The Benefits and Challenges of Self-Service Kiosks in The Restaurant Industry

Considering the nightmare-inducing couple of years the food and beverage industry has encountered recently, going contactless has been incredibly beneficial for many restaurant owners.

With fewer interactions with others, not having to queue in long lines, and not having your order judged by your server, self-service technology has been a blessing to customers and workers alike. 

More noticeably, technological advancements have implemented self-service kiosks, enabling customers to place food or retail orders without engaging with a staff member. However, it can also bring challenges despite the benefits of transitioning from a traditional restaurant to a self-service one. 

Many things can go wrong, from user management problems to square reader connection issues while getting used to new technology. Therefore, restaurant owners need to know what they’re getting themselves into before investing in self-service kiosks; we explore some of the main benefits and challenges of them below

Disadvantages of Self-Service Kiosks 

Although the advantages of self-service kiosks outweigh the disadvantages, it is still essential to be aware of what you (and your loyal customers) could be up against. 

Connectivity Issues 

One of the most common issues you might run into while using a self-service kiosk in your restaurant is connectivity issues, whether with your Wi-Fi provider or with the payment provider for your kiosks. Especially if you’ve opted for a self-service kiosk solution like Kiosk Buddy, you might experience an issue where your kiosk looks like it’s connected. 

Still, the payment option might not be displayed. Fortunately, this can easily be rectified by following the how-to guides on their website.

Whether you are experiencing square reader issues or a problem with your general connectivity, you can find various solutions on their blog that can help you rectify the situation as quickly as it begins.

Replacing Physical Workers 

Another area you might need help with while using self-service kiosks in your establishment is workers concerned about the security of their jobs.

Unfortunately, despite the usefulness of automated machinery, many workers feel threatened when implemented at their workplace because they can do their jobs more efficiently. 

However, if limiting the number of physical workers in your establishment is the goal, self-service kiosks can be handy for streamlining your number of employees.

Bear in mind that many customers prefer human interaction to self-service. Some might even be put off your establishment if they feel it is becoming too technology-focused, so ensure that you also please these customers too.

Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks  

The benefits of self-service kiosks are far more than their cons. Many of these pros are often the influencing factor why restaurants take a greater interest in investing in self-service kiosks.

Reduces The Scale for Human Error 

No matter the industry, human error is one of the biggest causes of mistakes and data breaches.

Whether an employee didn’t get enough sleep after their shift the previous night and accidentally pressed the wrong button on the till, or whether they forgot to clean up a spillage. As a result, another staff member slips and hurts themselves. A variety of things can go wrong because of human error. 

Implementing self-service kiosks can reduce the number of human errors made since the customer oversees their own order, and machines are more reliable for consistency. They help reduce the number of mistakes made and increase customer satisfaction since they’re more likely to get the correct order each time. 

Upselling Opportunities 

Another benefit of self-service kiosks is that they make it easier for your food business to profit from upselling. Although you might encourage your employees to upsell wherever they can, not all customers will appreciate the upsell, and during busy times they may even forget to upsell. 

Whereas self-service kiosks always present the customer with an upselling option. It could something as small as increasing the size of their meal for a slightly increased fee, or asking if they’d like to upgrade their regular fries to loaded fries. 

Due to this, customers are more likely to overorder when using a self-service kiosk by 30% because of the privacy granted by a kiosk. Not only this, but they can also be encouraged to overorder by viewing their past order history or by personalized suggestions.

Read also: 4 Tips for Increasing the Efficiency of Your Restaurant

Reduces Wait Times 

One of the top complaints in restaurants is because of the wait time. This delay can sometimes be because of the ordering process since the customer must tell the cashier what they want, wait for it to be rung up, repeat it to them, and then pay for it. 

In contrast, when they use a self-service kiosk, they can order and pay for their items in a matter of seconds. While they do this, the staff can focus on preparing the order for the customer and other areas to make for a more efficient dining experience.

There you have the benefits, and challenges, of self-service kiosks in the restaurant industry. Some of these points might help your decision-making.

As a restaurant owner, you need to know what you're getting into before investing in self-service kiosks. Here are the pros and cons: