Why Self-Service Kiosk Integration is Crucial for Restaurateurs

In recent years, one can’t help but notice how many self-service kiosks are popping up in businesses of all kinds. Arguably, the most noticeable increase has been in restaurants. Kiosks are often found in quick-service restaurants (QSR) but can also be spotted in airport food courts, schools, workplace cafeterias, and many other places. So, what’s all the hype about? Why should restauranteurs prioritize implementing a self-service solution? Read on to explore five main reasons why self-service kiosk integration is not just beneficial, but crucial for restauranteurs.

Better Customer Experience

At the end of the day, happy customers translate into returning customers, which in turn means a successful business. Self-service kiosks are an easy way for restauranteurs to provide a better customer experience for their diners and create sticky business.

First and foremost, kiosks mean customers spend less time waiting in line. Offering two ways to place an order – at a manned point of sale terminal and at a self-service kiosk – helps prevent a restaurant’s queue from bottlenecking. Who doesn’t enjoy quickly ordering and receiving their meal? Kiosk integration makes that a reality – and not just during slow times, but during rush hours, too.

Another major way that kiosks benefit the customer experience is by allowing diners to customize their orders fully and rapidly. According to the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, a whopping 72% of consumers expect customization. While it’s true that customers can also customize their order at a manned point of sale terminal, face-to-face orders are more susceptible to miscommunication and inaccurate order-taking, something that simply doesn’t occur as often at self-service kiosks. Additionally, kiosks can accommodate order-taking in multiple languages, further boosting their ability to help all customers place their orders, their way.

Boosted Profits

Needless to say, money matters … and kiosk integration can help restauranteurs make more of it!

Did you know that it’s been shown that customers spend 30% more when ordering from a self-service kiosk? A major reason for this is due to the ability for kiosks to naturally enhance upselling and cross-selling. Diners aren’t likely to order that extra drink or dessert if the only place they see it listed is on a separate part of a physical menu, or if the option is presented to them by a cashier in a sales pitch type of manner.

However, in one case study measuring sales at self-service kiosks versus sales at manned cashier terminals, not only did kiosks experience more traffic, but on average a kiosk’s orders contained 1.4x more items than orders placed at the terminal. This resulted in an impressive increase of at least $5 per transaction. The ability for kiosks to naturally present add-on items to diners (in an appealing style) certainly pays off.

More Efficient Use of Staff

One common fear associated with self-service kiosks is that a kiosk integration means that current restaurant staff will lose their jobs. However, that tends to not be the case. In fact, McDonald’s installed kiosks in thousands of its stores – without plans to lay off its workers.

According to a Business Insider article,

"Our CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has said on many occasions that self-order kiosks in McDonald’s restaurants are not a labor replacement," a spokeswoman told Business Insider. "They provide an opportunity to transition back-of-the-house positions to more customer service roles such as concierges and table service where they are able to truly engage with guests and enhance the dining experience."

Just like the article states, self-service kiosks allow staff to focus more of their energy on providing better customer service to customers, staying on top of cleaning and stocking napkins, utensils, and condiments, and more. And having staff prioritize the customer experience is important: 70% of consumers say they have already made a choice to support a company that delivers great customer service.

Free Self-Service Kiosk Resources

The future of many industries lies with self-service solutions. That’s why Star Micronics is offering free online ordering resources for VARs and ISVs who are helping customers future-proof their businesses with self-service solutions.

Marketing Benefits

Self-service kiosks present multiple marketing opportunities to restauranteurs.

First, they provide an easy way for restaurants to promote their loyalty programs. Kiosks can prompt diners to sign up for a loyalty program or remind existing loyalty program members of program benefits, creating sticky business. Did you know that loyalty program members spend 12-18% more per year at a business than non-members?

Kiosks also provide a great opportunity for restauranteurs to reinforce their establishment’s branding. The kiosk’s software, as well as its exterior, can be customized to match the restaurant’s look and feel, further enhancing brand awareness. Some kiosks are also able to print promotions on the bottom of the receipt where diners are sure to see them, using technology like Star Micronics PromoPRNT.

Improved Safety

Last but certainly not least, kiosk integration can help restauranteurs boost the safety of their restaurants, something that is more important than ever as the world navigates the new normal.

In this day and age, nearly everyone prefers less contact with other people. Self-service kiosks not only eliminate the face-to-face interaction found at manned terminals, but they can also include safety-boosting features like antimicrobial glass, a single-piece screen design to eliminate the nooks and crannies that can harbor germs, and more.

Star Micronics Self-Service Kiosk Printers

A kiosk printing leader, Star Micronics is proud to offer a full range of self-service kiosk printers that accommodate multiple paper widths, operating systems, and more. The compact, reliable, and high-speed printers are designed to bring any restaurant self-service solution to life.

Kiosk Printer Family Features:

  • 2”, 3”, and 4” paper sizes
  • Compact or modular footprints
  • Available with multiple accessories including bezels, presenters, large paper roll holders, and more
  • Support Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, and iOS
  • Print receipts, tickets, coupons, or adhesive labels
  • Interfaces include serial, USB, parallel, and Ethernet
  • Available with StarPRNT emulation, allowing you to take advantage of the full stack of Star Micronics technology, like StarPRNT SDKs and Star’s powerful line of drivers

Are you looking to integrate self-service kiosk printers, but not sure how to decide on a printer? Download “A Guide to Selecting the Right Kiosk Printer” now.

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