Demystifying self-order kiosks with 6 industry experts

Digital Ordering, Latest from Vita Mojo, Products

November 16, 2022

Self-order kiosks aren’t the future of hospitality anymore: they’re the present

McDonalds brought kiosks to the nugget-obsessed masses of the UK back in 2015, and the industry hasn’t looked back since. 

Other brands followed suit – from independents to national chains –  beginning their hospitality digitisation journey by launching self-serve kiosks and realising the immediate benefits. Shake Shack are the latest brand to share kiosk success, reporting that they are now its most profitable channel.

By using self-order kiosks, these brands are seeing higher revenue, increased footfall; and are able the run more efficiently – bucking current industry trends. With the labour shortage and spiralling costs putting a third of hospitality businesses at risk of collapse, operators can no longer afford to ignore the potential of kiosks.

To help, we have worked with leading experts from digital hospitality pioneers LEON, Tossed and HOP to demystify self-order kiosks and make the journey ahead of you an easier one.

I am Doner kiosk setup at their Leeds City Centre store

Myth #1: “Customers want a more human experience in hospitality than ordering on a screen”

This is actually two myths in one: firstly, that customers are resistant to kiosks, and secondly that restaurants can’t provide a human experience whilst still employing kiosks. 

Luckily, neither are true! 

When we surveyed 1000 UK consumers, we found that customers don’t just see kiosks as a nice-to-have: they’re becoming a vital part of the restaurant experience.

60% of customers

would choose one outlet over another based on them having kiosks

64% of customers

would visit more often if kiosks were available (91% for Gen Z, 80% for Millenials)

Customers love them, and not just because of the tech. A significant aspect of kiosk success is implementing them with the specific intent to retain the hospitality experience guests expect. Operators can absolutely keep the customer journey intact, by embracing the digital-led human experience.

“Kiosks have helped us to create an amazing customer experience. We don’t ever want our customers to feel rushed or under pressure as they browse the menu. Our menu is based around customisation so the process lends itself well to digital ordering.

We introduced the host role, which is incredibly important and involves everything from stepping in when customers need extra support to ensuring delivery drivers get their food – we think of it like the conductor keeping the orchestra in time”
Neil Sebba
Managing Director, Tossed

When working with Vietnamese chain HOP on their flagship London Wall location, interior design partner YourStudio made sure this was central in the setup. 

“Integral to the project was enabling human connection through self-serve technology. In the HOP customer journey this is a feature moment, not an afterthought.”
Pierre Bottriaux
Interior Designer, YourStudio

Myth #2: “It will be harder to gather customer data”

For some, moving away from face-to-face ordering at the POS represents a move away from data gathering opportunities.

But in fact, kiosks offer a low-friction entry point into your digital brand – helping you capture customer data and build loyalty effortlessly and more effectively.

Introducing digital loyalty schemes rewards you with sign-ups and logins. Asking for an email address to send a receipt is a great opportunity to invite customers to opt in for marketing. 

“More than ever, having good data, insights on our customer shopping habits and demographics is really crucial to the business. Now, we can see whether guests have visited the restaurant before and, if so, how many times.

On a business level, we can see what percentage of our guests are new, what percentage are returning, and what our order frequency is. Those are really crucial insights, especially in such a dynamically changing landscape like hospitality.”
Hugo Engel
Digital Executive, LEON

Myth #3: “Our staff are better at upselling than a screen is”

We’re sorry to be blunt, but they aren’t.

Thanks to data-led recommendations, meal deal functionality and the potential of menu engineering with digital, kiosks can upsell better than any human possibly could. They’re just built that way. 

We’ve seen brands increase ATV by as much as 35% vs the POS when introducing self-order kiosks. 

““Vita Mojo’s innovative technology enabled us to reimagine HOP with lower running costs, higher ATV, and unrivalled customisation for our customers. This is the restaurant model of the future. It’s a real win-win.”
HOP Vietnamese used self service kiosks to improve customisation to create a better customer experience.
Paul Hopper
Founder, HOP

Myth #4: “We don’t have time to manage tech - haven’t you heard there’s a labour shortage?”

Oh, we know

When making the leap to tech, it’s important to realise there’s more to it than just ‘doing digital’. It’s about doing digital right. If your tech setup is taking up more time than it’s giving back, it’s not the right one. 

With the right setup, kiosks save operators a huge amount of time by automating tasks across the customer journey. This allows operations to run more efficiently and actually experience growth with a leaner team thanks to the labour time it frees up. 

“Self-serve kiosks are the future of fast food restaurants. By making them our main in-store ordering method, it’s freed up labour to the extent that it’s like having one additional employee.

During service, we can focus more on customer service and supporting the kitchen team. Out of service, we can keep on top of cleanliness and compliance and it has cut our close- down from two hours to just one..”
Bridie Fox
Operations Director, I am Doner
“We redeploy the majority of our staff to back of house during the busy lunch period, preparing the food so it’s as fresh as possible.”
Neil Sebba
Managing Director, Tossed

Myth #5: “Staff will feel like we’re replacing them - we’re trying to retain workers.”

If staff morale is a worry for you, we’ve got good news. 

Kiosks aren’t designed to replace your entire staff, they’re designed to empower them to deliver more valuable hospitality tasks.

By automating the mundane tasks across your operation with tech, the team can enjoy more job satisfaction in the roles they carry out. 

Once your team are freed from the anchor of the POS, new possibilities open up that will only improve retention.

“The greatest unexpected benefit of our digital transformation and rollout of Vita Mojo’s digital ordering solutions was the positive impact it had on our employees’ mental health and wellbeing.

Orders now come straight through from the kiosks. Our kitchens have gone from chaos to calm and our teams are much happier.”
Glenn Edwards
MD, LEON (speaking at the 2022 Food to Go conference)

Kiosks and your operation

Increased revenue, more customers and happier staff. Can your operation afford to ignore kiosks?

With the Vita Mojo Restaurant Operating System, kiosks and other digital ordering channels are just one part of an integrated tech ecosystem. Each part of the operating system brings your operation distinct advantages and benefits at a time you need it most.  

Got more questions that need answers? Book a free consultation below to chat with an expert on how kiosks could work in your operation.

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Talk to the Vita Mojo team today and see how our technology can elevate your brand, drive sales performance and increase efficiency across your business. Just leave a few details and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.