The guest journey has many touch-points, but one very literal touch point is the self-service kiosk. Often a guest’s first point of interaction with a business, either for checking into a hotel, adding market pantry items to their folio or ordering from one of the venue’s dining outlets. And because first impressions matter, it’s imperative that a guest’s first interaction is intuitive and hassle-free. Nothing is more frustrating for a guest who is trying to check in after a long trip than a confusing or malfunctioning technology.
Executed well, self-service kiosks can add value to business operations and ultimately improve guest satisfaction. For example, if implemented in a café, self-service kiosks can reduce order input labor costs, increase order accuracy and upsell opportunities, process orders faster and more efficiently, and because they also serve as a point-of-sale, they can integrate with loyalty programs and other promotional efforts. In turn, these benefits mean higher sales and happier customers.
Self-service kiosk adoption is thriving. Between 2013 and 2016, the size of the U.S. interactive kiosk market grew at an average of 10.36% from $533.37 million to $716.97 million, according to a recent PYMNTS Kiosk & Retail Report. This growth is expected to continue well into the next few years. Other industry reports show that on average, kiosks provide food and beverage venues with an average increase in checks of 15 to 20%.
Self-service kiosks are a big investment and operators should assess whether it makes sense for their business and prepare for the operational changes that come with adopting this technology. These changes could mean re-configuring staffing needs, operational processes and planning for system-integrations. Solution providers offer numerous functionality and features that can ensure the kiosk works as an extension of your guest value proposition.
Many café and quick service restaurants are enjoying the benefits of adding quick and self-service kiosks to their locations. Diners certainly appreciate the shorter wait times and streamlined service. The first physical touch point should be a positive experience, and self-service kiosks present an opportunity to give them just that, through a solution that is easy to use and brings immediate value to most venues.