The Self-Order-System or Kiosk is a powerful tool, designed to improve the overall customer experience like speed of service and comfort, while bringing significant advantages to the owner, like an increased average check and the capacity to serve more customers within the same timeframe.
The most important part is to develop and implement an operational process to handle pre-ordered and pre-paid orders independently from preparation and pick-up.
The Kiosk is perfectly suited to resolve issues rose when queues form continuously or during peak times. Rather than losing customers who do not want to queue, the kiosk allows people to order for themselves to gain time while raising the average amount spent and giving you the opportunity to upsell.
A Kiosk project will be significantly different from brand to brand. Even if the concept remains the same, the implementation details have to suit a local- and brand-related context. A pilot has to deal with a high workload to adapt to new concepts, fiscal and legal regulations and operational processes to interface POS-Systems, Payments-systems, etc.
The process – easy to use and fully integrated
Kiosks offer several additional ordering points to shorten queues at the counter and increase service capacity. The Self-Order-System communicates with the existing IT infrastructure while seamlessly integrating into your daily operations to speed up the ordering process to offer your staff and your customers a 100% positive and stress-free experience in 3 simple steps.
Step #1: Customers place their orders with the help of a staff member. Thanks to their well-chosen location inside the restaurant and their simple interface, Kiosk is fun to use and quickly become usual by queues at the counter.
Step #2: The Kiosk sends the order to all kitchen screens (KVS, Assembly) located at the collecting point while payment is being processed. Orders are called up and managed using a bump bar similar to the drive system.
Step #3: By the time customers have completed order payment and moved to the collecting point, the order has been prepared by your Counter Staff and is ready to be handed out, upon presentation of the receipt.
The Store set up
It is critical that the Kiosks are placed wisely in the Store or Restaurant.
In addition to the placement of the Self-Order-Systems the customer adoption depends on three key factors:
Localization-related – in example: stores with regular customers will adopt Kiosks faster than a transit store (like in railway stations)
Cultural-related – in example: customer’s previous experiences with unattended systems or electronic cash.
Provided services – in example: mandatory payment on the Self-Order-System, table service, onsite help from crew member, etc.
My top 5 for proper Kiosk placement
#1 Place it in the flow
The Systems should be placed on the customer’s natural way from the entry to the counter.
#2 Place it close to the counter
The Systems should be placed close to the counter in the queuing zone of the customers.
#3 Make the whole process visible
The Pick-Up point should be visible from the Self-Order-Systems to provide orientation to the customer.
#4 Allow the customer some ordering space
The Self-Order-Systems should provide the customer personal space to order undisturbed.
#5 Support the process with clear signage
The Systems as well as the Pick-Up point should be marked clearly to support customer effectively.
The Software: The key of acceptance
The software to run a Kiosk could be easily ranked as #1 priority. The software need to be flexible enough to support all actual and future possible combinations like menus with three, four or five choices; suggestive sales; add-on sales, promotion highlighting; coupons over barcode or NFC; etc., etc., etc.
The Kiosk-Software and the POS-Software should always be seen as different systems. The Kiosk-Software should always be driven by customer needs and workflows, whereas trained staff uses the POS-Software to enhance ordering speed.
My top 6 for the Software
#1 Let Marketing design it
The Kiosk is like the POP communicating directly with the customer. Therefore marketing should lead the design part of the project.
#2 Build a customer orientated workflow
The ordering flow of Kiosk-Systems should follow the customer way to order. Please do not try to copy the POS flow.
#3 Implement new services
The software should allow you to configure additional service concepts like table service or a later pick-up.
#4 Separate pictures from text
The software should be able to handle pictures or animations different from text. This makes it a lot easier to adopt different languages.
#5 Sold out vs. not available
As already discussed in the DMB blog, the software should be configurable in the store to mark items sold-out (greyed for Standard products) or not available (disappear for promotional products).
#6 Local data and Central maintenance
The software should be able to import prices from local POS, handle day parts automatically and allow central maintenance as well as the central distribution of data.
The Hardware – reliable and iconic
The Hardware is as individual as the brand that runs the Kiosk. From the design point of view the Hardware has major design requirements mostly driven by the CI and the interior designer. Some keywords about this:
Pick up the store design – the selected hardware should pick up the store design as well as the CI. If it looks like a foreign body in the Store the customer could be confused and use the secure way by ordering at the counter.
Stable, reliable, robust – The Hardware used for the Kiosk-System are unattended and not under control from staff and management. Therefore the Hardware must be as robust as possible and designed to address all possible missuses by the customer and crew. Tasks like the change of printer paper need to be actively alerted by the Hardware to the counter / office.
My top 5 for the Hardware
#1 Printer, printer, printer
The printer needs to be selected very carefully. This is the most critical part, causing most of the problems.
#2 No keys, buttons or holes
The System should be designed to avoid open buttons or keyholes to avoid misuse by customers.
#3 Integrate Barcode- and/or NFC readers
The system should be delivered with an integrated barcode / NFC reader to accept coupons, mobile-orders, etc.
#4 Cable from ceiling
It is critical that the necessary cabling to the System is delivered from the ceiling. Makes re-location easier.
#5 Use metal housings
To avoid broken housings or ugly worn paintings select metal housings with reliable paintings.
Especially designed for Kiosk-Systems – the Pick Up Board is an innovative complement to the service concept of Kiosk-Systems. The Pick-Up-Board is a combination of different Hard- and Software components.
The main purpose of the Pick-Up-Board is to show the customer that here is the intended Pick-Up-Point for orders coming from the Kiosk.
Based on the needs of the owner there are different versions of a Pick-Up-Point available. The No-Screen-Version is only a sign, guiding the customer to the Pick-Up-Point. The Single-Screen-Version has one screen facing to the staff and showing them the open orders from the Self-Order-Systems. The Double-Screen-Version adds a screen for the customer where he/she can see the orders – ready for Pick-Up or in an enhanced version – orders in preparation.
That’s it for Kiosk. I hope you liked it. Feel free to comment. Thanks a lot for reading.