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The Key Considerations for Building a Functional Restaurant Ordering Kiosk

In this edition of Acquire Talks, we want to take a deep dive into the world of self-service ordering kiosks with inside knowledge from industry experts on how to properly set-up a self-service ordering program. If you are a quick service restaurant that’s experiencing high demand, long lines, and a hard time hiring qualified employees, you are in the right place.

As quick service restaurants make the transition from a purely take-out model during the pandemic to increased sit-down traffic, many are experiencing difficulties handling the increased demand. In addition, the restaurant industry is seeing a ‘hiring crisis’ of which has never been seen before. As a result, countless restaurants have had to start closing early or opening later.

According to the most recent federal data, U.S. job openings in the accommodation and food service industry increased by 104,000 to reach 761,000. We already know that long waiting lines in a restaurant can be intolerable and can affect online reviews and rankings.

In order to combat the issues facing the food service industry, QSR self-service ordering can solve common issues by:

    1. Reducing the time it takes to place an order.
    2. Lowering overhead by reducing the number of employees needed to service customer orders.
    3. Increasing order size by utilizing cross-selling and upselling features.

    As we take a deeper dive into the world of self-service ordering kiosks, this article will guide you step-by-step on the things you need to consider when building a quick service kiosk.

Defining Objectives for Using a QSR Kiosk

If you have already decided to install a self-service ordering kiosk, the first thing you need to do is to define your objectives. Some of them may include lessening the wait time to place an order, reducing the number of front-of-house staff needed to take orders and payments, or increasing order size and promotion of “specials and food items.”

Self-service kiosks can accomplish all these goals and can be fine-tuned with the help of an expert who will guide you on properly executing a solution that addresses your customers’ needs.

Define the Software Objectives, UX/UI Design and User flow

What customers want is a great user experience. To achieve this, you need to look to your target audience and research who they are, what they need, their problems, and how they can be solved using self-ordering kiosk software.
Neil Farr, CEO of Acquire Digital with over 20 years of experience developing self-service solutions, mentions,

“self-service ordering programs need to put an emphasis on the user flow and UX/UI design to ensure it works for each restaurant.” He goes on to say, “Many restaurants go with an out-of-the-box solution that isn’t tailored towards their customer base. Designing a solution that works for any age group or demographic can be difficult, which is why we spend the extra time up front to understand the restaurant and its customers,” he continues.“I always suggest that the software drive the experience with a user-interface that is easy to use and understand, and a user flow that takes less than 90 seconds to complete an order.”

Similar to online shopping, Acquire’s software focuses on increasing the order size by providing tailored add-ons and recommendations.

Review the Space to Determine the Type of Hardware Needed

Before you install a self-ordering kiosk, you need to know the different hardware options available and determine what works best for your restaurant.

To get a better understanding of some of these options, we sat down with industry expert Edward Roberto from Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.. Frank Mayer and Associates has been at the forefront of self-service ordering kiosks for decades.

  • Countertop Kiosks

    Countertop kiosk units are a popular choice for restaurants looking for a compact solution to preserve valuable floor space. These counter kiosks offer the same features as a floor-standing kiosk but provide a smaller footprint. An added benefit of a smaller countertop unit is that it can afford privacy to users in a setting that might warrant it, like a medical office or during bill payment scenarios.
  • Freestanding Kiosks

    A freestanding kiosk offers impact with its size and is quickly noticed. Because of the larger dimensions, floor kiosks can provide ample space for promotional messaging on a screen when the kiosk is not in use. In addition to many hardware options, these kiosks can also easily integrate ADA-compliant hardware.
  • Tablet Kiosks

    Tablet kiosks allow your customers to place orders, check-in to hotel rooms (if you own a hotel with a restaurant), book gym classes or call a taxi. The kiosks are compatible with most Apple iPad, Pro, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy, and Windows tablets.
  • Other Kiosks

    There are many other options for kiosk design and function. Like countertop kiosks, wall units can also save on space, while simpler floor standing units can be cost-effective if a company doesn’t need added hardware like payment devices or barcode scanners.
  • Component Options

    Payment devices are pretty standard for self-service kiosks, but for the QSR industry, specifically, cash recyclers will be an important consideration. Because consumers use cash in 49 percent of transactions less than $10, QSR restaurants would be smart to invest in cash recycling hardware versus solely offering card payment devices. Without these, cash payers will still need to visit the counter to pay, which defeats the purpose of self-service. Because of high traffic, QSRs will also want to strongly consider ADA devices to serve their entire customer base and allow those with disabilities to interact independently with kiosks. Non-compliance with ADA can open companies to costly lawsuits.
  • Additional Components Available

    Hardware components are compatible with multiple styles of kiosks. Some hardware features include payment card devices, RFID?NFC, terminal printers, and barcode scanners. Options like these can save you and your employees time as well as facilitate upsell opportunities and labor process efficiencies.

In conclusion, quick service restaurants will continue to embrace self-service technology to solve labor shortages, enhance the customer experience, and increase profit margins. With countless kiosk styles and hardware options to choose from, look to reputable software and kiosk companies to guide the wa

To learn more about Acquires suite of tools tailored towards quick-service restaurants, check out theQuick Service Ordering Kioskspage.

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