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Study finds pent-up demand for mobile-payment options

Despite the proliferation of apps that enable restaurant customers to pay via smart phones, consumers are encountering the option far less often in full-service places than they would like, according to a new study.

Only one in 10 patrons have used that method to settle a bill in a full-service restaurant, according to Coyle Hospitality Group, a consulting firm. Yet about three-fourths of consumers said they would pay by phone at least some of the time if that option were available to them, Coyle found. 

The numbers suggest that mobile payment is still a relatively rare option in sit-down establishments. A number of huge chains in the limited-service sector, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, now accept cashless payment through systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

The research was based on a survey of 1,311 consumers, Coyle said.

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