Dining In or Out With Your Device

Gone are the days when you blindly pick the closest restaurant for dinner, order at the local deli without knowing their best sandwich, or pay with cash. Mobile technology is redefining how people eat daily.

According to a study from Nation’s Restaurant News, smartphone users often comparison-shop before they eat out or order in. Eighty-four percent of those consumers surveyed said they are likely to look at more than one restaurant on their phones before deciding where to eat.

There is no need to just rely just on friends and family for recommendations. Apps like Ness provide restaurant recommendations based on what places you’ve indicated you like, what foods you have a taste for and who you’re with, while Chefs Feed offers up food recommendations from more than 500 chefs. Sites like Yelp have been around for a while, but are a staple when it comes to reading reviews and doing your research before dining out. Zagat is also an oldie but goodie, offering classic, quality reviews.

Ordering food in has also changed dramatically over the years. Increasingly, restaurants and fast food chains are enabling customers to place their orders online through tablets or mobile devices. Domino's, for example, lets you order and track where your food is in the process of being made and delivered.

Seamless is an option if you are looking to order food online and have it delivered from a nearby restaurant.

Payments have also gone mobile. If you’re tired of waiting for the check after a nice meal out, the mobile payment app Cover, which officially launched in New York City in early October, gives you the opportunity to check in at a restaurant and, following dinner, pay the bill through the app with a registered credit card. Softcard Mobile Wallet* is another option that allows you to pay your bill safely and securely with your phone, turning your device into your wallet. 

So next time you go to place an order, read a review or pay your bill, think about how mobile technology can help make the process even easier and more delicious.

*UPDATE: Google and Softcard have completed an agreement that will leverage the best technology from both companies to create a more robust mobile wallet for consumers. The mobile payment system will keep the Google Wallet name. Read more here.