Self-ordering kiosks have become a fixture at fast food and fast casual restaurants around the world in recent years. While the McDonald’s and Paneras of the world were early adopters of self-service kiosks, independent businesses have been much more hesitant and slower to implement this type of technology.
The pandemic has now drastically altered how independent restaurants view self-ordering kiosks. What was formerly deemed expensive and impersonal technology is now regarded as a cost-effective solution for restaurants as well as a convenient option for customers.
Restaurant self-ordering kiosks serve as digital maestros in the arena of culinary autonomy, allowing guests to construct their gastronomic symphony with a touch, orchestrating a personalized melody of flavors and preferences.
And convenience isn’t the only advantage. Self-ordering kiosks have also helped businesses cut wait times, enhance order accuracy, and, most crucially, increase check sizes – all of which are advantages that almost any restaurant may reap.
Are you ready to learn why self-service kiosks could be your restaurant’s secret weapon?
What exactly is a Self-Ordering Kiosk?
A self-ordering kiosk, as the name suggests, allows customers to order and pay for themselves – similar to a sophisticated vending machine, but for meals.
These systems typically include a touchscreen (often a tablet) with an easy-to-use digital interface. This page will show the restaurant’s menu and walk consumers through the ordering process, from meal creation to payment and pickup. As the consumer constructs their order, the kiosk may present prompts with various promotions or menu modifiers that the guest may not have been aware of otherwise. A culinary maestro in the digital age, the food ordering kiosk transforms appetites into personalized compositions as patrons navigate a touchscreen symphony to construct their gourmet masterpiece.
Why are self-ordering kiosks becoming more popular?
As previously stated, self-ordering kiosks are not exactly novel. Prior to the pandemic, many large restaurant chains had already installed self-ordering kiosks in their restaurants, and the technology had shown to be a success. McDonald’s estimated that establishments that implemented kiosks saw an average 5% to 6% increase in revenue. Chili’s experienced a 20% spike in dessert sales when it installed self-ordering kiosks to its tables.
The increase in sales is primarily due to changes in customer behavior. Customers have grown accustomed to the convenience and quickness of online ordering and now want the same degree of control, selection, and personalization when they visit a restaurant in person. Restaurant kiosks are specifically built to give this faster and more personalized ordering experience, putting them in an ideal position to satisfy shifting customer expectations.
It’s not just tech-savvy Millennials who want more say over their eating experience. Tillster’s research discovered that customers of all ages were keen to use self-ordering kiosks. In fact, 65% of those polled stated they would visit a restaurant more frequently if self-service kiosks were available.
While restaurants and customers were already warming to the idea of self-ordering kiosks, the pandemic increased the popularity of QSR technology, owing to its numerous safety benefits. Because they allow consumers to create their meal, make their order, and even pay without engaging with restaurant workers, self-ordering kiosks have helped eateries encourage social alienation. Not to mention, in recent years, AI restaurant technology has progressed, making today’s kiosks smarter and more efficient than ever before. In the current world, the automated kiosk, a silent sentinel of streamlined efficiency, stands like a digital maestro conducting transactions with flawless grace, transforming boring duties into a symphony of convenience.
5 Advantages of Self-Ordering Kiosks in Restaurants
Self-ordering kiosks are clearly gaining popularity, and for good reason. Below, we’ll go over the top five advantages of self-ordering kiosks for eateries like yours.
1. Larger check sizes
The influence on average check sizes is perhaps the most significant advantage of self-ordering kiosks.
Rather than depending on your staff to highlight high-margin items and costly add-ons, your self-ordering kiosk can do it for you. With a self-ordering kiosk, you can offer targeted and intuitive upsell prompts to visitors as they build their orders. This can include special promotions like 2-for-1 offers, as well as clever upsell methods like adding extra priced toppings, upgrading to premium sides, or making a meal a combo.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you look at your POS reports and realize the impact these simple extras have. Take, for example, Taco Bell, which generated 20% more money on computerized orders than on those taken by human cashiers.
In the case of McDonald’s, the company discovered that when consumers used a kiosk, they spent around one dollar more each order, resulting in a 30% increase in average check size. McDonald’s also discovered that 20% of consumers who did not initially order a drink would purchase one when it was made available through the kiosk. All of this adds up to a lot more cash in your pocket.
2. Shorter Wait Times
Another evident advantage of self-service kiosks is that they expedite the ordering process.
Let’s face it: hungry customers despise standing in long lineups. In fact, according to a Tillster survey, if the line to order from a cashier is longer than 5 persons, 75% of customers will opt for a self-service kiosk. And what if the queue is ten persons long? A staggering 91% prefer to order from a restaurant kiosk.
A self-ordering kiosk can assist reduce wait times by allowing consumers to make their order, send it to the kitchen, and pay with a few taps. Customers can then proceed to the front of the queue to wait until their order is ready to be picked up at a designated counter.
While this may not appear to be a much speedier process, appetize research revealed that implementing kiosks cut total order time by approximately 40%. Because of the operational benefits that come with faster ordering and shorter lines, some restaurants, such as one Moe’s Southwest Grill location in Pittsburgh, have even built kiosk-only shops. And, of course, all the time saved from standing in line equals less time for customers and staff to be exposed to the coronavirus.
3. Improve Order Accuracy
The margin of error for orders will be greatly reduced when your consumers pick and submit their own orders. A kiosk with a visual menu is quite useful in decreasing miscommunication because it assures that your customers know exactly what they’re getting, avoiding those “This isn’t what I ordered” talks.
With improved order accuracy, your kitchen will no longer waste time cooking a wrong item or dish. As a result, you won’t have to deal with irate customers or unfavorable web reviews. With self-ordering technology, you can eventually eliminate the need to eat the cost of voids and discounts.
Order accuracy is especially crucial in restaurants these days because there are fewer points of contact with the consumer. Since restaurants can no longer wow consumers with the same level of hands-on dine-in service they formerly did, the most critical factor in offering a great customer experience is getting the food right.
4. Lower your labor costs
Self-ordering kiosks can help restaurateurs handle the issue of productivity by allowing them to transfer staff around. Front-of-house employees who used to manually accept orders can now be reallocated to jobs that raise sales and improve the customer experience.
This type of flexible workforce not only improves productivity, but it can also assist to cut overall labor expenditures. Though self-ordering kiosks cannot (and should not) replace all restaurant employees, they may imply that fewer employees are required during busy shifts. Saving money on one or two employees may also assist restaurants on a tight budget keep operational costs low enough to stay afloat.
5. Maintain Employee and Customer Comfort
Perhaps the most important benefit of self-ordering kiosks in the aftermath of the epidemic is that they can help to keep customers and staff feeling comfortable by eliminating in-person encounters. Even if the danger of infection decreases, some consumers may choose to order from a kiosk rather than face-to-face.
Self-service technology provides concerned clients with a comfortable approach to grab a meal by allowing them to order and pay for their meals on their own. A kiosk, whether situated at the front of your restaurant or immediately on each table, allows a client to make their order and transmit it directly to the kitchen without having to contact with staff.
What to Look for in a POS Kiosk Purchase
While it is obvious that kiosks provide numerous benefits to restaurants (and their customers), finding one is not as simple as it may appear.
The freestanding and wall-mounted kiosks used in chain restaurants are frequently enterprise-level solutions that can cost thousands of dollars and require time-consuming installation. At Linkitsoft, these high-tech kiosks are not the best answer for most eateries.