Self-Service Kiosks: Not Just for Restaurants!

Published on
August 2, 2021
Thor Turrecha
EVP of SaaS
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As technology progresses with time, we see a lot of restaurants embrace self-ordering kiosks. These happily cut long lines and wait times, especially for customers who come for the “fast” part of fast food.

Some are apprehensive that kiosks pose threats to jobs and decrease the value of face-to-face interaction. But despite the criticism, innovators strongly believe that kiosks will help empower customers and streamline business operations to move forward with the times. Besides allowing physical distancing measures to be implemented, kiosks give customers the choice to go contactless and action at their own pace. 

When McDonald’s rolled out self service kiosks in its US stores in 2015, they were able to give customers more control over their orders. “Create Your Taste” touch screen kiosks helped the fast food chain lift its sales by 5%-6% during the first year. Although they replaced cashiers, they were able to efficiently serve customers, whilst letting their staff focus on more important roles like concierges or table service. They end up engaging with customers more, and enable a better dining experience.

Other than the lift in sales, McDonald’s also experiences an enhanced process of taking orders. Kiosks accurately capture what you want – and ultimately, don’t judge if you order a Big Mac and 12-piece nuggets with 3 large Cokes all to yourself.

Whilst these benefits are enjoyed by restaurants like McDonald’s, other industries may experience the same, too.

Retail 

Shoppers can explore the entire product catalogue on their own, and checkout items without the need for staff assistance.

Ordering kiosks even allow them to customise products to their desired colours, designs, and accessories – making shopping a bit more personalised and fun.

Equip the kiosk with secure payment systems or QR codes, in which customers can transfer their digital cart to a personal mobile device, for payment at their own leisure. 

Schools

The education sector also makes use of kiosks, allowing students to interact and access information on programs, classes, or schedules, get campus maps, and purchase books.

In 2017, the city of San Diego introduced a “24/7 Library To Go” initiative in their public libraries that provides members with access to hundreds of materials — in the format of a convenient vending machine. 

Healthcare

Patients and visitors can get served faster through touchscreen triage kiosks – capturing their information, facilitating better queuing, and connecting them with the right healthcare service.

This reduces costs of printed forms, administrative staff, and expensive medical errors.

Equip the kiosk with temperature sensors, detecting unwell patients so they can be served quickly by on-site staff.

Banks

ATMs are among the best self-order machines that exist, but instead of ordering food, cash can be accessed without the need of any staff. 

Similarly like Healthcare, in-branch self-service kiosks for Banks can help clients get in queue, connecting them with the right customer service agent. 

Airports and Hotels

Instead of waiting in line just to get checked-in to a flight, travellers can do it themselves with self check-in kiosks strategically positioned at airports.

In busy hotels, guests can also get the same front desk service through self-service kiosks. They can even choose to get upgrades or special requests, minus the long queues.

Earlier this year, Marriott International introduced contactless kiosks in their chain of hotels, allowing guests who prefer low-contact interactions to check-in and out by themselves. Besides giving guests the comfort of choice, the kiosk also utilizes antimicrobial technology that is baked-in the touchscreen glass. This means screens are kept clean and hygienic, protecting guests from possible bacterial contagion often associated with touchscreens. 

Kiosks can even enhance engagement in casinos and the leisure industry, or be used for job search, queue and visitor management, and a lot more.

It’s becoming a do-it-yourself world, and self-ordering kiosks are becoming a necessary tool for us to have more empowered digital experiences.

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