Can Self-Service Kiosks Survive a Pandemic?
Self-service Kiosks have gotten more popular in the past several years as customers enjoy the ease and convenience completing their own orders. With faster turnaround and more accuracy, restaurants have steadily implemented Kiosks like the ones powered by eatOS for their own and their customers’ sakes. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic drawing concern over sharing devices with someone else and throwing a wrench into sit-down dining, restaurant owners wonder if there’s still a point to in-house self-service.
By integrating self-service Kiosks into your existing technology ecosystem, your restaurant can optimize the ordering process. Make Kiosks one of few customer touchpoints alongside mobile and online orders. Self-service is part of the solution.
Self-service Kiosks can improve on current social distance tactics by diverting some patrons away from cashiers’ lines. Used in conjunction with arrows that guide traffic, you can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in your store.
Since the service floor is predominately unusable until widespread reopenings are made permanent, temporarily rearrange tables to make room for Kiosk lines or add more space between devices. For example, buffet-style service is too unsafe for now, so some managers are experimenting with only offering self-service Kiosks and eliminating servers entirely except to wipe down the screens between uses. This complies with the need for limited seating, works with reduced capacity restrictions and enables you to spend less on labor by scheduling fewer employees per shift.
Even change your marketing to appeal to technologically-minded individuals, for example expanding your demographics to include Millennials and Gen Z. Just remember not to exclude your current audience as you widen your scope.
Safer Self-Service Kiosks
Social distance is a good start, but there are other ways to cultivate a safer customer experience. In addition to spacing devices six feet apart, you can also:
Construct plastic or Plexiglas barricades between each of the self-service Kiosks to further reduce viral transmission.
Put servers in charge of regularly cleaning the devices. It’s a job that needs doing, and your workers probably would like to cut an extra paycheck during this financially straining time.
Use alongside mobile ordering capabilities to further reduce individual lines and keep customers apart.
Keep hand sanitizer at every station and have staff members offer spritzes at every opportunity too. This visible display of cleanliness puts people’s minds at ease about your dedication to their health.
Guests feel better when they can see your investment in their wellbeing. Be open, upfront and visible about your efforts to keep them safe so they can form their own opinions about the adequacy of your safety measures. They can decide for themselves if they’re comfortable continuing to dine with you.
The Future of Dining Out
No matter how you’re adjusting to meet your customers’ needs now, self-service Kiosks will surely play a big role in the restaurant industry moving forward. Whether you install these devices after it’s fully safe to dine out again or make the leap to smarter technology now, either way consumers who prefer a streamlined and more accurate way to order will appreciate your forward-thinking mindset. Incorporate self-service Kiosks into your operations now so you can evolve seamlessly with the times as we slowly progress back to normalcy.