COVID-19 has changed the way we have to live our lives currently, including how we socialise with friends and family, and shop and order our goods and services. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the way that our businesses, including the restaurant trade, have had to adapt their way of working. Entrepreneur Sagar Sethi believes firmly in Australia’s ability to innovate, stating that “digital is the way forward”, and independent restaurants need to adopt new methods of technology to meet the demands of their clients. Otherwise, they will lose out to global restaurants, who have pioneered the use of the self-ordering kiosk very early on.
Self-service is nothing new in the food industry but there has been a reluctance in the smaller independents who saw this type of technology as expensive and removing that personal touch from the consumer dining experience. Now, with social distancing and additional costs placed on businesses around cleaning, screens and personal protective equipment for staff, using a self-order kiosk is the safest and most cost-effective way of working. However, there is not just a “one size fits all approach” as each restaurant business is different.
There are a number of things to look out for when investing in a self-service kiosk to ensure that your business reaps the benefits of utilising the latest technology for the restaurant trade. Before highlighting these points, it is important to understand what exactly a self-ordering kiosk is and how it works.
With a self-ordering kiosk, customers can browse the menu, place their orders and pay easily. These systems are designed to maximise sales as well as speed up service, helping restaurants to minimise queues effectively. After keying in their choices on the kiosk, customers will then be guided through the payment process to complete their order. The beauty of these systems is that they will offer prompts to the customer, allowing them to customise their orders without any hassle. Add on items, in the form of sauces or side dishes for example, to enhance the ordering experience. This puts the customer firmly in the driving seat and is an efficient way of ordering food and drinks.
Considerations on selecting a suitable self-service kiosk for restaurants
The best technologies can help to enhance the growth and efficiency of a business and selecting a self-service kiosk for your restaurant is no exception. In the following section, we will discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing the best self-ordering kiosk solution for your business.
The technology behind a self-ordering kiosk is something that will affect both the business experience and the customer experience. Consider the operating systems, software options, features and functionality, as well as the hardware. Before selecting a self-ordering kiosk, it is important to investigate the different features because it will determine your upfront, on-going, maintenance and upgrade costs. To maximise the benefits of a self-ordering solution, look for a self-ordering kiosk with flexibility in features, functionality and one that integrates seamlessly with your POS.
While self-ordering kiosks are specifically designed to provide a faster and more personalised experience, they won’t completely replace cashiers – especially in the near future. A major benefit of customers using kiosks is that they may place their orders faster as compared to orders taken by a cashier, simply because they have the visual aid of photos and can easily customise their order. However, there should still at least be one cashier counter to provide an alternative for guests who want that option of interacting with a cashier.
With the addition of self-ordering kiosks, you will be able to manage your staff in the most efficient way possible. By cutting down on the number of cashiers, you can reallocate these employees to help with other tasks, such as the delivering of food, engaging with customers and assisting the back of house.
The final point to consider is where to place the kiosk. To create an efficient ordering experience, a restaurant owner needs to review their floor plan and consider where customers will order as well as wait to get their food and drink. A smooth flow of customers from kiosk to collection point and back out again without clogging the main body of the restaurant is what should be aimed at, so make some readjustments of the site plans as needed.
Getting the right self-service kiosk for restaurants is an investment that will pay off, providing a fast, effective and safe method, attracting new customers and retaining loyal consumers.
If you’re ready to implement self-ordering kiosks or open up your business to online sales, and takeaway and delivery functionality, speak to our friendly and experienced team here at Abacus. We are currently providing our Online Ordering platform with NO upfront cost and $0 ongoing monthly fees on top of your regular Abacus POS subscription. The only additional cost to you is a small transaction fee.
Submit your interest here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our product specialists will reach out to you to discuss how we can help your business in these tough times. Alternatively, give us a call on (03) 9017 2792.