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Self-Service Kiosks

I believe that self-service ordering kiosks will be a fixture at many big-name restaurants and fast food outlets in the next decade, much as the self-checkout in grocery stores have become common place.  It makes sense for customers and it makes sense for the restaurant owners.  These self-service kiosks are aimed at increasing the average transaction and speedier service.  At this point I’d be satisfied with a “refill my drink” button at my table.

The extreme evolution of this concept is the Baggers restaurant in Germany where guests choose their meals from a touch screen at their table and food is delivered by a “mini-railway” from the kitchen located on the floor above.   The inventor’s gravity feed rail system is patented in Germany and he is seeking protection for the invention internationally so that he can license it to restaurants abroad.  You have got to watch this quick BBC video showing how the restaurant works.

About Ryan Knoll

Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.

4 comments

  1. I’m not so sure that kiosks will improve efficiency. The bottle neck is often the kitchen and how fast they can produce the food. Quicker orders without a simultaneous increase in food delivery speed is still going to be a frustrating experience for customers.

  2. [quote comment=”167237″]I’m not so sure that kiosks will improve efficiency. The bottle neck is often the kitchen and how fast they can produce the food. Quicker orders without a simultaneous increase in food delivery speed is still going to be a frustrating experience for customers.[/quote]
    Anonymous,

    I tend to disagree. By speeding up the order line, less people are likely to leave before ordering because of the long line. And, the average cooking staff can adapt well to fluctuation in pending orders and pre-prepare certain items in anticipation of busy times. A relative of mine is a cook a Chili’s, and he says they have plenty of capacity to handle a full dining room if necessary. Some items, like the new thick bacon for burgers, is prepared ahead of time to help speed up the process.

  3. The concept of self-service retail service in grocery stores and now in restaurants is, of course, an attempt to further maximize profits of owners by eliminating the need to hire personnel to perform the function for the customer.

    Customers might like the concept but not when these lines malfunction. It is hard to get any satisfaction by yelling at a robot instead of a real person.

    Time will tell!

  4. [quote comment=”177683″]The concept of self-service retail service in grocery stores and now in restaurants is, of course, an attempt to further maximize profits of owners by eliminating the need to hire personnel to perform the function for the customer.

    Customers might like the concept but not when these lines malfunction.

    It is hard to get any satisfaction by yelling at a robot instead of a real person.

    Time will tell![/quote]

    They usually don’t malfunction, but the usability must be well thought out…hopefully they hired professional usability designers and researchers to get it right.

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