16th February 2011 / Tom Quarry
Kiosks are the most fitting solution to reduce customer waiting time and put the power and control in the consumer’s hands.
Until now, the fast food industry is one of the quick service sectors that haven’t really adopted kiosk systems.
The whole concept started out in 2006 when Subway, McDonald's, Burger King and Arby's started trying out the kiosks systems which allowed customers to place and pay for orders via the units.
While they have attempted to add kiosks here and there, there has not been as massive explosion on the kiosk side as many of us had anticipated in the UK.
We previously wrote about New York’s John F Kennedy and La Guardia airports installing kiosks that offer meal orders from its participating restaurants. The launched initiative allows you to order your meal deal on an iPad.
While this is a progression in touch screen technology, you can still only order your chicken sandwich from self-ordering kiosks in McDonald’s if you live in Europe.
Most of McDonald's kiosks are located in France, where the concept was initially launched. But good news seems to be on the horizon.
Agnes Vadnai, Director of European communications at McDonald's Europe, said: “However, self-order kiosks are now being deployed also in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, UK and the Netherlands, with additional plans for roll-out in further markets in 2011 and beyond.” No plans have been made in America.
The concept of kiosks in fast food restaurants is that you can order and pay for your meal without the help from employees; freeing them of time to do more important tasks like make the food.
With more time to make the food, it will be made quicker so therefore customer waiting times will reduce and profits will soar.
Why is the trend just catching on? In a study in 2011 on the self-service industry which surveyed more than 200 business leaders, 21 per cent said they were planning to deploy self-service options in restaurants.
This is due to the fact that consumers are embracing self-service technology more now than ever before. Many prefer self-service face to face interaction because of its privacy, accuracy and personalisation and the desire is growing.
Findings published in a 2010 survey revealed that more than half of all respondents polled that they would be more likely to choose a quick-service restaurant (QSR) that offered self-service technology for ordering food.
And further results showed that nearly half of the participants said they’d walked away from a QSR due to long waiting lines.
– Control of ordering process leads to better accuracy
– Single point of administration and reporting, hassle-free.
– Management costs are low, integration is easier than ever.
– New product placement exposes variety of menu and increases sales.
Today's best solutions are fully integrated with point of sale, menu boards, online ordering and smartphone ordering.
For drive-thru restaurants, self-service kiosks for the window that can move up or down depending on the height of your car is suffice.