Interactive food kiosks and self-ordering kiosks are becoming more commonplace in a range of different businesses and throughout the retail environment. Restaurants and food outlets are also starting to benefit from self-service technology by adopting food ordering kiosks and self-service kiosks to streamline their operations and provide the best possible experience to their customers.
The concept of a self-service restaurant is becoming less of a vision of the future and more of a possibility now that most of the technology required to deliver this is now available. Despite this, we are unlikely to see full self-service restaurants appearing throughout the UK. Instead, restaurant and food outlet businesses can choose from an exciting range of self-service solutions that can introduce self-service kiosks into their restaurants to complement their skilled employees and take care of time-consuming and repetitive tasks. In this article, we explore the key benefits to your restaurant/food outlet of adopting self-service kiosks.
The benefits of introducing interactive kiosks into your restaurant/food outlet are significant and can secure a significant advantage for your business above its competitors while also increasing orders and, most importantly, order value.
When a customer arrives at a busy restaurant, their customer experience often starts with a queue. At peak times, this can be a long queue and one that leads to a frustrating and negative start to their restaurant experience. Your employees are likely to be busy serving customers and waiting on tables, leaving new customers at the back of the queue getting increasingly frustrated and increasing the risk that they will leave your restaurant and dine with a competitor.
Fortunately, your restaurant experience does not need to start in such a negative way. By adopting an interactive kiosk/check-in kiosk at the entrance to your restaurant, your customers will be greeted by an immersive digital experience. Customers can use an interactive kiosk to check in at the restaurant, review the menu and receive wayfinding instructions as to the location of their table. All while your employees are focusing on customers seated at tables, so no customers are left behind and every customer can enjoy a great start to their restaurant experience.
Modern customers are very much used to ordering food their own way, especially since COVID-19 and the rise of takeaway delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Customers are very comfortable with browsing a menu and ordering food on a digital device such as a tablet or a smartphone. Creating a similar immersive food ordering experience in restaurants and fast food restaurants is possible and a great way to empower your customers to interact with you in their own way.
Introducing a food ordering kiosk into your restaurants empowers customers to place their own food orders on a self-service food kiosk. Offering a digital ordering experience has the potential to transform the customer experience by reducing the time that customers spend queuing or waiting to be served, which results in happier customers who are likely to place larger orders. Kiosks also provide opportunities for upselling as they can suggest additional food items that customers can add to their order, resulting in higher order values.
When customers place their food orders directly with employees, this can introduce order accuracy problems. Employees may mishear a customer or mispronounce a food item. Following on from this, mistakes can be easily made, resulting in the incorrect food being prepared, an unhappy customer, and potentially wasted food if the customer is not willing to accept the order. This has a negative impact on the bottom line in a sector that often operates with restricted profit margins. Interactive food ordering kiosks can immediately increase order accuracy by providing an easy and user-friendly way for customers to order their food.
Customers who use a food ordering kiosk can also pay for their order using an array of different payment methods with a chip & pin payment device attached to the kiosk, which supports card payments, contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay. By providing this easily accessible payment method, your customers can avoid the long wait to pay, which they typically encounter at the end of their visit. Instead, they can pay quickly using a kiosk with minimal queuing and leave your restaurant as a satisfied customer.
Collecting data throughout every stage of your operations is key for every business as it informs improvements and changes. This is especially the case for restaurants where margins are under pressure. Each kiosk that you deploy within your restaurant, whether it is a food ordering kiosk, a check-in kiosk or a general self-service kiosk, will work hard for your business behind the scenes, collecting data about every interaction that a customer has.
This data is truly invaluable as you can track everything from how many people are in your restaurant which is especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic but also beyond that as it helps you with employee resource planning to information about the food ordering process including which items on your menu are most popular, which food items are searched for.
When this data is used together to identify key patterns and trends, it provides great insights into your customers that can be used to improve the customer experience. For example, you may notice from your check-in kiosk that the majority of your customers are visiting your restaurant between 6 pm and 9 pm on weekdays, in which case you may decide to tailor your roster so that more employees are available during this time window. Data from your food kiosk may show that a particular pizza is a popular main course for customers, so you can revise the menu and reposition the pizza so it is easy for customers to find and select. Collecting feedback from customers is a breeze as you can incorporate a digital survey at the end of the food ordering process.
Loyal customers and their repeat business are key to the ongoing success of a restaurant. Securing loyal customers is not always easy and retaining them is even more of a challenge. Many restaurants have customer loyalty schemes that offer discounts and incentives for customers to return to their restaurants by tempting them with discounts and promotional offers.
Interactive kiosks are an innovative way to collect customers' details and encourage them to join your customer loyalty scheme as part of the check-in or food-ordering process.
Running restaurants is an expensive business with many overheads including significant employee costs. Being able to reduce employee costs and flexibly deploy them to the area where they are needed the most. Front-of-house employees who usually help customers check-in and place orders can be reassigned to tasks that will increase orders and improve the customer experience.
While interactive food kiosks will not replace all of your restaurant employees, they do provide you with additional flexibility to reduce costs by employing fewer people during peak times and, as a result, significantly reducing operating costs.
Our team of self-service food kiosk and food ordering kiosk specialists are ready to help your restaurant/food outlet. We deliver innovative kiosk solutions that are modular or fully customised to suit your requirements. All our food kiosks are software and hardware-independent, which gives you the freedom to choose the technology that best fits your business and any existing systems that you may have. Every step of the process is proactively managed, from the initial design to installation, by our team of specialists.
Our current client base includes restaurants and food businesses of all sizes including Subway, Starbucks and M&S . Pan Oston's team of over 165+ specialists with over 50 years of experience have in-house design, manufacturing and project management capabilities that are ready to be deployed. Choosing Pan Oston means that you will be working with an award-winning company that has won the prestigious Red Dot Design award for our BLUE FIRE kiosk range, which includes the BLUE Fire Fast Order kiosk, specifically designed for self-service restaurants and the BLUE Fire Micro, which is perfect for businesses with less available space.
Why not find out how we can help your restaurant/food outlet make the most of interactive kiosks and self-ordering kiosks? Contact our UK sales team today to discuss your requirements with one of our specialists.