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Self service kiosks and food ordering kiosks have become a staple at several large fast food and quick service chains. We’re starting to see more independent restaurants and smaller chains adopting kiosk technology, offering a cost effective ordering solution that’s convenient for customers. A self order kiosk can help you to reduce wait times, improve order accuracy and increase profits at your business. Read on to find out why they’re becoming more popular, and the benefits of self service kiosks to restaurants. 

What is a self service kiosk?

A kiosk is a touch screen ordering solution that has a digital menu interface. This allows guests to order and pay by themselves, without needing assistance from an employee. Orders from the kiosk will get sent directly to your kitchen, allowing staff to have more time on other roles in the restaurant.

The self service kiosk displays your menu, and guides customers through the ordering process. They can customise their meal, pay, and get a receipt ready for collection.

Why are self service kiosks getting more popular?

Customer behaviour has changed since the pandemic – they’ve got used to the process of online ordering, and kiosks can provide the same quick and personalised experience. Self service kiosks can also help reduce overhead costs for your business; assisting increasing sales through upselling.

By automating the ordering process, restaurant staff will have more time to handle other tasks to keep the business running.

Although you often see kiosks in quick service restaurants and fast food restaurants, they are also really effective for grab and go canteens and cafes. For example, our customer The British Library has several kiosks in both their London and Boston Spa locations. The Boston Spa site completed 65% of sales in the last quarter on the kiosks.

Benefits of self service kiosks in restaurants

Self order kiosks are growing in popularity, and can offer a few major benefits to your restaurant.

Increased profits

On average, customers will spend more when ordering food through the kiosk than through a server using an EPOS till.

You’ll no longer have to rely on staff to highlight your promotions or add ons, as your self service kiosk can intuitively push upselling prompts as customers build their order. This can include menu deals, as well as extra toppings or premium sides. As this is a low pressure environment, customers will feel more freedom to order exactly what they want.

Our customer Churchill’s Fish and Chips saw average spend on the kiosk increase by 29% compared to when customers in the same store ordered over the counter.

Reduced wait times

Another benefit of self service kiosks is they massively speed up the ordering process and reduce queues. Customers can order and pay in just a few taps, and move out of the line to wait to collect their food. This avoids a bottleneck, and potential guests won’t be put off by long queues.

Better order accuracy

As customers are completing the order themselves, the margin for error will decrease. Customers know exactly what they’re ordering. Adding images for menu items can help further so they can visualise what they’re getting. Your kitchen won’t waste time preparing unordered items, and you won’t have to deal with customer complaints.

The kiosks can also be used to display calorie, allergen and dietary info for each item, making it easier for customers to make an informed choice.

Deal with the hospitality labour shortage

Many hospitality businesses are currently struggling to find enough staff. A self service kiosk can help while you have a reduced number of workers. You’ll be able to take more orders with less staff at the tills, so they’ll have time for other tasks and focusing on the customer experience, increasing your customer satisfaction. Your operational and labour costs could also be reduced.

What to look for when buying a self service kiosk

There are a few key features you should be looking out for:

  • Menu layout – you should be able to organise your menu how you want to, with the option to add photos for each item.
  • Upselling prompts – you should be able to easily add upsell prompts and menu modifiers to help to boost your profits.
  • Payment options – your kiosk should be able to offer contactless and mobile payments, as well as chip and pin.
  • Integrated with EPOS solution – you should have the ability to instantly manage updates centrally via your existing EPOS or POS system to ensure menus and pricing are consistent. This will stop you from having to learn or use different systems to manage your menus.

Overall, the kiosk should be quick to use and manage and work with your existing EPOS solution for central management and reporting.

Should I invest in a self service kiosk?

Most quick service or fast food restaurants will have some form of mobile ordering in place, so you may be wondering if a kiosk will be worth the investment. No two restaurants are the same, so whether a kiosk will be effective or not will depend on how yours operates.

Of all the digital ordering channels, kiosks will be the most visible and easiest to use for your in-store customers. They require no customer setup, are extremely intuitive and are visually appealing to customers. Overall, the benefits of kiosks in restaurants will help you cut costs in your business long term. Boosting profits, improving the customer experience and increasing operational efficiency.

Looking for a self service kiosk for your business? We have a range of options so you can choose between counter, wall mounted or a full freestanding double sided model. Whether you operate a grab and go canteen, busy takeaway, or even need a portable option for a festival or event, we can work with you to find the best EPOS and kiosk solution. Get in touch with us to learn more and for a free demo.