What Automation Means—and How We All Should Be Thinking About It

As seen in: https://www.foodabletv.com/blog/2017/what-does-automation-really-mean-for-our-industry 

In the drive for speedier service, automation has been hailed as the next wave for restaurants to operate efficiently. However it’s not always as clear cut as you think. When we hear that restaurants want kiosks to speed up service, we think: yes! and you also have a great opportunity to give your guests a memorable experience at the same time. With self-ordering kiosks and self service, the metric shouldn’t be about the stopwatch hanging over the kitchen. Instead we at Bite like to think about these metrics instead: guest satisfaction and guest return rate. 

Satisfaction, not speed, drives returns.

Guest satisfaction in a traditional QSR sense does mean the timer. Guests are fickle, they want their food immediately and many balk at long lines. There’s very little we can do with guest behavior, but we can certainly solve for long lines and improving the guest experience along the way. Staffing with more cashiers was certainly an option but with limited store footprint and concentrated demand times, that may not always be a viable option. Self-ordering kiosks can offer a cost-effective way to amplify your order-taking capabilities. But without a good experience self-ordering can very quickly lead to the stale grocery store check-out experience. Our edge, is to personalize that experience – making it exciting and unique for every guest. Letting guests spend a few extra seconds – or minutes – to put together their order and really explore the menu for things other things they’re interested in will help drive another visit. Behind the scenes, our algorithm can learn what the guests like – showing them products they’re interested in, and offering tailored coupons to bring them back.

So while guests may take a little longer to place an order through kiosks, it doesn’t mean it will slow down your system. By offering multiple order points – a few kiosks and a few cashiers, you’re giving your guests more opportunities to put orders into your system, and handle that lunchtime rush. And who knows maybe they found something they’d like to come back next time to try