Self-Service Kiosks: Innovation in the Fast Food Industry

McDonald’s made the decision to introduce self-service kiosks in 2017, they did so with an increased customer experience being the primary focus. By launching self-service kiosks in their restaurants, they were able to minimize human attention for that role and bring more attention to the happiness of their customers.

The outcome of this was a 26% rise in their share price, with McDonald’s ratings being raised and their shares surpassing their market predictions.

Later on, self-service solutions became more integral than ever. The pandemic altered the way customers view convenience and speed, and self-service kiosks made that transition easier. They also played a role in the reopening of restaurants during this time, bringing new innovations into the realm of this industry. 

With the thought of cleanliness in the back of everyone’s minds, these kiosks are often outfitted with contactless payment methods, allowing the customer a touchless experience that doesn’t require typing pins or touching screens. 

While self-service kiosks are expected to retain their popularity and relevance in the distant future, the same is expected for their use with curbside pickup, food trucks, and even autonomous robot restaurants. 

Customers in today’s environment expect in growing quantities a personalized and tailored experience in every aspect of their product and service consumption, with a demand for convenience and speed remaining at an all time high. Self-service options in turn allow for staff to meet customer demands, cater to their needs with recommendations, and provide an overall higher experience during their time in the restaurant. This is shown to increase sales compared to the traditional method of conducting transactions and heightens speed, convenience, and customer service in a ubiquitous and omnipresent way. 

Companies adopting the self-service kiosk into their restaurant experienced a higher level of production amongst staff members in the store. With less of a focus on transaction based processes, workers became ready and able to help customer in a multitude of ways, whether it be recommendations, help with ordering, or bringing food out to customers. 

McDonald’s locations that introduced self-service kiosks also found that their sales were increasing due to a growth in average order size. Long lines became less prevalent at these stores and customers were introduced to a transaction experience that offered suggestions, tips, and more time to order. 

This industry is one that goes through constant innovation and the demands of the consumer are unceasing. Systems considered up to date in previous years are being replaced with modernized kiosks that assimilate into their environment with precision and ease, and older systems are now considered overpriced and out of date compared to their new counterparts.

The future of interactive self-service kiosks will continue to go through innovation as consumer demand for technological advancements increase, and the flexibility and lower price point of new models will serve as one of the many drivers for these innovations in years to come. 

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