Ordering kiosks have been around for a while now. It is no secret, that due to the pandemic, this specific self-service ordering system has become even more popular at almost every restaurant out there. Some of the obvious benefits of self-ordering kiosks are that they speed up the ordering process and make you save money on labor. A self-service kiosk acts as a self-ordering POS system that will definitely improve your restaurant’s revenue.
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What is a Food Ordering Kiosk System?
In simple words – a self-ordering kiosk can be a small free-standing physical structure or an iPad that displays the entire menu of your restaurant. A device that will let you order your meal and pay for it. Customers can browse through a digital version of a menu and customize their orders. Many fast-food restaurants have already introduced this type of ordering system to their eateries. More and more independent restaurants are installing ordering kiosks at their venues as well. It has become extremely popular, especially now, because of the pandemic, where an ordering kiosk is considered to be a cost-effective way to reduce face-to-face contact and keep customers safe.
A Self-Service Ordering System for Your Restaurant
If you are a restaurant owner, you should definitely think about installing a self-ordering kiosk at your restaurant. A self-service ordering system that will not only reduce the wait times, but it will also improve order accuracy and put those check sizes on the rise! The screen of an ordering kiosk can be a great marketing tool as well. You will be able to display any additional promotions and sales, so your customers will know about those amazing prices and offers. Introducing a new burger to your menu? A self-ordering kiosk will let the customers know about it once they start building their order.
Give Your Customers a Fully-Customizable Visual Menu and a Self-Service Experience
A self-service ordering system consists of a touchscreen that has an easy-to-use digital interface. The full menu will be displayed on the screen. Yes, we know that not all of the customers are computer savvy, but there is no need to panic! The system will guide each customer through the ordering process. They will be able to build their meal, customize it if needed, and then to make a payment. Each ordering kiosk was designed to provide faster ordering experience. Get rid of those waiting lines that might scare off your customers!
What to Look for When Getting a Self-Ordering Kiosk for Your Restaurant?
Yes, self-service ordering systems bring a lot of benefits for the business but choosing the right one might not be as easy as it seems. Those freestanding or wall-mounted ones that you usually see at chain restaurants, can cost thousands of dollars. They usually call out for special installation. A high-tech ordering kiosk might not be the best idea for those independent restaurants. You might want to take a closer look at tablet-based kiosks that will integrate with the POS system, that already exists in your restaurant. This would be a way better option.
How Does it Work? Some Other Benefits of an Ordering Kiosk
Decrease those awful wait times by introducing a self-ordering kiosk to your restaurant. Let your customers build their orders. Just tap it on the screen, and off it goes! Straight to the kitchen. Once an order has been placed, a satisfied customer may move out of the line and proceed to a designated counter for a pickup. A kiosk or a tablet with a visual menu will definitely decrease the miscommunication which sometimes occurs when ordering food with a server. What is more, the kitchen will avoid wasting time on preparing those unwanted dishes. Customer will know what the dish looks like before ordering it, so there should not be any complaints.
Toast – an Overall Self-Serve Kiosk for Small Restaurant Businesses
If you are not sure which self-service ordering system would fit your business, we have prepared few options for you to choose from. Toast is one of them. It is a software that is perfect for the food service industry. The hardware – which are tablets with an intuitive touchscreen, are spill-proof, so you will avoid any damage in case of an unexpected soda spill. The pricing varies. You will need to get a baseline POS (with a monthly fee – depending on options you choose and the size of your restaurant business), tablets, terminal, kitchen printer, receipt printer and cash drawer. You also need to pay an installation fee, which starts at $499. It might seem like a lot, with all the devices needed and with those small fees per each transaction, but it will definitely pay off.
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Take a Closer Look at TouchBistro
TouchBistro is another awesome solution for business owners, who want to introduce a self-ordering option at their restaurants. TouchBistro operates on iPads. The baseline POS price varies anywhere from $69 to even $300 per month. The company does not list their prices online, so you might need to book an appointment with a representative in order to get a full list of their prices and see different options. Monthly fees may also vary. Do not get discouraged at first. You might need to invest a bit, but it will get back to you sooner than you think!
Lightspeed – a Perfect Fit for Hotels and Co-Working Spaces
Lightspeed Restaurant is a POS system that also operates on iPads. It can work in two modes. A kiosk mode, where customers can place their orders at a free-standing kiosk and a table mode, which allows customers to use the tablets, that are placed at the tables. Clients can order whatever they want and make a payment using their credit or debit card. If someone wants to pay by cash, they would need to proceed to a cashier.
OrderUp! A Low-Cost Self-Service Ordering System
This platform is definitely the most cost-effective one for small restaurants. Monthly fees are not as high, and there are no set up or installation fees. It can work with iOS and Android tablets, which is great, but the system cannot work offline. If you encounter some internet outages, then the system goes down as well. You can add those awesome pictures of the food to the menu, but the layout is not very customizable. You can get a 15-day free trial and see if the system would meet your needs and expectations.
XPR POS for Cash Payments
A self-ordering kiosk at your restaurant will definitely help you reduce the labor costs, but you would still need human cashiers for those customers, who want to pay with cash. XPR POS offers you a solution to that as well. They have kiosks that can process cash payments without a cashier. You still need to hire some people, just to be around and help the customers with any issues, but you can significantly reduce the number of employees. This highly recommended system has many cool features, like nutrition information, that can attract customers attention. The cash processing kiosk is just an option. It is a custom kiosk, so you might need to pay a bit more for that. XPR POS is considered to be one of those pricey self-ordering systems, but definitely a highly secure one.
What Are Some Other Alternatives?
There are many different Point-of-Sale Platforms that feature those highly recognizable QR codes. A contactless ordering and payment functions that can be made by using your smartphone. Even though self-ordering kiosks require no-people contact, some customers are still a bit skeptical about those highly-touch surfaces. Using your phone seems like the safest way. There is no need to worry though – most self-ordering kiosks are easy to disinfect, and the employees always make sure to follow all the safety measurements. A hand sanitizing gel is placed at the self-ordering kiosk as well, so you can use it once you are done placing your order.
Let us Take a Closer Look at Pros and Cons of a Self-Service Ordering System
The biggest advantage of a self-service kiosk is that it will cut down the wait lines. You will be able to lower your labor costs as well. What is more, restaurants that have already introduced self-ordering kiosks, experienced an increase in sales. If we want to focus on disadvantages, then we have to mention the total cost of such a self-ordering kiosk. The total installation may go up to $5000, plus those monthly fees. The biggest cost is at the very beginning, when you have to invest in hardware and software. But once it is all done, you will be able to see those lifts in sales!
Whether you own a bigger restaurant, or run a small eatery, you might want to consider installing a self-ordering kiosk. This innovative method will definitely boost your income and make your business run smoothly. What is more, a self-service kiosk software that is fully integrated with your POS system will help you improve your service and optimize the general workflow of your restaurant.