Once met with initial skepticism, self-service ordering kiosks have now seamlessly woven themselves into the fabric of the hospitality sector. Contrary to concerns about their impact on human roles, these kiosks are proving to be catalysts for positive change. Rather than replacing human touch, they are empowering staff to redirect their focus towards tasks that significantly enhance the overall guest experience. This integration of technology and human expertise not only dispels fears of job displacement but also propels the hospitality industry towards a future marked by enhanced efficiency and a richer customer journey.
The Kiosk Market at a Glance
- The global kiosk market was valued at $22.47 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach $51.27 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
What does the customer think?
- Over 65% of quick-service customers opting for kiosk-based ordering over traditional ordering systems.
- 56% of diners admit their patience wanes after waiting in line for 5 minutes to order food.
The benefits to restaurants:
- Increase in revenue: Interactions at kiosks often lead customers to spend 10% to 30% more.
- Increased order accuracy
- Customization options: Approximately 47% of diners say they would use self-service technology, such as a QSR kiosk, to customize their orders.
- Labor Cost Savings: According to the latest industry statistics, restaurant owners can save up to $6,000 per month on labor per kiosk.
- Increased revenue: Restaurants that add self-ordering kiosks can see a 5–6% increase in sales. Some say that kiosks can generate orders that are 30% higher in value than orders placed in person.
- Improved customer experience
- Upselling more: 30% increase in upsells
- Increased loyalty and promotion: Up to 21%
Case Study: Chopt Creative Salad Co. Grows Revenue & Efficiency with Bite Kiosks are doubling down on kiosks:
A pivotal case study that significantly impacted the industry revolves around Chopt's strategic implementation of Bite. Renowned for its fast-casual dining and focus on salads and health-conscious options, Chopt undertook a transformative journey to elevate its digital ordering and pickup experience, particularly catering to digital-only concepts.
Despite witnessing a surge in digital sales, Chopt recognized the need for a dedicated digital ordering and pickup system to address operational challenges within their stores and seize the opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction. In response to these challenges, Bite emerged as the optimal solution, perfectly aligning with Chopt's specific requirements.
“We’re at the point that every QSR and fast casual brand should test kiosk and understand how it can work for their business - this is no longer a nice to have category as customers are opting for kiosk over other ordering methods.” - Brandon Barton, CEO at Bite
The partnership began in 2021, and since then, they have continuously worked together to refine the user experience and strengthen integrations. Currently, Chopt has Bite kiosks deployed in 13 restaurants across five states.
The partnership with Bite has yielded significant results for Chopt Salad:
1. Revenue Growth: The Bite kiosks are now responsible for generating 30-40% of revenue at digital-only locations, demonstrating their effectiveness in driving sales.
2. Increased Sales per Order: Chopt Salad has observed a 5-10% higher sales per entree through kiosk orders compared to in-store orders placed with cashiers. This indicates that Bite kiosks have not only streamlined the ordering process but have also contributed to upselling.
3. Efficiency and Speed: The direct integration between Bite and Chopt Salad's custom Kitchen Display System has proven highly efficient, keeping ticket times under 5 minutes for kiosk orders. This speed ensures a prompt and satisfying customer experience.
4. Brand Introduction: Most importantly, the partnership with Bite has enabled Chopt to introduce new customers to their brand, emphasizing food quality and menu customizability without requiring a full front-of-house service line. This enhanced guest experience fosters brand loyalty and customer retention.
Big Brands that are doubling down on kiosks:
In the realm of innovative dining experiences, McDonald's, a pioneer in the fast-food industry, initiated kiosk ordering experiments as far back as 2003, ultimately achieving full integration of this technology across its U.S. outlets by 2020. Simultaneously, Taco Bell mirrored this commitment to modernized customer service by unveiling a kiosk-only location in NYC. The store has 10 self-service digital menu kiosks and customers can also order ahead through the e-commerce site
Shake Shack, known for its emphasis on quality ingredients and contemporary dining, strategically embraced kiosk integration in nearly all its locations. This forward-thinking move translated into a substantial revenue boost, with reported earnings reaching an impressive $271.8 million. Reflecting the broader industry trend, Burger King, responding to evolving labor dynamics and shifting consumer preferences, witnessed a paradigm shift in its sales landscape, with over half of its 2022 sales stemming from digital platforms. In a recent report Josh Kobza, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, Burger King's owner said that 14% of Burger King's orders were placed digitally in the quarter, up more than 40% year-on-year, but the figure was 28% at company-operated restaurants with kiosks.
These industry leaders highlight the undeniable potential and growing preference for kiosk-based ordering.