Customer service: Face-to-face ordering vs. kiosks

customer checkout line

Have you ever walked into a retail store and faced a choice between a line with a cashier or a self-serve checkout station? You might think that the obvious answer for most people would be to pick the self-checkout option since it usually has the shortest line. Now the restaurant industry is following suit, and adding interactive technology to their customer experience.  

Before the rise of interactive technology, the only modes available for ordering your food were limited to calling in an order on the phone or waiting for your server or cashier. Not only could this be time-consuming, but the chance for miscommunication means there’s always a risk of alienating potential repeat customers. 

What restaurant industry leaders have realized in the internet age is that anything you can have the customer assist you with helps speed up the process, increases accuracy and can allow your staff to focus on other customers that may need more personal attention. 

A recent study found that even a seven second order time savings can result in up to a 3% market share increase. As a result, both quick serve and fast-casual restaurants have upgraded to technology advancements which have enhanced the guest experience. 

The concept of the kiosk ordering system can come in many shapes and sizes, for example:

  • Tabletop ordering
  • Tablet ordering
  • Larger built-in screen kiosks
  • Mobile ordering via a website or smart phone app

Although the face-to-face experience is important to many patrons, it has been reported that kiosk technology really doesn’t take away from that. Either approaching a cashier, or using a self-ordering kiosk, minimizes lines and thus increases the service experience to the guest. As a result, your staff’s capacity to improve the customer experience is increased. This means that they can focus on dining room cleanliness, food quality, and the ability to assist via table service. Employees can even help with speeding up timelines in the drive-thru by using point-of-sale technology outside in the line. 

By taking advantage of interactive ordering technology, you can shift your staff’s focus from simply taking an order, to ensuring that the exact dining experience your restaurant wants to deliver is happening every time, and therefore increasing your chances for repeat business. 

Market research reports suggest that when comparing digital orders and those taken by live cashiers the tab on a digital order is typically 20% higher. This may be due to kiosk prompting as research as also shown if customers are asked 20% would agree to add to their order. Even more, you can enroll customers in loyalty rewards programs, which can provide incentive that better ensure return visits and repeat business. You can even use this technology to track previous ordering habits for each customer. This level of internal reporting means you can cater discount offers individually, personalizing the experience for everyone who orders from you. Talk about a win for everyone!

We’d love to learn more about your business and talk about ways our FF&E team can help. Feel free to contact us