The upside of kiosks for QSRs

The labour shortages we’ve seen over the last few years in the foodservice industry have led many QSRs to lean on technology to help bridge that gap, and kiosks are catching on as a way to better manage labour and provide a better guest experience.

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While at one time self-serve kiosks may have been seen as costly and impersonal, the pandemic has allowed more and more people to view them as cost-effective solutions for restaurants and added convenience for customers.

Many restaurants are seeing higher revenues after implementing self-serve technology. McDonald’s reported a five-to-six per cent increase in sales after adoption, and Burger King saw 28 per cent of the quarterly digital sales come through the equipment. These results have led some restaurants to up their investment in the technology, with KFC expecting a 20 per cent increase in kiosk penetration in their restaurants by 2026.

This technology offers restaurants the opportunity to upsell with targeted promotions, offering add-ons, or making a meal combo. So restaurants are seeing higher guest cheques, along with increased guest satisfaction.

The kiosks are becoming popular with customers, with 42 per cent saying they’ve used them, and over one-third of guests saying they would like restaurants to have more kiosks available. Why are the kiosks appealing to QSR guests? 44 per cent of guests said they like the kiosks because there is no rush to order, 41 per cent like the ease of menu exploration, and 40 per cent enjoy the ability to view all the menu options.

The kiosks are elevating the QSR experience so much that 65 per cent of customers said they would visit a restaurant more often if the technology were available, and 30 per cent of customers said they prefer ordering from a kiosk over a cashier if the lines are the same length.

This self-serve technology is helping to drive sales by giving customers more time to peruse the menu, upselling, and making the whole menu easily accessible, while allowing restaurants to service more customers and reallocate labour – and providing customers with an experience they enjoy. For many QSRs, self-serve kiosks are becoming part of their day-to-day operations.