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QSRs (and customers) are drawn to self-service kiosks

September 08, 2020

QSRs (and customers) are drawn to self-service kiosks
Industry analysts have been bullish on self-service kiosks for the past few years, especially within the QSR (quick-service restaurant) space. A 2019 joint report from Tillster and research firm SSI revealed that the global kiosk market is expected to reach nearly $31 billion by 2024. A large part of this expected growth stems from a shift to self-service in the restaurant industry.

Today, as QSRs and their patrons wrestle with challenges related to operating during and post-pandemic, it’s clear that self-service kiosks have an even larger role to play.

Kiosks deliver a faster and safer way to order
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that customers today are looking for choices when it comes to shopping and dining. That choice extends to how orders are placed. The Tillster and SSI report provides hard data to back this up. According to the report, even if QSR line lengths are equal, 30% of customers would still prefer to order from a kiosk. When lines have more than four people, that number increases dramatically. Today, with increased awareness of safety and reducing physical interaction between staff and guests, it’s safe to assume that self-service kiosks will become even more popular.

Kiosks deliver a safer way to pay
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization warned customers that cash might aid in the transmission of germs and viruses. Although unlikely, many customers are seeking safer payment options. While some QSR kiosks can accept cash payments, many are cashless. In either case, giving customers the ability to pay with limited human-to-human interaction is highly desirable.

Kiosks increase sales
If you’ve ever ordered a meal from a self-service kiosk, you’ve seen firsthand how powerful the upsell experience can be. Kiosk solutions use a variety of methods to offer customers add-ons and upsell throughout the ordering process. By putting customers on their own timelines and eliminating any awkwardness or embarrassment from taking time browsing, self-service orders are typically 10% larger than orders placed through waitstaff. Because self-service kiosks can be optimized for speed or upselling, restaurants gain some control over how much they want to increase their average check size.

Other benefits of self-service kiosks
Beyond these three compelling benefits, there are many additional reasons a QSR might be interested in the technology. Here are just a couple of examples:
  • Loyalty integration—Self-service kiosks provide a natural way to encourage customers to join and participate in a loyalty program. Building a database of customers and being able to message them with promotions is a significant driver of sales.
  • Flexible menus—As with digital menu boards, kiosks give restaurants the ability to display slow-moving items or sales prominently. Additionally, POS inventory integration means if an ingredient runs out, menu items can be automatically removed until ingredients are replenished.
Most of the benefits of self-service kiosks within the restaurant space are heightened through the lens of 2020. If you’d like more information on how self-service kiosks can help transform your QSR clients, contact Tom Jones, Ingram Micro’s Pro AV expert.