The restaurants are implementing self-ordering kiosks to streamline their takeout orders decrease face-to-face communication with servers.
FREMONT, CA: Self-ordering kiosks have become a standard at fast-food and fast-casual chains worldwide in the last few years. While the world's McDonald's and Paneras went all-in on kiosks early on, the independent restaurants were much more reluctant and slower to implement such self-service technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has now fundamentally transformed the way independent restaurants think of self-ordering kiosks. What was once considered expensive and impersonal technology is now seen as a cost-efficient means of lowering face-to-face interaction and keeping guests safe from coronavirus spread.
Restaurants utilize the technology to streamline their takeout orders and decrease face-to-face communication with servers, including in full-service restaurants where kiosks may not seem like a natural fit.
Protection is not the only advantage. Self-ordering kiosks have also enabled restaurants to minimize wait times, improve order accuracy, and most notably, increase check sizes. These are advantages that can be enjoyed by just about any restaurant.
What is a Self-Ordering Kiosk?
A self-ordering kiosk offers guests the authority to order and pay for themselves, something like a sophisticated vending machine that can be used for meals.
Typically, these devices consist of a touchscreen (often a tablet) fitted with a graphical interface that is simple to use. The screen will show the restaurant menu and navigate clients through the ordering procedure, starting from building their meal to payment and pickup. The kiosk may also show notifications with various promotions or menu modifiers as the customer generate their order, which guests would not have known about otherwise.
Why Self-Ordering Kiosks Are on the Rise
Self-ordering kiosks aren't entirely new, as described. Many key restaurant chains had already installed self-ordering kiosks to their restaurants before the pandemic and quickly achieved success with the technology.
The sales bump happens mainly because of shifts in consumer conduct. Customers have grown used to the convenience and pace of online ordering. When they visit a restaurant in person, they gradually anticipate the same degree of control, choice, and personalization. Restaurant kiosks are constructed specifically to offer this quicker and more personalized ordering experience, making them well placed to meet customers' changing needs.