Self Order Kiosk for Restaurants
For those of you who are new to the Self Order Kiosk world. Self Order Kiosks are typically considered to be touchscreen computers that allow customers to enter an order into the computer on their own. Technologically speaking, Self Order Kiosks are nothing new. However, there has been steady growth in the demand for Self Order Kiosks in the Fast Casual, Restaurant and Fast Food industries. These days businesses are much more aware of the benefits of technology. There is a lot of proven data that the right technology can boost the growth and productivity of a business. Restaurants that are able leverage the latest technology trends can often have the largest technological advantage in the market.
Let’s talk about the key reasons restaurant and hospitality businesses are interested in Self Order Kiosks.
Labor costs are steadily increasing. Many states are increasing the minimum wage. The increase in minimum wage is reaching an inflection point at which the cost to invest in solutions like Self Order Kiosks might cost less overall than investing in POS and employees to operate them.
To see all the increases year over year, check out NCSL’s site on State Minimum Wages in 2017.
The Restaurant and Fast Food industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years and the competition and ability to differentiate has become increasingly more difficult. We’re seeing a lot of overcrowding in many spaces. Much like Retail stores casual dining restaurants are experiencing similar store closings due to overcrowding. Check out this article on restaurant oversupply. Customers are expecting different things these days. Brand differentiation is critical to success and growth. Fast food restaurants are making major changes to their brand and identity. Check out Taco Bell’s new designs.
As time changes so do the generations of adults. This means as baby boomers get older the next generation of people will be the majority of customers. These days it’s not hard to see that almost every brand is looking to cater to the next generation of consumers. It’s also no secret that the millennial generation and every generation after is much more technology aware and savvy.
Margins are Tighter
We’ve seen a lot of major changes happening in the Restaurant and Fast Food industry. A lot of these shifts are happening because the behavior and demand of consumers is drastically changing. The overall margins on food and beverages has only shrunk over the years. Michael Schumacher does a great job of explaining how tight margins are in this article about restaurant data.
So with the constant changes happening in the Restaurant and Fast Food industry it’s clear the industry needs to do something in order to get with the changing times. As it seems one of those big changes is to adopt Self Order Kiosks in the restaurant. It is probably because Self Order Kiosks address the following key points:
- Lower Overhead
- Improve Customer Experience and Retention
- Improve Efficiency
- Improve Growth
- Increase Revenue
Let’s talk about how Self Order Kiosks can provide such a great value to restaurants.
Lower Overhead / Cost Reduction
Self Order Kiosks can help reduce employee overhead. Kiosks can supplement cashiers during the rush. Kiosks can also be the only order option during off peak hours, eliminating the need for a cashier when there is little business being conducted. Every single POS system needs an employee to operate it. Kiosks can scale better because you do not need an employee to operate each one. Businesses also need to train someone on how to use a POS system. However Self Order Kiosks require little to no employee training. Kiosks can take orders 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, never take breaks, do not require employee benefits, unemployment, workers compensation, overtime, or raises.
Self Order Kiosks can provide a platform for faster order taking. For customers, faster order taking can translate into shorter wait times in line and even virtually eliminate lines. For businesses, faster orders being entered into the system translates to allowing the business to operate more smoothly and server more customers. Businesses can reallocate employees to focus their time improving other operational parts of the business. Additional human resources can be invested in improving quality control and service quality.
Increased Quality Control / Consistent Orders
Self Order Kiosk orders are typically submitted more accurately because there is no translation required from customer to cashier. It’s been proven that customers are happier with order consistency when entering orders on their own. Happy customers often translate into repeat customers.
Marketing and Data
Information is powerful. Self Order Kiosks can provide better customer identification and collect better data. Self Order Kiosks can consistently provide better upselling and suggestive selling. The more advanced kiosk technologies can provide upsells and suggestions based on the user that is ordering. Authentication by cellphone numbers allow businesses to have 2 way communication with the customer via text messaging. Better communication with the customer can provide more accurate data about a customers experience and needs.
Self Order Kiosks can allow employees to focus on providing better service to your customers, rather than focusing on taking orders. Kiosks can free up valuable human resources to do what humans do better than any kiosk could: greeting customers, offering assistance, bringing their food to the table, offering suggestions, and asking about their experience.
Many millennial customers will often choose a Self Service Kiosk option and if the kiosk is designed well, they will have a good ordering experience because the order entry was fast and easy. A good kiosk interface can allow the customer to expect an accurate order every time. Better customer experiences will often translate into improved customer retention(repeat business).
Self Order Kiosks sound great! So then why has adoption been so poor?
There are many articles that talk about the benefits of Self Order Kiosks and even some disadvantages. Let’s discuss some possible reasons why Self Order Kiosks have not been adopted in restaurants that could truly benefit from them.
Most of the Self Order Kiosks that are available today are not made for your Point of Sale system. So there isn’t always a kiosk solution available. Typically the kiosks that are sold today are designed to work only with the same brand POS system. Fragmentation is the result of POS companies making their products proprietary. A proprietary style of development makes it very difficult for another product or service to integrate (work with) with their system. This method can force the customer to have to purchase all of the products from the same company. There is nothing innately wrong with proprietary products, however the problem is that it’s difficult for one company to design everything perfectly at a high level to meet everyone’s needs. This is a big reason why companies specialize.
Another issue with fragmentation is when there is a kiosk solution available for your POS, you’re stuck with the form factor they provide. For instance, if you want a 22″ inch screen on and iPad kiosk. Unfortunately iPad’s do not come in sizes larger than 12.9″ inches.
Most Self Order Kiosks can be customized but the customization is often limited. The ability to change the workflow, menu layout, and user experience tend to be limited. These kiosks often have a standardized layout. Most Self Order Kiosks do not allow you to change the orientation of the screen from portrait to landscape or vice versa. A standardized layout and orientation will work fine for POS because customers will never see it or use it. Most businesses probably don’t care if their POS layout is the same as their competitors. However with self order kiosks it’s a different story.
Branding is very important. Branding is how you differentiate yourself in the market. Making sure you deliver the right brand experience is critical to brand success. As a business you will want to have fully customized branding and layout in order to truly deliver the brand experience to the customer. Unfortunately most kiosks do not allow for full creative flexibility of the design which limits the ability to deliver a full brand experience.
Self Order Kiosks definitely come with initial and on-going costs. As with all things you get what you pay for. The lower cost kiosks provide limited flexibility and may do a poor job of representing your brand. The cheaper kiosk hardware is often not commercial grade and not nearly as rugged/tamper resistant as higher end options. Cheaper solutions may be cost less up front but it limits your capabilities and the type of self service you’re offering your customers.
The high end kiosks built with custom enclosures and hardware are much more expensive. However they can deliver the true branded experience. As with all custom built equipment, it always has a higher initial cost and often come with a higher installation and setup cost.
High end kiosk software is often custom developed. Most mainstream brands have had to make large investments in the development of custom software because there there is no Kiosk solution for their POS system or the solution that is available is not acceptable for delivering their brand experience.
Kiosks like all technologies, require management. Maintenance, repairs, upgrades, security, and upkeep can increase the overhead of owning and operating Self Order Kiosks. Another issue that can arise from Kiosks is vandalism and this issue can add costs to manageability.
Poor Customer Experience
Customers may become impatient or frustrated if the kiosks are not working, are laggy, or the interface is too complex to order or pay. When something goes wrong customers may have to ask for assistance which can take up additional time. Sometimes you may not even be able to get assistance. Probably (hopefully) rare, but definitely a possibility is when a frustrated customer with a poor experience could resort to vandalism.
Some people are old school and prefer to talk to a human being, this is especially true if the kiosks do not allow the customer to make particular modifications to the menu items based on the customers preference.
Employees can see Kiosks as a threat to their job security and can make the experience difficult to adopt. Sometimes Servers may believe that they are getting smaller tips because the customers are using self service kiosks.
So then, why should you consider Self Order Kiosks for your Restaurant or Fast Food Business?
GojiKiosk has been engineered so that the front end of the entire kiosk can be 100% fully customized so that any company can maintain the look and feel of their brand throughout the entire Kiosk experience. GojiKiosk can allow restaurants to differentiate their branding by allowing them to display any layout, orientation, and design. True customization for a full brand experience.
GojiKiosk is made with the best kiosk hardware and technology in the market. Businesses can maximize their ROI for their initial investment for kiosks. Generally speaking a standard GojiKiosk setup is a fraction of the cost of a proprietary Kiosk of equal capability, durability, and power. Our hardware is specifically designed to help curb vandalism. It is water resistant in a sealed environment, built within an all stainless steel frame, comes with a stainless steel cover for wires, has no external power button, and comes with a 5 year warranty.
GojiKiosk was developed so businesses can have the power of customized software without having to custom develop a single line of code themselves. Restaurants can budget for more important things related to growing a restaurant rather than building a huge IT and development budget.
GojiKiosk utilizes cutting-edge technologies to make maintenance, repairs, upgrades, security, and upkeep very simple. Our equipment requires very low maintenance and is rated to run 24/7/365 for 5 years which translates to a very low TCO (total cost of ownership). As for upgrades, no software is required to be installed to perform upgrades. GojiKiosk can pull menu changes and software upgrades directly from the cloud automatically. GojiKiosk has designed with security from at every layer. Credit Card processing is 100% out of scope so there is zero liability with PCI compliance and data breaches. GojiKiosk runs on an operating system that is virtually impenetrable to viral infection, every single process is encrypted and sandboxed, and it is not possible to exit the kiosk mode locally. All of these features boil down to secure, simple and easy for owners and customers.
Poor Customer Experience
GojiKiosk was designed with customer experience as the #1 priority. It doesn’t run on Windows, iOS, or Android so it doesn’t have the viruses and update and problems associated with those Operating systems. Gojikiosk is FAST. GojiKiosk gives you the ability to custom design the kiosk expereience so you can ensure that the customer will have a great experience with simple and easy to order design. GojiKiosk has fully integrated payments that support every modern form of payment to ensure that the customer experience is seamless and easy.
GojiKiosk can’t stop your employee’s from making kiosks harder to adopt. However we believe that if a business empowers and trains the employees to use the extra time and attention to providing customers with better service rather than having to punch in an order it will be a win win for everyone.