As one manufacturer of kiosk, we know self-service kiosks for food purchases are becoming more popular. there are now KFC self-service kiosks in the UK, currently at service stations on the motorway network, along with Burger King self-service kiosks in similar locations. In settings like this, with huge volumes of customers coming through year-round, it makes sense to introduce queue and order time reducing measures that will maximise revenue by fulfilling more orders in a shorter amount of time through self-service kiosks for fast food transactions.
Whilst this type of self-service food kiosk solution lends itself very well to fast food outlets, where people want to order and receive their food as quickly as possible, does this also translate to self-service kiosks in restaurants which have more ‘destination’ and experiential qualities?
Self-service kiosk market research and test projects globally have shown that customers tend to spend more money when ordering via a kiosk or table-based tablet system than they do when ordering from waiting staff; around 20% more, in fact, was reported by US restaurant chain Chili’s, after they installed self-service tablets. Theories for the bigger orders via self-service restaurant kiosks and tablets include the notion that a screen doesn’t judge how much you order or eat, but a person might; along with the idea that people are more likely to order food or drink that they’re not sure how to pronounce from a self-service module, than they are to ask for it out loud from a person, and risk getting it wrong.
Using this kind of ‘touch ‘n’ buy’ self-service kiosks in food and drink outlets won’t be for everyone. Those visiting a very traditional restaurant aren’t likely to want to order via a screen, as they value the service of the staff and the whole experience of having their order taken and dealt with personally, highly. For now, at least, there is room for both types of experience in the food and drink industry.