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Wafels & Dinges, best known for its delicious Belgian waffles that come with a variety of options for toppings, has been in business since 2007, and since expanded to over 15 locations. Originally selling from a single food truck, the authentic award-winning Belgian waffle vendor has made a name for itself in its home of New York City, even appearing alongside Al Roker on the Today Show. Awards include NYC Vendy Award for Best Mobile Vendor in 2009, Winner of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” in 2010, “Best Dessert Truck in America” by the Daily Meal in 2013, and Time Out’s “Top 5 Best Quick Serve Restaurants in New York” in 2016.
As self-service started becoming more popular in New York City and people became busier, long lines took more and more of a toll on businesses. People no longer had the time to wait in line and didn’t want to interact. Wafels & Dinges wasn’t an exception. Because of its unexpected surging popularity in a thriving city like New York, Wafels & Dinges faced significant growing pains. Lines were too long, and customers were leaving before they even got to the front of the queue. Additionally, because Wafels & Dinges is located right in the middle of a tourist capital, the restaurant also had the challenge of navigating language barriers.
The company originally tried to line-bust by having employees use tablet solutions to take orders in the queue, but even that proved not to be enough. Even with two manned registers, lines were still too long.
Since much of their business operates out of outdoor venues, Wafles & Dinges required a self-checkout kiosk solution for the operation in Bryant Park. The kiosk solution needed to be custom-built to be able to withstand the elements. Restaurant operators also needed to be able to remove the tablet from the kiosk enclosure so that it could be brought in at the end of the day.
The Kiosk Group custom built a wireless kiosk solution for Wafels & Dinges that met the restaurant’s brand standards. The custom kiosk enclosure houses an iPad and is paired with Newline self-ordering software, Square payments, and an integrated Star TSP743II printer. Kiosk Group developed the solution with a built-in external battery. The Star printer also offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
The kiosk itself was custom-built in 10 months, and was fully installed within one day. It took only a week to go live, and employees were able to easily train on the system within 15 minutes.
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With the new kiosk and integrated printer solution in place, customers can now place orders much more quickly and effectively. The menu layout is easy to create and the interface is easier for customers to navigate. Guests can now view the menu while placing orders, rather than reviewing the menu while trying to place an order with an employee at the counter.
Wafels & Dinges also experienced a decrease in order errors. Where before, orders were transmitted through employees, the kiosk now allows customers to enter orders and have tickets printed with all order details and instructions.
Average check size has also increased, thanks to the automated upselling and cross-selling prompts that can be leveraged with the kiosk technology.
“The custom, branded self-ordering kiosk has improved customer experiences and increased customer retention,” says Matthias Laga, Chief Business Officer of Wafels and Dinges. “And, as a result, boosted profits.”
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.