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Pros & Cons of Self-Service Kiosks

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COVID-19 has created an environment that has required many small businesses to adapt and evolve in order to survive. Tools such as self-service kiosks that enable the automation of simple processes and allow for faster communication and easier interactions are one such adaptation that has helped small businesses across a range of industries to not just survive, but thrive.   Today we will look at the pros and cons of self-checkout kiosks and how they can increase revenue and customer satisfaction while lowering costs.


Pros of Self-Service Kiosks 

Self-service kiosks often wow customers with their speed and ability to build customized orders. With seamless integrations for CRM and loyalty programs, customers won’t feel like they’re getting a lesser experience. Instead, they are greeted with an experience they’re used to, completed at their own pace.

When placing an order using a self-service kiosk, customers aren’t rushed to complete their order and can confidently skip the line. According to Tillster’s 2019 self-service kiosk survey, if the traditional line to the cashier reaches four or more people, customers prefer to order from self-service kiosks instead. Helping reduce lines during your busiest hours can help cut down on labor costs and keep customers happy. And as customers opt to maintain six inches of distance between each other while waiting, kiosks can help prevent out-the-door lines and keep transactions brief. 

If you’re interested in opening up a new revenue stream for your business, these kiosks also give restaurants the ability to open self-service grab-and-go selections on site that are completely self-guided. 


Putting Control Back in Customers’ Hands 

According to Tillster, more than 65% of customers said that if self-service kiosks were offered, they would make more return trips. When lines are of equal length, 30% of those customers said that they’d prefer to order from a kiosk over a cashier. As customer preferences shift to focus on speed and convenience, more and more restaurants are shifting their investments to technology that accommodates these preferences. 

As COVID-19 continues to impact the hospitality industry, self-service kiosks also present customers with an intuitive, tech-friendly option that often feels safer and limits human-to-human interaction. Customers are given the keys to control the ordering process, empowering them to patronize your business during times of uncertainty. 

Acknowledging Customer Preferences

Not all customer preferences are equal, however. Although there has been an unmistakable uptick in the use of self-service kiosks and other digital-first options like mobile online ordering, not all customers desire a contactless ordering process. Understanding your audience and learning more about your customers’ preferences over time will help you find the perfect balance between contactless and more traditional ordering methods.  

Self-Service Made Easy 

Using technology to make ordering and payment easier for your customers is becoming the norm across restaurants both big and small. Revel makes adapting to these digital trends easy with its cloud-based technology built for the future. 

With Revel’s self-service kiosk option, encourage repeat customers with modern technology that empowers them. Learn more about what a digital-first point of sale can do for your business.


Cons of Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service can be highly efficient but it does dictate the ambiance of your restaurant and the space your guests can move through. While the financials are far more palatable now that software-as-a-service has made most tech available on subscription, you’re still going to have to augment your kiosk with some staff just in case things go astray. Finally, installing self-service means winning your customers’ trust when it comes to sharing their payment details.

These drawbacks can be overcome, but they do need to be acknowledged.


There’s a monolith in my soup

Kiosk POS systems take up a lot of room and change the dynamic of your QSR. You’ll need to account for the flow of traffic around them and leave enough space for customers who prefer the human touch to not feel alienated.


Payment confidence

Self-service favors pay-before-you-dine delivery that maintains speed. That leaves your customer to fend for themselves when buying their meal. Many of us have experience using contactless technology, but you’ll have to make a commitment to extra work if you want to help those who prefer traditional payment methods.


We still need servers

Airports are prime examples of the incomplete nature of automation. While self-check-in means that phase of the journey can be completed in less than 60 seconds, there is little that can be done about lengthy security and customs checks. Similar problems can arise with self-help services. Every unfamiliar or uncertain customer slows down the flow, and every modification that doesn’t appear on the menu warrants staff intervention.

You can avoid many of the problems of kiosk-style self-help by adopting a more mobile, less intrusive version.


 As a final step, speak with a professional kiosk manufacturer.

Before purchasing a kiosk, it is best to reach out to a PROFESSIONAL KIOSK MANUFACTURER to understand what a self-checkout kiosk can do for and in a particular environment. Companies like REDYREF have decades of experience working with small businesses and can provide expertise regarding what type of kiosk is best suited for the application. In addition to design input, they can also assist with everything from design and fabrication to deployment and servicing.


Kiosks are quickly becoming an essential part of many small businesses. They provide an interactive platform that allows consumers to safely purchase goods and services. And while there may be drawbacks in certain situations, the benefits of a self-checkout kiosk often greatly outweigh any potential negatives. 


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