It’s safe to say that self-service kiosks are not just “the next big thing” when it comes to casual restaurant eating—they have already become “the thing” for many quick-service chains surveying evolving customer behavior trends. Why?
Recent research indicates:
- A full one-quarter of restaurant customers have used a self-ordering kiosk at a restaurant within the past three months
- 30 percent prefer to order from a kiosk versus a cashier if the lines were of equal length
- Here’s the kicker: a whopping 65 percent said they would visit a restaurant more often if self-service kiosks were offered.
The benefits are clear—increased average order totals, more total orders processed and increasing customer satisfaction in an uber-competitive landscape. More importantly, these numbers will only surge as consumers become increasingly accustomed to this experience being that they carry a self-ordering kiosk of sorts with them 24/7 to conduct their daily lives: the smartphone.
So, everyone agrees that kiosks rock, and just installing them in your restaurant chain is pretty much installing a license to print money, right? Not so fast. Let’s look at a typical day in a franchised quick-service restaurant kiosk to understand why.
Nobody Saw This Coming
It’s a day like any other here at our random counter-service location. The grill is hopping, and your customers have increasingly grown familiar with self-service ordering. Things are busier than ever with you having just introduced a popular new crispy chicken sandwich. Everyone is talking about it on social media, and life is good. Today will be their first chance to sample “the phenomenon.”
Your corporate office needs to push some updates to the kiosks to update the menu. Unfortunately, the update seems to be troublesome as buggy, glitchy behavior is occurring across a number of the store tablets. The orders are backing up, and the cashier teams don’t have the bandwidth to handle the increased load. You have the product and the personnel to properly launch this product, but the technology that is a central part of your brand is now your biggest bottleneck. The prospective customers at the end of the line turn away and begin to walk out as they grumble to themselves “Jeez. Technology sure is awesome … when it works.”
So where did it go wrong? You thought you had the right technology to create an ideal kiosk experience. You were ahead of the game in creating an in-house technology group to spearhead these efforts. You even deployed technology at scale. How could this happen?
Despite your best efforts, you’re not a technology company. Mobile Device Management (MDM) administration to push well-tested internal updates and data to your kiosk tablets is not your specialty. More importantly, your company likely isn’t equipped with sufficient support to manage replacement and repair for kiosk components (e.g. tablet, card reader, etc.) at any U.S.-based location when they go down so your store operations aren’t negatively impacted, thereby damaging your brand.
This is where managed mobile services (MMS) come in. A good MMS provider can help you craft an end-to-end strategy for creating and maintaining an ideal self-ordering kiosk experience for your customers. From creating, piloting and testing custom-branded enclosures to staging all of your components in a mirrored environment to providing 24x7x365 help desk support to minimize issues—they can give you the “how” on making your kiosks protect your brand. Leveraging a strong partnership with the right MMS provider can be all the difference in getting your kiosk deployment right.
Just think of it as the ultimate combo meal.
Dipesh Hinduja is the Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix, specializing in maturing teams and businesses that operate in rapid-change technologies.