital ordering into their workflow. Some high-profile fast-service restaurants have encountered well-publicized problems with mobile app creation in recent years and delays in carrying out the process. Despite these obstacles, it has become obvious that a winning mix is mobile apps and quick-serves. The financial and productive advantages of implementing a digital ordering system in the long term greatly outweigh the set-up costs and related technical challenges.

Mobile POS is witnessing rapid growth in the restaurant sector and fast-casual sectors in an environment where every second counts. Mobile ordering continues to grow, and by 2030, some estimates have priced the food distribution market at $365B. According to The NPD Group, 70% of customers would prefer to buy from a personalized app rather than from a third-party app. This is because a personalized app normally results in more money going into your restaurant's wallet. Further research from the NPD Group details the prevalence of mobile ordering as it exists today: 60% of all digital restaurant orders are mobile. There are several reasons why: Customers enjoy luxury. They enjoy the ability to configure a dashboard for their orders. They enjoy the loyalty services built-in and the advantages that come with branded apps. Mobile order-ahead solutions provide them with the best of all benefits while reinforcing the dedication of your business to digital convenience.

A study from Poppin' Pay revealed that 13% of total U.S. Starbucks transactions are made through its Mobile Order & Pay. This is a massive percentage for an organization the size of Starbucks. Starbucks has long been considered a global innovator of mobile payment applications. And while few fast-food chains have the resources of a company like Starbucks, this data shows just how effective the right company can be with a mobile order-ahead solution. 45% of customers believe that choices for mobile shopping enable them to use online ordering more frequently. This is another one that comes back to revenue. Management of customer service is all about convenience, and the organization needs to have the ordering choices your consumer wants in order to optimize sales potential. A mobile, order-ahead solution is a no-brainer, with research showing that mobile ordering choices improve the chances of online ordering.

Mobile Ordering is clearly the future of the food industry. Consumers don't like to wait, and the speed/convenience ordering ahead provides is going to contribute to the growing demand for mobile ordering. If you are interested in getting a free order ahead + loyalty app for your own restaurant/business, go to craspa.com to learn more and get started today!