Updated: May 19
For the modern restaurant, the front-end ordering experience is the most important point of customer satisfaction. If customers feel their ordering goes smoothly, they are more likely to return. Many restaurants are embracing the ordering kiosk to help improve customer satisfaction and increase sales figures.
Fast food kiosks are quickly spreading within the industry. In 2018, McDonald's was adding them to 1,000 stores every quarter, and now they are on their way to having them in every location across the country. Taco Bell is also jumping on board, and in 2021 they released their first digital-only restaurant that had no order-taking staff. Panera, Wendy's, Subway, and many other large fast-food chain restaurants are following pursuit, adding kiosks to drive-thrus and restaurant dining rooms to help customers place their own orders.
If you are considering investing in a self-ordering kiosk system for your restaurant, here are six benefits you could enjoy once they are in place.
6 Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosks
1. Self Ordering Kiosks Boost Your Profitability
When investing in new technology, you want to know, confidently, that it will help your business make more money. Statistics show that touchscreen kiosks and mobile ordering apps boost profitability in several ways.
First, with self-ordering processes in place, your restaurant can hire fewer people and increase your overall staffing flexibility. You won't need as many staff members to man the front counter to take orders, and having fewer people in the building can lower your overhead. The minimum wage in several states is $7.25 per hour, and is much higher in many states. Thus, eliminating a full-time position can reduce costs by as much as $15,000 a year.
Second, self-ordering kiosks may draw more people to your restaurant. One of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic is an increased desire for contactless payment options, and a self-service kiosk offers that. QSR Magazine indicates 60% of customers would visit a limited-service restaurant with a self-service kiosk more often if self-ordering were available to them. Also, self-ordering kiosks can limit long lines, which 75% of customers say will cause them to leave a restaurant.
Overall, having a fast-food kiosk boosts a restaurant's income by increasing the number of customers that come through the door and reducing labor costs.
2. Increases Average Order Value
Fast-food restaurants need to upsell side dishes and larger-sized drinks to make each order more profitable. Many rely on their point of sale staff members to ask upselling questions, like "do you want to make that a large?" POS technology tied to self-service kiosks adds automation to that. The kiosk system does not rely on a person to remember to ask about the additional sale, but rather automatically recommends a larger size or an add-on item.
In addition to upselling opportunities, kiosks reduce human interaction. While this initially was a deterrent to customers, it actually increases the amount many will spend. When the customer does not have to feel guilty about ordering dessert or upgrading the size of their side dish, they are more likely to do so. This is another reason why kiosks encourage larger orders.
There are many ways that the order value increases with a self-service kiosk, but at the end of the day, the final value at checkout is higher when someone orders for themselves than when they order at the counter. According to Modern Restaurant Management Magazine, the average order is 21% higher when customers order with a self-service kiosk, which comes out to about $5 more per transaction.
3. Lets You Manage From Anywhere
Self-serve kiosks are part of POS systems that are connected to each other via the Internet. This connectivity provides the option to monitor the systems remotely, and that can help managers lead their restaurants from anywhere their work takes them.
What many restaurant owners may not realize is that self-serve kiosks do more than just take orders. They also help manage inventory, control pricing, and display specials. Through loyalty programs, they can track customer data and habits. All of these pieces of information make a restaurant manager's job easier, and having access to remote monitoring and controls allows you to take care of business even when you are away from the location.
Remote monitoring and management are particularly helpful for franchisees who own or manage more than one location. Even if you are on-site at one restaurant, you can log into the system to check on what is happening at another. If you leave town for a weekend, you can keep your eye on what is happening while you are gone.
4. Improves the Customer Experience
Ultimately, one of the best benefits of self-service kiosks is the fact that it improves the customer experience. Customers can order their food more quickly, more easily browse the menu items without feeling rushed, customize their orders, and get their food more quickly when they place their own orders on a kiosk.
When restaurants use interactive kiosks instead of human order takers, they can focus their staff on other aspects of the dining experience. Having enough people on hand to start delivering orders to tables or putting more people in the kitchen to fulfill orders will improve the customer experience.
in addition, food service kiosks can give customers the information they need to make informed ordering decisions, such as allergen or nutrition information. This feature makes it easier for customers to choose the food they want and also helps you gather data about your clientele so you can update menu items to better reflect what they want.
There are more to menu engineering, learn more by reading our detailed guide on how to engineer your menu to encourage profitable orders
5. Boosts Order Accuracy
Nothing is going to frustrate your customer base quite as badly as order accuracy problems. When people order from your restaurant, they want to receive what they ordered. Kiosks can help boost order accuracy.
Human error is common when busy employees try to take complicated orders, and kiosks help eliminate this risk. While mistakes can still happen in the kitchen, the order that is sent to the kitchen is exactly what the customer puts into the system.
These customer ordering systems also eliminate miscommunications that can happen, especially in multicultural communities with many different languages spoken. Using images and text, the kiosk helps customers see exactly what they are or are not ordering, so there is no language barrier to overcome.
6. Optimizes In-Store Marketing
Quick service restaurants only have a few moments to tell customers about specials, new menu items, and upgrade options. In-store marketing involves point of sale communication, signage, menu boards, and more. Restaurant kiosks for ordering give you another option to market these types of offers.
With an ordering kiosk, you can also promote your loyalty program to customers ordering their food. This feature increases the chances that they will sign up and you can gather data about your customers to help improve your overall sales and customer engagement in the future.
You can also update the marketing message in real-time. If you have a new promotion that comes in the middle of the day, you can alert customers instantly, without the need to train your ordering staff on the verbiage to promote the new sale or menu item.
Want to know more about the benefits of QSR Kiosks? Check out our article QSR Kiosks: The Future of Ordering
Start Embracing These Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosks Today
Digital is the wave of the future for the restaurant scene, and kiosks are one part of that picture. From improved customer satisfaction to improved sales, self-ordering kiosks have many benefits. While some restaurant owners are hesitant to make the switch due to the cost of the investment, these benefits will pay off in the long run. Whether you are starting a new restaurant or are already an owner or franchisee, you can enjoy these benefits for yourself.
To get started with your own self-ordering kiosk system, schedule a demo of INFI's self-serve kiosk systems today.
Thinking about getting a mobile app for your restaurant, check out our blog on why you need one to digitalize your business.