Smart Kiosks Look Like They Are Here to Stay

Self-order kiosks and similar technological innovations in ordering are starting to pop up practically everywhere. While there is little question that these kiosks were on their way, the drastic rise in the minimum wage in several major states and cities has certainly accelerated their deployment. The result has not been the full replacement of order-takers, but rather a mixed strategy where those who want face-to-face interactions can have them and those who prefer the technology can step up to the kiosks.

Kiosks and digital ordering apps not only allow for quick ordering, they also increase sales—sometimes by up to 30 percent. If upselling is consistently this high, rest assured more kiosks will appear and ordering apps made more available in the near future. This is aside from the fact that reduced order errors will help save money and make customers happier at the same time.

Of course, kiosks are mostly making their appearance in places like McDonald’s, which can afford to invest in the earliest models. Smaller restaurants will have to wait for prices to come down if they want a kiosk, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t using some of the latest technology to improve their customer’s ordering experience.

I Love You a Latte, in Richardson, TX, for example, uses a system that allows customers to put in their email address and phone number so they can receive rewards and coupons. Reverie Bakeshop, a vegan bakery, cuts back on paper usage with its touchscreen that allows people to sign a credit card receipt with their finger. These are technologies that improve the customer experience at the checkout counter.

The bottom line is that these technologies give customers more options and address concerns those customers may have. Kiosks can give customers more choices, or at the vey least make the options available at the restaurant more obvious. It is this latter fact which likely underlies the increase in sales many restaurants see. After all, it’s easier to scan the kiosk up close than to scan a menu behind a bunch of employees and see everything.

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