As Point of Sale Software and Systems become more sophisticated, POS is becoming the resounding catchword among savvy restaurateurs who can see the many benefits of installing the latest in POS terminals in their eateries – self-ordering kiosks. No longer just the domain of Quick Service Restaurants such as McDonalds, fast casual restaurants are gaining popularity amongst customers by blending the QSR and casual dining experience through their adoption of self-ordering kiosks. Sake Jr, the younger, faster sibling of the iconic Saké Restaurant & Bar, is one such restaurant that is leading the way.
Having recently opened in Bourke St, Melbourne, Sake Jr. has a self-ordering kiosk installed at nearby gym Fitness First. Gym members place their order on the POS terminal screen in the club, enter their email and a promo code to receive a 20% discount, pay at the gym, and then pick up their order at Sake Jr. after their workout! That’s a dynamic customer experience and one that certainly appeals to millennial consumers who are already accustomed to placing orders on their phones and tablets. However, the key element at play with self-ordering kiosks is not to deploy a fancy device but to improve customer experience whilst also creating better ROI for the restaurant. A well-crafted POS solution achieves this. First and foremost, these POS terminals significantly reduce customer wait time. While research repeatedly shows that this has a direct positive effect on the customer’s opinion of the establishment, among both QSR and fast casual restaurants which promote their convenient service, saving time is all the more important.
One study found that long waiting lines will lead nearly 50% of customers to conclude that the business is run poorly, and prompt more than 50% of consumers to take their business elsewhere. Self-ordering kiosks also give consumers control of their dining experience, enabling them easy access to menus from which they can customize their order and allowing them to choose when and how they order, pay for and receive their meal. By automating the order and payment process, these POS terminals also create a consistent and so reliable experience for the customer. For the restaurants themselves, the leveraging of self-ordering kiosks means that employees can reallocate time previously spent taking orders, focusing instead on an improved dining service and restaurant cleanliness for example. Self-ordering kiosks also allow businesses to direct traffic in restaurants by placing the ordering process in a strategic location, while remaining customers also benefit from shorter wait times. And by encouraging the customer to further explore the menu, including up-sell offers, this automated process also ultimately stands to increase the ROI for the restaurant.
Advances in digital technology and the ubiquitousness of mobile phones have left people expecting certain conveniences when going about their day. Consumers have long enjoyed personalized and engaging automated transactions in the retail sector. As they continue to become more technologically savvy, they are expressing greater interest in self-service technologies in their dining experiences too. Self-ordering kiosks present a new and innovative opportunity for restaurants to further enhance customer experience whilst also markedly improving their own business operations.