How Mobile Internet Service is Changing China's Food Industry
The mobile Internet industry is giving China's dining scene a new face with the growing popularity of online services among people living in big cities.
As a result of the wider use of smartphones and tablet computers, China's catering service has been reshaped to fit people's lifestyle, according to a recent industry report.
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Findings reveal that China's catering market including dining in restaurants, taking out foods, and catering events reached up to 3.2 trillion yuan ($489.6 billion) in 2015, a 16 percent jump from 2014.
Furthermore, ordering and paying online soared by 48 percent to 140 billion yuan in 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure in 2015 was 15-fold higher than that of 2010.
In a survey conducted by the China Cuisine Association in January, about 80 percent of the participants agreed that tasks, which used to be performed on desktop computers, have already been replaced by the mobile devices. The researchers discovered that Chinese diners now consider the ratings and feedback posted by other diners on apps and websites when choosing a place to eat.
The results of the survey also showed that nearly 40 percent of the participants prefer to make online reservations. Meanwhile, 20 percent of the respondents opt to pay their bills with cash, while 30 percent choose online payment.
China Cuisine Association vice chairman Feng Enyuan claims that restaurant owners have now realized the impact that Internet and smartphone apps play to boost their establishments' sales and performance. Feng elaborated on several perks of using the online platform including reserving a table before arriving, ordering dishes from online food menu ahead of time, buying coupons, paying bills and ordering take-outs.