Welcome to the future, with lines of people using phones and machines to complete their food orders and machines in the kitchen preparing the food that we eat. How did we get here?
The impetus began with the increase in wages for employees. Businesses need to maintain their margins and the only way to do so is to eliminate as much human involvement as possible. Less head count means lower labor costs. Customers are being encouraged to use their phones to order for drive-thru and use kiosks away from the queue line in the restaurant to reduce the amount of human involvement. And why not – it reduces the lines inside, speeds service in the back of the house, and helps the restaurant control the size and cost of restaurant staff.
Kiosks solve for a handful of emerging restaurant issues, but if you are only thinking about kiosks as an operational efficiency solution, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage your customer, optimize their experience, and significantly enhance your margins. But, kiosks are not for every customer. In fact, some can be confused by the various screens they need to navigate to place their order. Those customers need your assistance – either by returning to the queue line to place their order in a traditional fashion, or by being influenced by your other communication mediums. That’s where the Digital Menu Boards work their magic.
As you introduce kiosks, lines may initially be longer than you anticipated due to the customers’ lack of familiarity with the new technology. Sure, it’s great to get the technology as simple and efficient as possible, but it does take time to work that out and train your customers. Digital Menu Boards serve a dual support purpose by influencing the customers using the kiosks, as well as providing ordering options for those waiting in line to place their orders. Not only is it crucial to provide digital menus to help your “old school” customers with their orders, but intelligent, data-driven Digital Menu Board content will re-engage your kiosk customers and keep them entertained if they choose to drop back into the ordering line.
By providing a cohesive ordering experience, linking customer loyalty, dayparting, and using suggestive upsell to the digital menus and kiosks, your customer will be influenced by the story the brand is trying to tell and the products that they are most interested in selling to the customer. Additionally, they will be entertained during the increased length of the order process by the beautifully orchestrated content that they see on the Digital Menu Boards.
As we see more and more brands consider kiosk ordering, we must understand the limitations and problems with kiosk ordering and consider the opportunity for Digital Menu Boards to serve a dual purpose – working as a support mechanism for the kiosk ordering solution, and driving additional revenue through suggestive selling!
The future has arrived…