If you have recently been to any restaurants, airports, movie theatres, metro stations or a high-end retail store then it is likely that you must’ve encountered a kiosk. The kiosks have become a way for businesses to extend their services beyond their receptions or billing areas. Kiosks have become a hot technological trend in India. Its popularity in the restaurant industry is largely correlated to the pandemic and the need for contactless services. Additionally, the customers’ knowledge of recent technologies and their ability to assist themselves with self-ordering kiosks has also caused the rise in the demand for this technology.
For QSRs, kiosks have been of great assistance in managing large footfall and multiple customer orders. Be it one placed by the door at the entrance or one placed at customer tables or billing counters, the kiosks are now replacing the roles of menus and captains inside restaurants. Self-ordering kiosks have not just made the restaurant operations easy but have made the customer experience unique. All that customer has to do is select the order and complete payment for self-ordering. The kiosk would transfer the order to the kitchen and even display waiting time and customer number on-screen. Given such convenience, kiosks have become a more popular technology trend in the restaurant industry than ever before.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SELF-ORDERING KIOSKS
More and more restaurants are now adapting to kiosk technology. This form of service is safe and customer friendly. Employing self-ordering kiosks has also become a way for restaurants to assist customers in solving their own problems more quickly and conveniently. This has provided restaurants with more time on their hands which is utilised in improvising their other areas like menu, CRM, staff management, inventory, marketing and branding. Here is how kiosk technology is beneficial to restaurants.
The technology has grown extensively and reached wide. In modern times, even a toddler is well acquainted with the functions of a smartphone. Another facet of this is that the consumers have become sufficient in helping themselves without any third-party assistance. There have been many studies that show that customer is more likely to visit a restaurant that has a kiosk or self-ordering as it cuts down on waiting time. Customers are also more likely to pick a place that has a faster service which has been made possible with kiosks. With self-ordering service, the customer can decide on his/ her own menu without any human error and choose to wait or cancel an order without any assistance or hassle. Simply put, Kiosks have simplified the ordering process for customers.
There is, however, a limitation to this technology. Users or customers who are not acquainted with modern technology might be reluctant or hesitant in using kiosks and might choose to place the order using the traditional methods. Also, despite its popularity, the kiosks technology is only relevant in first-tier cities. In such cities, the customers are much more familiar with modern tech in comparison to two/three-tier cities or urban areas.
Less Human Error
The self-ordering kiosks are cloud-based and so their management is completely automated. There is no need for any human intervention in updating or changing the menu. Whether there is one kiosk or three, all of them can be linked with the restaurant PoS and updated when and if needed. These kiosks also act as a great source of collecting or understanding customers’ buying habits. As mentioned above, customers are more likely to visit a restaurant if they know they would receive quick service. Kiosks are also a great place in receiving feedback on the service provided. By understanding their ordering pattern, feedback, likes and dislikes, the owner can make necessary changes in the menu, services, offers and discounts and overall prices.
Easier Staff Management
Restaurant employees need to be properly trained in managing customers. They need to be made well-acquainted with the menu and trained to give correct recommendations. They also have to keep up with all and any menu updates and provide everyday menu recommendations. Add to that, the workload of managing multiple customers, managing tables and billing. This can lead to errors or a lack of providing great customer service. But software or AI is easier to train and update about all the changes and services without assurance of minimum errors.
Restaurants that have large footfalls can save money on training and hiring with the help of kiosks. The tasks of handling back-of-the-house services can be done by the staff while providing menu and taking orders can be done by kiosks.
A downside to it is that due to advanced technology, restaurant businesses are cutting on labour. This is adding to the unemployment rates of the country. With more and more advanced AI replacing humans in the workforce, employees who fail to keep up with the technology or lack the skills to match it, are thrown out of work.
Kiosks are being widely adopted by large chain restaurants and QSRs. Data shows that putting self-ordering kiosks has increased their sales and customer loyalty. But despite its modern usage, it would be a long time before kiosks penetrate the SMB markets. These small-sized businesses lack the capital needed to acquire and maintain kiosk technology. In addition to that, their target audience too lacks the knowledge needed to operate this technology. Along with SMBs, kiosks fail in meeting the criteria of high-end restaurants or Michelin star hotels as their target audience too, prefers a service modified as per their requirements.
What advances would be made in this kiosk technology to accommodate all kinds strata of customers is yet to be known. But one thing is known, it provides fast service, and everyone loves that!
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