Since recent years, self-ordering kiosks have become a staple at fast-food and fast-casual chains worldwide. But while many fast food companies went all-in on kiosks early on, independent restaurants were slower to adopt this self-serve technology.

Since last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way independent restaurants think about self-ordering kiosks. Many see this technology as costly and unnecessary. Today many customers prefer a system that can reduce face-to-face contact and keep customers safe from the spread of the coronavirus.

Full-service restaurants are starting to use the technology to streamline their takeout orders and reduce face-to-face contact with servers.

Self-ordering kiosks also reduce wait times, improve order accuracy, and, most importantly, boost check sizes, benefits that just about any restaurant can enjoy.

Why Self-Ordering Kiosks Are on the Rise

As mentioned, self-ordering kiosks aren’t exactly new. Before the pandemic, many major restaurant chains that implemented self-ordering kiosks in their restaurants quickly found success with the technology. Many restaurants reported experiencing a lift in sales. 

The reason for the increase in sales is primarily due to changes in customer behavior. Restaurant kiosks can provide more control, choice, and personalized ordering experience, making them ideal tools to meet customers’ changing desires.

While self-ordering kiosks are becoming more popular, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the technology to the forefront, mainly because of its many safety benefits. Self-ordering kiosks help restaurants promote social distancing in times of pandemics. Customers can customize their meals, place their orders, and even pay without interacting with restaurant staff.

Today, most modern kiosk designs are easy to disinfect and can even hold sanitizing wipes for customers to use. WhiteBean has developed restaurant kiosks that help customers purchase meals safely in the COVID-19 era. Check out this article on the benefits of Self Service Kiosk integrated with your existing POS to know more about how self-ordering kiosks can help your restaurant grow today.

What to Look for in a POS Kiosk

The freestanding kiosks you find at chain restaurants are often enterprise-level solutions that require some labor-intensive installation. For most restaurants, the implementation of these kinds of high-tech kiosks is not optimal.

You can try to research tablet-based kiosks that integrate with your existing POS system. They are much more cost-effective and easier to use for independent restaurants.

If you’re for a tablet-based restaurant kiosk, here are several essential tips to look out for:

  • Your restaurant kiosk should enable you to build a visually appealing menu with photos of each item and have different menu options to view a description or list of ingredients.
  • Integrate a kiosk software that allows you to easily add upsell prompts and menu modifiers to help boost average check size.
  • Implement loyalty solutions that can save customer’s information and store it for future orders or marketing drives.
  • Use a system that can alert customers when their orders are ready. This system can increase customers’ satisfaction beyond what most people think
  • Look for a kiosk that can accommodate mobile payments. Customers have different ways of payment methods. You can increase customer base by increasing more choices of payment methods

Like many other upgrades, self-ordering kiosks also require an upfront investment, sometimes tricky when revenue is scarce. However, many predict that the demand for self-ordering kiosks isn’t going away even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided. Self-ordering kiosks can only grow in popularity thanks to the many benefits and the changes in customers’ behavior.

To get more information on this technology and how it can successfully increase customer satisfaction, contact the experienced self service kiosk professionals at WhiteBean today.

Image Credits: Luke Porter