3 Ways Restaurant Kiosks Can Prepare You for the Future

This is the third and final part of “The Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks,” a three-part blog series about the many ways self-service kiosk technology is improving businesses, communities, the customer experience, and more.

When it comes to operating a restaurant, it’s not just a matter of surviving today, you need to thrive well into the future. It’s certainly an interesting time for the hospitality industry as a whole: We’re in the beginning stages of a restaurant technology boom which has been flagged with the phrase, “evolve or die.” Although that term may sound scary, there’s an easy way to prepare your restaurant for the future: with self-service kiosks!

Read on to discover how kiosk technology can help restaurants ride the new wave of hospitality and create a fast-track to success.

Out with the Old, in with the New

As a restaurant, a key audience to keep your focus on is millennials. With an approximate headcount of 80 million in the U.S. alone, millennials (or those born between the years 1981 and 1996) are officially the largest living generation and have surpassed baby boomers in buying power. Simply put, millennials are shaping today’s and tomorrow’s restaurants.

Still not sold on adapting your business model to accommodate these folks? Think again: According to Bernstein researchers, millennials, more than any other generation, are more likely to value eating out, and they are more likely to gather at eateries than bars.

It’s a perfect opportunity for restaurants: the largest living generation loves to eat out more than any other age group. But what do millennials value, and how is the restaurant experience shifting as new trends emerge and baby boomer trends recede? According to Convince & Convert and Salesforce, here are some top emerging trends among the younger generations:

  • When choosing a restaurant, Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than Gen X and Baby Boomers
  • 33% of Generation Z say ads cause them to usually (or always) try new things, compared with 21% of Americans overall
  • Millennials value smart self-service solutions

When it comes to kiosks, millennials play a very important role. Because they grew up with device access at all times – from ‘90s PCs to today’s smart devices – millennials are more comfortable with non-verbal communication than previous generations and value the opportunity to solve issues on their own. Furthermore, 91% of millennials polled in a study by Retale said they have used a self-service kiosk, and 20% claim they don’t like interacting with cashiers at checkout.

The largest generation with the most buying power values convenience and technology. What better way to marry the two than by adopting self-service kiosks?

Drive Digital Adoption – for ALL Customers

We just spoke a lot about the millennial generation – but kiosk technology isn’t only for them. In fact, kiosks drive digital adoption (or, the ability to take advantage of all that technology has to offer) for a variety of customers.

From retirees to those who aren’t native English speakers, thanks to their ease of communication and ability to serve the underserved, kiosks are a beneficial trend for everyone. It’s never been easier to improve the restaurant experience across demographics!

Streamline the Digital Experience

As we discussed above, the digital transformation that’s unfolding before our eyes is causing previously unrelated realms to merge. Dining out isn’t simply driving to a restaurant anymore: it’s a multi-faceted digital decision. Social media, web-based reviews, online ordering applications and websites, and more all contribute to the question, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

Kiosks, like Flash Order’s, can play an important part in this digital shift. By matching your in-restaurant kiosk’s user experience to your mobile website and/or application, you cultivate customer familiarity and create a seamlessly intuitive, convenient, and well-branded dynamic.

Kiosks: The Gateway to the Future

In short, self-service kiosks enable restaurants to stay current with trends as older ways of business fade away, and their ease-of-use encourages everyone to utilize technology, not just millennials and early adopters. There’s simply no reason to not implement technology that benefits businesses and customers alike.

Always leading and always innovating, Star Micronics has a full suite of point of sale hardware solutions (including kiosk technology) for restaurants of all kinds and sizes. Download our free Restaurant Solution brochure now to learn more!

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