Self-service kiosks have become an increasingly familiar sight in restaurants throughout the world over the last few years, and it’s hardly surprising, given the benefits offered by these self-ordering systems.
The advantages of installing self-service kiosk machines for restaurants and other foodservice operations include reduced wait times for guests, increased order accuracy, upselling and customization options, improved operational efficiency by streamlining the ordering process, and providing greater insights into your customers and their preferences through data analytics.
However, before you start ripping up your floors with wild abandon and signing those contracts for kiosk machines without reading the fine print, there are several things that should be considered to ensure the transition to self-ordering kiosks is a success for your restaurants and your guests.
Step-by-step guide to successfully implement self-ordering kiosk machines in restaurants
QikServe, the leading digital order and pay platform for hospitality, has teamed up with its partner Kinettix, the global leader in providing IT field technicians to support multi-site deployments of kiosks in the US and internationally, to compile this step-by-step guide to help you to successfully implement self-ordering kiosk systems in your restaurants:
1) Define objectives and requirements
Clearly outline your goals and expectations for implementing kiosk self-ordering. Determine the specific features and functionalities you need, such as:
It will be useful to compile this into a scoping document, that also lists your current technology providers (particularly your POS system), in advance of speaking to potential vendors for your kiosk. This will save you from wasting time with a kiosk vendor that doesn’t have the capability to integrate with your existing systems.
2) Research and select a vendor
Research reputable vendors that specialize in kiosk self-ordering systems for the restaurant industry. Evaluate their track record, customer reviews, and their ability to meet your requirements.
QikServe has over a decade of industry-leading experience in implementing technology into the restaurant industry, offering well over 100 integrations with partners in POS, payment, loyalty, delivery and more, and its founder was the originator of QR code order and pay technology for restaurants. If you’ve ever flown through LAX airport and ordered from one of Burger King’s kiosks, you’ll have been using QikServe’s tech.
From an installation and maintenance perspective, particularly for multi-site, global brands, it’s essential to select a vendor with a network of qualified technicians that can install, service and maintain kiosks across a broad geographical area.
Kinettix’s experienced team performs kiosk installations, of any degree of complexity, anywhere in the world, completing projects on time and on budget. They specialize in multi-site and global deployments, developing tailored solutions for our clients. Their experience ensures we seamlessly navigate the complexities that come with technology deployments for multiple locations.
3) Customize and test
Work closely with the selected vendor to customize the kiosk system to match your branding, menu items, and user interface. Thoroughly test the system in a controlled environment to ensure it functions seamlessly and meets your expectations.
The customization and testing phase shines a light on the importance of working with vendors who understand complex integrations and installations. This phase will show if vendors can problem-solve their way through the inevitable challenges that go hand in hand with integrating multiple tech stacks into a single streamlined guest experience.
4) Determine kiosk placement
Strategically plan the placement of kiosks within your restaurants to maximize visibility, accessibility, and flow. Consider factors such as customer traffic patterns, available space, and potential bottlenecks.
The placement of kiosks does impact customer adoption and overall experience, so it’s important to work closely with your individual site operators to monitor the movement and flow of customers prior to installing the kiosk machines. It’s important to note that you may need to run electrical or data cables to their preferred kiosk location, and Kinettix can assist with this.
If your premises are leased, get sign off from your landlord in place prior to installation. It’s often these details that can slow down the installation if they are not factored into the planning process.
5) Staff engagement and training
Train your staff on how to assist customers with using the kiosks, resolving any issues, and handling payments or other customer inquiries that may arise. Ensure they are knowledgeable about the menu, promotions, and the overall ordering process.
Never underestimate the importance of communication with operators at an early stage. Consider putting in place staff incentives to promote the technology once installed. The success of any type of technology rollout is ultimately down to the engagement of staff who are on the front line, interacting with customers. Their engagement creates guest engagement, and ultimately drives revenue growth.
6) Communicate with customers
Display clear signage and instructions near the kiosks to guide customers on how to use them. Provide on-site assistance, if possible, to help customers navigate the ordering process and address any questions or concerns.
The Science Museum in London’s Shake Bar uses a large, brightly colored ‘ORDER HERE’ sign with arrows pointing to the machines, which not only signposts the kiosks but also reinforces the Shake Bar’s colorful branding, helping the visitors spot the site from a distance, even on a busy day.
Work with your vendors to design the user interface of the kiosk system to be intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing. Simplify the ordering process and minimize the number of steps required for customers to place an order.
7) Monitor and iterate
Continuously monitor the performance of the kiosk system and collect feedback from customers and staff. Use the data and insights gathered to make necessary adjustments and improvements to optimize the guest experience.
Getting this technology right typically increases revenue by over 25% and greatly enhances guest experience, so it’s important to keep training your team to get the most out of your kiosks and working with your vendors to see what can be tweaked and optimized, in the same way you tweak and optimize your menus.
By following these steps, you can successfully implement a kiosk self-ordering system that enhances your revenue and improves the customer experience at your restaurants.
If you choose QikServe and Kinettix as your vendors, our support teams will guide you through every step of the onboarding journey, from reviewing the kiosk installation designs to getting started, building your customized store(s) and menu, training your team, and testing your kiosks before they go live.