Lettuce, Tomato, Privacy: How Kiosk Ordering Reinforces Patron Confidence
We have all been there: in line to place a food order and having difficulty deciding, when suddenly, a line of hungry patrons stacks up behind you. Speed and efficiency are critical when it comes to fulfilling food orders, but what happens when a patron feels rushed or undecided? They might not have the best experience and lack empowerment to return. Now, imagine the experience placing your order using a self-service kiosk, fully in control of customizing your order at your own pace.
Anyone who has interacted with a kiosk knows they can customize their order without feeling overwhelmed, rushed, or judged by other people nearby. They can take an extra moment to scan the menu or delve into details such as nutrition information. By offering this self-order option, restaurateurs can empower guests to move at a more comfortable pace, ask fewer questions of servers and staff, and can order and pay freely.
Here are some ways that kiosks reinforce patron confidence and increase repeat business….
Sometimes, we craft the best masterpieces by mixing different flavors and foods. Imagine a patron creates the perfect lunch combo and has a chance to order it often without going through the full customization every time.
Many kiosks, namely the NEXTEP Kiosks, can use a guest’s phone number or email (when they opt in) to look up previous orders. In just a few taps on the screen, the guest orders, and it’s off to the kitchen. This level of convenience is nearly impossible when ordering from a crew member at the counter, for instance.
You know the saying, “time is money”. Well, it really is in the restaurant industry. Kiosks save time and money by streamlining the ordering process and saving employees time. In addition, those add-ons that we mentioned earlier also add up in terms of revenue. Patrons are more likely to select these when interacting with a screen versus quickly glancing at a menu when speaking with the cashier. Patrons save time and get exactly what they want when using kiosks. This cuts down on lines and wait times for everyone, and may even increase revenue by avoiding patrons walking away when they see a long line during peak dining hours.
Empowered Staff and Turnover Reduction
Right now, reducing the rate of staff turnover is critical during this labor shortage. We’ve all been there, working with a frustrated patron with 50 questions and without their coffee. Traditionally, front-line staff multitask in addition to interacting with guests. Placing the repetitive and transactional tasks of ordering and payment in the hands of the guest frees up the crew member to do more fulfilling guest service tasks. These include walking food orders out to tables or serving as a sort of ‘concierge’ to help guests who are new to using a kiosk discover the interface and see how easy it really is. Plus, when guests place their own order, they have the opportunity to review it. This tends to improve order accuracy and avoid errors that can result from spoken order miscommunications.
When kiosks augment staff, crew members can be ‘upskilled’, avoid some of the multitasking, and find greater job satisfaction. They can focus on providing the best experience for patrons. Communication is streamlined from the kiosk to the kitchen. Morale improves.
Judgement Free Zone
A kiosk doesn’t eavesdrop when a guest up-sizes their fries or decides to make 20 different modifications to a coffee. Instead, the experience offers a silent dialogue between the patron and the kiosk, making ordering a private experience.
Make Ordering Fun
Kiosks bring on an interactive experience that traditional ordering could not. Restaurateurs can craft a well designed interface (NEXTEP offers a team of kiosk user interface experts who can help!) to make the ordering process more exciting and build out their brand. This includes adding colorful and informative images, which makes food items easier to identify and visually entices hungry guests. There is also a more strategic narrative associated with kiosks: the ability to steer guests to menu items that have a higher profit margin or are faster to make, especially during the busier times.
Restaurant Marketing Reimagined
A lot of times, we see new food items advertised that we would like to try, but forget what they are when faced with a giant menu board and a hurried cashier. That new breakfast sandwich you saw on the billboard yesterday is now a distant memory.
A kiosk can be a continuation of your out-of-restaurant marketing and ad campaign, enabling the restaurant to promote new or limited-time-offers. The kiosk can track guest behaviors and the patron ordering journey. These analytics can help with future campaigns and menu creations.
Accessibility for All
Traditional countertops are not always accessible and may prevent patrons from ordering their food with ease. Restaurants can provide an added layer of accessibility with kiosks. NEXTEP kiosks can quickly adjust the height of menus for anyone seated or standing with just a tap on the screen. The display colors can change to black and white with deep contrast levels to assist with vision impairments. There are also features that use voice assistance. For example, when a patron clicks on a menu item, the kiosk can read it back to them as confirmation of their selection.
Bye Bye, Bacteria
Touch something that perhaps dozens of people have touched, right before using my hands to eat? No thank you. We now live in a world that is hyper aware of sanitation and cleanliness. The latest NEXTEP kiosks have touchless features that allow patrons to order without physically touching the screen’s surface. In addition, other NEXTEP kiosks have UV self cleaning features that clean the screens between uses.
Kiosks are here to stay and are rising in popularity each year. Many restaurants and hospitality groups have found success with these platforms. Our NEXTEP products even save previous orders, making ordering and payment even faster and easier on subsequent visits. With thousands of kiosks implemented across North America, NEXTEP is revolutionizing the way kiosks are used in the restaurant industry.
Contact NEXTEP to learn more.