Self-order kiosks and automated food ordering systems are all the rage in the restaurant business. It’s a trend that’s gained momentum specifically after McDonald’s started investing in heavily in self-order kiosks to improve on service provision capacities. McDonald’s has a reason that’s rooted deeply in consumer psychology— people buy more products if they can touch them, even if it’s on screen. The introduction of touchscreens has boosted sales globally for the fast food chain and that’s not all—there are plenty of efficiency improvements from the use of touchscreens as well.
Since McDonald’s is one of the larger food chains that have introduced self-order kiosks, they make the perfect case study to analyze the impact of the technology on service provision. One of the more notable changes and improvements was the reduction in order fulfillment time for customers.
McDonald’s had recognized a very long time ago that their sales were falling and the company was on the edge of nearly dying out. One of the reasons they introduced these kiosks was because people now prefer to self-pay through their cards and/or mobile phones. Reports indicated that 26% of all people under the age of 34 and 16% of all people over the age preferred mobile payment solutions. McDonald’s gave it to them through their kiosks.
People prefer these methods because they are tidier and faster than waiting on a cashier to hand back their change. They can complete their purchase faster and only have to wait for their order—which wasn’t ever a problem for McDonald’s. They bring the food fast enough, it’s the time it takes to place an order that was really getting to the customer.
Quicker Ordering Process
One of the notable features of the self-order kiosks is the range of customizability. When you order at these kiosks, you’re not waiting on the cashier to repeat your order nor do you have to strain to make yourself heard over the noise at lunch time. These kiosks let you make as many changes to your orders as possible without the hassle of other people shoving, talking loudly or a cashier who just can’t seem to hear you. People loved that they could get their message across without interruptions and pay without a hassle within minutes. A process that could take as much as 10 minutes in waiting, now only takes maybe 5 or less without any errors—the rest is up to the kitchen staff and how quick they can prepare the order.
Implications For High-Traffic Food Zones
If you’re running a food business at food courts or with high population densities, introducing touchscreen ordering systems can significantly boost your service provision efficiency. Considering the impact these kiosks had at McDonald’s there’s no reason to say that you can’t enjoy the same advantages—for perspective, McDonald’s sales rose by $2.7 billion once they introduced the self-ordering technology.