The presence and use of digital ordering channels in hospitality businesses has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, and proved vital in driving up consumer spend, according to Vita Mojo.

New data from the software company has found that customers are spending on average 20% more through digital ordering channels compared to EPOS sales, with the ability to customise and additional time to explore the menu prompting people to opt for higher margin food and drink options.

At the start of 2020, up to 95% of transactions were through traditional ordering methods – taken manually and processed and paid via EPOS – but that number has reduced to just 5%, with up to 95% taking place through digital ordering.

With the onset of lockdown, click and collect and delivery surged to around 58% of total orders, and as restrictions eased over summer, own order and pay devices saw an adoption rate of 88% (from July to September), with order and pay at table accounting for 90% of digital transaction.

“As we draw a close on what has been the toughest year, it’s fascinating to see how the pandemic has driven new behaviours and how operators have responded,” said Nick Popovici, Co-Founder and CEO at Vita Mojo. “Before the summer, order and pay accounted for a tiny proportion of actual transactions, and now it has become an accepted habit. It’s remarkable how quickly this has become rooted in our everyday lives.

“Digital ordering will continue to play a huge role in the hospitality customer experience in 2021. The operators who are thinking holistically about tech, and are able to unlock its full potential, will be those who survive the short term and thrive in the long term.”