Kiosks are reshaping workplace cafeterias and fast-food restaurants. Consumers enjoy the convenience and speed of this increasingly sophisticated self-service technology. Businesses benefit from increases in average order volume, improved customer engagement, reduced staffing and streamlined efficiency.
If fully integrated with an operator’s point-of-sale system, a kiosk becomes a primary engagement device. Up-selling and better customer experience are substantial. Omnico research among 3,333 consumers found that increases with kiosk implementation can be as much as 166 per cent.
The full range of card and contactless payment methods is possible, including Apple Pay, Android Pay and traditional card-swiping and chip-and-pin, in compliance with PCI DSS requirements for point-to-point encryption.
Using kiosks, consumers find it easier to obtain exactly what they want and are more confident they have the full range of options. A signed-up customer can log on by any of several means including log-on, phone app, loyalty or bank card or biometric ID technology.
The kitchen management system captures their customised order and the guest either collects their food from a collection point or has it brought to a specified zone or table. An electronic receipt is sent to the customer’s smartphone, updating their loyalty points, along with new offers and discounts. Through these transactions, kiosks collect a wealth of accurate data about customer preferences and habits, which fuel the effectiveness and personalisation of loyalty schemes.
Customers can also use kiosks (including those off-premises in offices) to order ahead so they save time. Advance ordering helps to smooth out peaks and troughs in demand and allows for substantial reductions in food waste. Increasing integration will see kiosk software plugged into kitchen management systems to prioritise food orders so that timing is synchronised for the best customer experience.
Cloud-based applications are also enabling a tide of innovation. Consumers can self-scan sandwiches, wraps or drinks and pay for them at the kiosk. Interplay between apps and kiosks is certain to develop. QSR and cafeteria operators will develop their own apps that work with the kiosks, including loyalty schemes and order ahead functionality.
Once kiosk rollout is complete, a QSR or workplace food service operator should soon see faster throughput, bigger order sizes and much happier customers. The key outcome for most QSRs and food service providers is an increase in average transaction value, which is often more than 20 per cent and can be as much as 50 per cent.
While return on investment is often the chief metric, brands also need to consider how kiosks directly improve the customer experience by saving time and delivering a more personalised service.
The evidence from big names in the QSR market is that kiosks impart a real boost to revenues and put a brand in touch with their technology-embracing customers.