Imagine it’s your lunch break. You’re hungry, you have that important presentation front of mind, and you just want to grab a sandwich from your favorite local deli and get back to work. But when you get there, the line is out the door, the guy taking orders is harried and stressed, there’s a customer complaining her order is wrong, and the kitchen seems to be short staffed. What do you do? Chances are, you go somewhere else, or if you decide to stay and wait in line, you’re out of sorts and have lost valuable time by the time you get your food. Either way, you’re an unhappy customer.
Now, imagine your favorite restaurant has a self-order kiosk. There’s no line out the door. You walk up to the counter, peruse the intuitive, easy-to-navigate menu, and place your order. A screen pops up, asking if you’d like to add anything to your order. It suggests options you’re your sandwich, a side, a drink. Without the pressure of having to make a hasty decision with people waiting behind you or the counter staff staring at you, you take your time studying the options. You decide you would, in fact, like to add the cheese to your sandwich, along with a cup of soup and a drink. When you see the dessert offerings in tantalizing technicolor on the screen, you decide to also get a piece of cake to enjoy later in the afternoon. Your order is totaled, and you pay right there on the device. You receive a token with a QR code and check your phone for messages while you wait.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, your order appears on the POS station and is printed. They begin making your food, and since additional people aren’t needed to man the counter during the lunch rush, there’s plenty of staff to make your sandwich exactly the way you want it. A few minutes later, your food is ready. Your order number appears on the public announcement system, you present your token at the counter, and pick up your order, which is perfectly correct. You’re back to work and that presentation in no time, and more importantly, you’re a happy customer who will be eager to return.
The restaurant is happy too. You spent more than you would have had you ordered at the counter (remember the cake you just couldn’t pass up?), the staff can focus on preparing food, and they can serve more customers, resulting in more sales. It’s a win-win.
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