According to the joint research by CGA Peach and Zonal Retail Data Systems, nearly half (47%) of all consumers said slow service is their biggest frustration, while another 24% claimed that their order being taken incorrectly is their leading bugbear.
Many consumers, especially young adults, want to leave the table quickly after eating too.
One in six (17%) 25 to 34 year-olds said that not being able to pay quickly and move on is a major frustration.
The research concluded that technology lies at the heart of solutions to these issues.
A third of consumers (34%) told the survey they would be interested in using their mobile devices to speed up ordering – a figure that rose to more than half (54%) among 18 to 24-year-olds.
Half (51%) of 18 to 44-year-olds claimed they are ready to use a mobile to speed up payment.
At present, less than 6% of guests said they had already their smartphones or tablets to either speed up ordering or payment.
According to the report, the adoption of technology is a “clear and pressing challenge” for restaurant operators.
It claimed that from bookings to ordering to payment, new systems can make for a slicker experience for both restaurant and guests, “but operators first have to identify the right platforms and help and encourage their customers to use them”.
Stuart McLean, chief executive at Zonal, said: “What is crystal-clear from this research is that consumers won’t wait. Competition is fierce, and people know that if their restaurant or pub doesn’t give them speed and convenience, there are plenty of others who will.
“We need to make life for our customers as easy as possible, and the brands that identify the systems and processes to achieve that will be the ones that win the race.”
The figures are taken from CGA Peach’s survey of a representative sample of 5,000 adults, all of whom have eaten out at least once in the past six months.
The research was conducted in August.