Can the Hospitality Sector Afford Not to Adopt Self-Service Kiosks? The Business Case for Operators Large and Small.

In the last 12 months there’s been a constant industry chatter about creating hospitality cashless kiosk environments to primarily queue bust and increase revenue but there’s a whole of host of other valuable benefits self-serve offers QSRs, casual dining, attractions and bars.

In 2018, a number of fast food giants took the lead from McDonald’s Experience Of The Future’ (EOTF) model and incorporated multi-self-service channels into their digital strategy. In July, Taco Bell announced it would install self-order kiosks in all 6,875 of its restaurants by the end of 2019; Panera Bread reached 33% digital sales in October, supported by a strong kiosk strategy, while McDonald’s pledged to ramp up its roll-out of the EOTF model to include 12,000 stores by the end of 2019 after seeing same-stores sales improvements of up to ; Cashless kiosk operator Tossed, continues to push forward with year on year growth; and KFC is hot on the heels behind them along with many more operators across the sector to roll-out kiosks.

It is more than evident that the self-serve kiosk is not only here to stay but will become a mainstream experience in British hospitality and leisure sooner than many of us may be anticipating. In order to remain competitive, especially in the fast growing QSR sector, operators must have self-serve and kiosks on their radar for the current, or at least near future, strategy.

10 Well Known Benefits of Self-Serve Kiosks

  1. Loved by Millennials and Gen Z
  2. Reduced queues during busy period
  3. Increases transaction values on average by 20%
  4. Creates perceived higher value of product
  5. Removes cash from the business
  6. Provides a unique experience for customers
  7. Enables greater upselling of products
  8. Creates opportunities for greater personalisation
  9. Supports green operations by removing paper
  10. Enhances reputation as leading, innovative hospitality provider

With proven self-serve business cases now on offer, slick and intuitive interfaces and a consumer market well accustomed to the kiosk order process, self-serve will quickly becoming the new norm for hospitality, just as it has in retail, health and travel.

Today, there is a wealth of independent research to show the demonstrable benefit not only to the operator but to the customer too.

Almost 80% of consumers evaluate restaurant technology options as increasing convenience, and 70% of them evaluate restaurant technology as speeding up service and as increasing order accuracy (NRA, 2017). In fact, a study by Perutka (2010) found that customers are willing to accept higher prices and to pay on average $ 2.47 USD more at QSRs, if the service is faster (Perutkova, 2010). All these factors suggest that the trend toward the consumer’s love of self-serve is likely to become increasingly important in the hospitality industry generally, but particularly in the QSR

The opportunities and benefits are pretty hard to ignore for any operator serious about growth and defining a strong differentiation strategy built on the customer experience.  The business case for kiosk adoption is high on the agenda for every operator looking to grow and secure their place in a saturated market facing economic strain. Typically, the business case is spanning four key areas: ROI, customer attraction and retention; technology; and the franchisee (where applicable).

The Business Case for Kiosk Implementation

6  ROI Benefits

  1. Increases revenues through higher transaction values & customer data intelligence
  2. Maximises efficiency through queue-busting and frees front of house staff to focus on service
  3. Reduces staff costs at peak times
  4. Drives more effective loyalty programs and extends customer lifetime value
  5. Provides technology infrastructure for the consumer of the future
  6. Helps compete with online competitor

Customer Attraction & Retention Benefits

  1. Improves flow through the outlet by reducing queues
  2. Drives efficiency especially during peak hours by allowing a greater volume of orders to be taken
  3. Reduces the number of incorrect orders by allowing customers to order and personalise meals themselves
  4. Allows front-of-house staff to concentrate on better customer service and serving those who need or prefer face-to-face service

Technology Considerations

  1. Driving sales through greater efficiency and smarter marketing and loyalty campaigns
  2. Incorporating self-serve kiosks into existing physical environments
  3. Future-proofing investment by ensuring self-serve and kiosk software can be seamlessly integrated into existing back-end systems such as payment and EPoS
  4. Innovative technology that is not only a key part of the customer’s omni-channel experience but offers real profitability

Franchisee Benefits

  1. Making day-to-day operations easier by providing an additional ordering channel to guests taking pressure off staff especially during busy periods
  2. Driving higher revenues through greater order values and improved loyalty
  3. Differentiating themselves from the competition by offering a better, more convenient customer experience

To find out more about self-serve and kiosk strategy and implementation email or telephone 0333 344 8303.


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