Is your favorite fast food restaurant actually fast? Surprisingly, sales growth at quick service restaurants (QSRs) is slowing, driven by changing consumer attitudes and demands as it relates to convenience, efficiency and personalization. Traffic growth at QSR restaurants in 2016 was flat, leaving QSR operators grappling with challenges to increase sales and increase customer footpath to restaurants’ dine-in space.
It is time that the entire quick service industry addresses these changes head-on to not only improve the customer experience, but also to improve overall efficiency, encourage greater spending, and propel their restaurants into the future. The solution for this is simpler than you might think – self-service kiosks.
QSRs are increasingly turning to kiosks to address these issues as they both improve operational efficiencies and the overall customer experience. The global market for self-service kiosks, excluding ATMs and vending solutions, totaled $5.2 billion in 2015 and is expected to expand at a 10.7 percent compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2024, rising to a valuation of $12.8 billion.
Here are the three ways that the kiosk will change quick service restaurants as we know it.
- Kiosks improve operational efficiency and improve the ordering process. While counter service will never totally go away, it will assume a new role with the integration of kiosks. Counter service will become a special service, while the kiosk will serve as the primary method of order-taking. This will free up time for employees to offer personalized experiences and to assume higher-value responsibilities, such as addressing client requests and facilitating the use of the kiosks. Further, kiosks are easier to maintain, do not require training, and streamline the overall order-taking process.
- Kiosks influence purchasing decisions. According to industry experts, the average check for orders placed at a kiosk is 15 to 20 percent higher than orders at traditional checkout systems. Since customers are more autonomous with their decisions, purchases are indirectly increased and combination deals are earlier to sell. Through personalization, kiosks can offer customers better deals that makes sense for their individual needs.
- Consumers will eventually prefer to use kiosks over the traditional way to order at QSRs. Kiosks are intuitive to use, and often, customers feel less pressure because of time and options that kiosks provide. By having the ability to customize options and confirm order accuracy, this drives greater satisfaction with the overall customer experience. It’s estimated that the use of kiosks will increase by 50 percent in the next five years. QSRs can incentivize customers to make the switch by offering special offers, or even close the counter tills themselves. Eventually, this process will lead to a seamless, quicker experience for both the customer and the QSR from end-to-end.
Technology is changing the way we approach all areas of life, and QSRs are no different. Leaders in the space on a global scale, including McDonald’s, have already highlighted the importance of kiosks as a way to modernize and improve the restaurant experience, and many are following suit.
At Diebold Nixdorf, we believe that it is critical for QSRs to be thinking about the future customer’s experience in order to secure and maintain long-term success and loyalty. Our award-winning and leading solutions, including the K-two and Easy eXpress, are helping to address today’s issues, while we work together to develop tomorrow’s experience.