Millennials want a digital experience when eating at a pub

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Social media Mobile phone

Tech-savvy: 40% of those aged 16 to 24 use their phone at the pub to send a message or make calls
Tech-savvy: 40% of those aged 16 to 24 use their phone at the pub to send a message or make calls
Millennials are calling out for pubs to better tap into the digital world to improve their dining experience, according to research from technology company Eagle Eye. 

The study of 2,000 customers found 16 to 24-year-olds frequently used their phone at the pub to send a message or make calls (40%), take photos of friends or their food (37%) or check social media (41%).

In comparison, just 16% redeemed promotional vouchers and even fewer (10%) paid the bill with their mobile phone.

The results also showed frequent diners were more likely to use their phone while in the pub.

Those who dine more than once a week (regular diners) were significantly more likely to use social media (32% v 14%) than those who ate out less than once a month (rare diners).

Similarly, regular diners were more likely to send messages and make calls (36% v 17%) and almost three times more likely to take photos of their friends or food (32% v 13%).

Tim Mason, CEO of the digital promotions firm Eagle Eye, said the research showed consumers' ever-changing demands and how pubs should adapt to tap into the digital market.

Evolving attitudes

He said: “The results reveal evolving attitudes towards dining in today’s digital age.

“As dining out moves from a special occasion event to a more common but casual affair, mobile phones are becoming more common at the table, particularly among young people.

“However, pubs are not tapping into this digital opportunity with very few consumers reporting using their smartphones in a pub to actually improve their dining experience.”

But, the research showed Millennials were keen to interact more with pubs through their mobile phones.

While more than half (65%) of consumers across various age groups were keen to be sent discount vouchers to their mobile, this rose to 85% of 25 to 34-year-olds and 79% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Meanwhile, more than half (55%) of consumers said an app that would make paying and redeeming promotions easier when dining out would be helpful.

This figure was significantly higher in younger age groups with three quarters of 25 to 34-year-olds and 67% of 16 to 24-year-olds responding positively.

Driving sales using technology

Almost a third (32%) of consumers said they would like to receive personalised deals based on previous purchases to their mobile when they enter a pub and this rose to 39% in 16 to 24-year-olds and 42% in 25 to 34-year-olds.

Mason laid out how this research shows an opportunity for pubs to drive sales through using digital technology.

He said: “Pubs are currently suffering a digital disconnect when it comes to the customer experience.

“Mobile-savvy consumers are already keen to interact with pubs to improve their customer experience.

“This is a great opportunity for pubs to speak directly to their customer and gain valuable insight and data, which will help improve customer experience and drive sales in the future.”

Meanwhile, Millennials are drinking less than any other age group, according to the Office of National Statistics and licensees debated whether social media was to blame.

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