Self-Order Kiosks for an Old-World Market
Read the Altomonte's’s case study here.
By Richard Slawsky | Contributing writer KioskMarketplace.com
NEXTEP SYSTEMS, based in Troy, Michigan, is the leading provider of foodservice technology for restaurants, airports, corporate foodservice, grocery stores, and educational facilities. Founded in 2005, NEXTEP provides the industry’s only complete restaurant technology platform including cloud based Point of Sale, Self Order Kiosks, Online & Smartphone Ordering, Dynamic Menu Displays™, The World’s Fastest Drive Thru™, and tablet-based ordering.
Altomonte’s Italian Market & Delicatessen has been serving customers in southeast Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. Family-owned Altomonte’s offers Italian lunch meats, cheeses, baked goods and groceries as well as a full line of salads, sandwiches, soups and more from its stores in Doylestown and Warminster, Penn. The company’s roasted pork and beef sandwiches use only the best cuts of meats, seasoned, tied and roasted on premises, all served on crusty Italian bread baked fresh daily in Altomonte’s own bakery. The store has been voted “Best Deli” in the Bucks-Mont area of Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia) for more than 10 years running.
Altomonte’s deli features more than 150 varieties of cheeses and 100 different meats. Combined with an assortment of breads as well as add-ons such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions and hot or sweet peppers and spreads including mayonnaise and olive oil, the possibilities with Altomonte’s sandwich and hoagie menu are endless. Unfortunately, such an extensive menu often meant backups in the ordering process and problems with pricing.
“Our menu is so extensive we’ve had issues in the past with things being priced correctly,” said Altomonte’s assistant general manager, Bob Carter. “One customer may be charged one price and the next customer orders the same thing and is charged a different price.”
That, of course, led to inconsistency in food costs as well as customers who were less than pleased with being charged different prices for the same item. The company was also looking for a way to simplify and improve the ordering process.
“We were also trying to address some of the problems we were having in trying to upsell and looking for a way to make everything more streamlined,” Carter said.
To address the company’s concerns, in mid-2013 Altomonte’s installed a solution developed by Troy, Mich.-based NEXTEP SYSTEMS in both of its locations. The solution consists of NEXTEP’s Order Management System, a freestanding self-order kiosk and separate printers for hot and cold sandwiches.
The software running the kiosks offers complete menu support, including options for heavy or light dressings, value meals and dayparting as well as pricing for individual ingredients. Despite the complexity of Altomonte’s menu, NEXTEP’s software handles it with ease, eliminating pricing consistency issues and improving customer satisfaction.
The self-order kiosks include a complete touchscreen ordering system, allowing customers to place their orders with no assistance required. When a customer receives their prepared sandwich they also receive a receipt with a barcode. They then use that receipt to pay at the grocery checkout.
“Because the system is self-contained, it wasn’t necessary for Altomonte’s to go through the process of integrating it with the store’s point of sale system, which could have cost tens of thousands of dollars,” said Tommy Woycik, NEXTEP SYSTEMS president. “The process is seamless to the customer.”
In addition, the intuitive nature of the system meant little training was required.
“From the employee standpoint, it’s pretty much self-explanatory,” Carter said. “It was the same from the customer side. Everyone picked it up pretty well.”
Altomonte’s processes approximately 100 orders per day via the selforder kiosks at an average of $9.30 per order. Customers spend about 50 seconds placing their orders, with the time from ordering to fulfillment taking about seven minutes, even during peak hours.
The performance of the kiosks has been such that Altomonte’s is considering expanding NEXTEP’s solution to the deli counter. NEXTEP’s Deli 1-2-3® solution provides a comprehensive ordering and fulfillment solution for deli operations.
The suite includes touchscreen self-order kiosks, Employee Ordering Stations, Order Management Systems, Order Status Monitors, online ordering, smartphone ordering and optional tablets for deli associates. The solution remembers previous orders, suggests new and complementary items and can even text customers when their orders are complete while they continue to shop, reducing congestion at the deli counter.
One of the key features of the package, Carter said, is the support provided by NEXTEP in making the system perform as desired.
“It’s been great,” he said. “They’ve been awesome to work with.”
About the sponsor: NEXTEP SYSTEMS, based in Troy, Michigan, is the leading provider of foodservice technology for restaurants, airports, corporate foodservice, grocery stores, and educational facilities. Founded in 2005, NEXTEP provides the industry’s only complete restaurant technology platform including cloud based Point of Sale, Self Order Kiosks, Online & Smartphone Ordering, Dynamic Menu Displays™, The World’s Fastest Drive Thru™, and tablet-based ordering.