How to make the most of kiosk ordering

eatsa touch ordering

Kiosk-based ordering is becoming less of a novelty in noncommercial. Touchscreens are finding their way into a greater number of foodservice spots, as operators discover their labor-saving and check-boosting potential. As with any emerging technology, though, it takes some time to work out the kinks.

Read on for some best practices from restaurant operators who have been there. 

1. Location is crucial

wow bao kiosks

Chicago-based fast-casual chain Wow Bao has had kiosks in its units for about eight years. Two stores have kiosks near the registers, while three others have them posted near the entrance. Those doorway kiosks do a much better volume than the register-based ones, brand President Geoff Alexander says, because they grab customers’ attention and let them order without interacting with others in line. “It allows you to order, walk in and walk out.”

2. Know which problem you’re trying to solve

honeygrow touch screen

“I get annoyed when I see other concepts using tech to look cool or thinking it’s a silver bullet to help their brand,” says Honeygrow CEO Justin Rosenberg. “I needed technology to solve a business problem.” When he launched the fast-casual chain in 2012, Rosenberg says, he realized that customers couldn’t get stir-fries and salads from the same down-the-line makeline. “It’d bottleneck the whole line,” he says. Kiosk-enabled ordering solves that problem by allowing diners to submit their customized creations.

3. Make it pretty (and simple)

honeygrow screen

Honeygrow’s kiosks add an indie feel by interspersing videos of local spots with the ordering screens. “We have a video shoot in every market we go into,” Rosenberg says. Beyond aesthetics, though, the user interface must be uncomplicated. “I had my 4-year-old testing it,” he says.

Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs has offered touchscreen ordering at its drive-thrus for the past 14 months, but the chain opted not to enlist an employee to help customers with the touchscreens. “If we’d needed to do that, then we’d failed in the development of our user interface,” chain President Scott Ford says.

4. Speed of service is essential

goodcents deli makeline

Keeping the process efficient and expedient is of prime importance. "It has to be at least as fast as your regular service standard," Ford says.

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