The pandemic delivered a gut punch to the industry that restaurants still haven’t recovered from. For example, restaurants are still dealing with labor challenges: the National Restaurant Association recently found that 62 percent of operators say they do not have enough staff in order to meet demand.
Compounding the problem, consumers are now dining out less. A recent Black Box Intelligent report found that in April, same-store sales comps were down over 3 percent year over year. That means when consumers do eat out, they are expecting a positive, frictionless experience. That may be especially true when it comes to digital-ordering outcomes, where wait times, order accuracy, and convenience are all top of mind for the consumer.
For these reasons, many brands are turning to kiosks. Consider the Moneris kiosk, powered by UEAT's online ordering system, which acts as a bona fide virtual assistant: cashier, order taker, up-seller. Its intuitive interface helps increase average ticket size by offering appealing visual menu suggestions based on personalized consumer behavior—creating actionable analytics for the operator and a positive experience for the customer.
Upselling and cross-selling means automatic storytelling and nonintrusive suggestions paired with compelling images throughout the whole ordering process, something that would be awkward if not impossible for humans to do. Further, data shows that customers are more likely to order a larger size, or a dessert, when they are ordering from a screen rather than face-to-face with a cashier.
"We are proud to launch a new generation of self-ordering kiosks to Canada and to make them affordable even for independent restaurants with our unique rental program,” says Martin Lafrance, President of UEAT. “By eliminating the important upfront investment typically required, we can help restaurants deploy on-site self-ordering solutions faster to be better equipped to address staffing challenges.”
UEAT’s first generation of self-ordering kiosks launched in 2019, before shifting focus to contactless mobile ordering during the pandemic. “Now that we’re back to normal, we feel the time has come to improve our kiosk offering,” says Lafrance. As such, they revealed the brand-new Moneris self-ordering kiosk powered by UEAT at the Canadian Franchise Association Convention in Niagara Falls, and at the RC Show in Toronto in April, and more recently at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. “One of our customers from British Columbia now operates his restaurant with five kiosks and processes over 75,000 orders per year just on kiosks, with no cashiers. Over the years, his average ticket value increased by over 60 percent,” says Lafrance.
Stationed across franchise locations for less than $9 per day, UEAT’s kiosks eliminate the need for permanent cashiers. They don’t necessarily replace staff, though—the kiosks help reroute staff to value-added tasks, personalizing the customer experience and taking the pressure off of understaffed restaurants trying to onboard and train employees. During off-peak periods, having permanent cashiers may not be optimal. Kiosks can allow managers to assign already limited staff to other more productive tasks.
After all, as an experienced vendor, giving excellent customer service is something UEAT knows a lot about. “UEAT wants to support restaurants by acting as a partner dedicated to their success, not as another cold-hearted tech vendor,” Lafrance says. “We provide guidance, training, and 24/7 support from real humans. We know restaurants are busy and that technology may not be in their comfort zone so we offer a fast and effortless implementation. We simply take care of everything.”
For more on streamlining operations and padding check sizes, visit the UEAT website.