MRM EXCLUSIVE: What Guests Really Think About Tech at the Table and Other Trends

Paying at the table is seen as a much better restaurant experience for patrons, but Americans are mixed about viewing menus via QR code, according to exclusive research conducted for Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine by Provoke Insights

Among the key findings:

  • Those who are younger, vaccinated, Hispanic, and have children prefer to pay at the table. 
  • Menu via QR codes are most preferred by younger generations, Asians, Democrats, and those living in cities. 




Restaurants and Holidays

“As people return to the office, they expect their company to celebrate the holidays at restaurants again,” said Carly Fink, President of Provoke Insights. “If companies expect their staff to go to the office, these employees want the perk of celebrating the holidays with their colleagues.”

A third of Americans are planning to celebrate the holidays at a restaurant. Millennials, parents, high-income earners, males, and those living in urban areas are more likely to attend these seasonal events at food service establishments. 

Work holidays are the most popular holiday events enjoyed at restaurants, followed by community events. A tenth of Americans say they are celebrating Thanksgiving or a winter holiday (e.g., Christmas) at a restaurant.



COVID-19 and Restaurant Attendance 

Almost half of Americans still have reservations about eating at a restaurant due to COVID-19.

Key takeaways include:

  • Democrats, those who live in urban areas, and those who are vaccinated are more worried about eating out in restaurants due to COVID-19. 
  • Almost half of Americans still have apprehension about dining at restaurants due to COVID-19. 


Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey among 1,504 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. The study was in-field from September 22 to 28, 2021.