Devices such as touch-screen ordering kiosks — whether in the drive-through lane or inside the restaurant — promise many advances for quick-serve eateries, analysts say.
"It cuts down on labor, ensures accuracy and is often faster and easier for people to use," said Darren Tristano, a restaurant industry analyst with Technomic Inc. in Chicago.
Yum Brands Inc.'s KFC is testing indoor self-serve kiosks at three locations in Florida. Elsewhere in the state, McDonald's Corp. franchisee Gary Moulton has spent more than $100,000 to install two or three touch-screen systems inside each of his six restaurants.
The investment is paying off. Moulton said customers using the kiosks spent an average of 20% more per order than those who ordered at the front counter.
"The kiosk will always suggest an item like a drink or a dessert if it is not ordered," he said. "Front counter servers don't always do the same."
Paul Knight, who sells such machines for NCR Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, notes another potential advantage for restaurants.
"Anonymity encourages people to make larger orders," he said. "They are not embarrassed to super-size something because they aren't doing it face to face."
I remember ten years ago or more that the Taco Bell by Cal State Fullerton had touch-screen ordering.
Chains including Yum Brands-owned Taco Bell have experimented with touch-screen ordering, but the companies haven't expanded the programs, citing problems with the software or insufficient customer interest.
Yup, see. I was right. This technology can also help get people around language barriers. I would think raising the minimum wage and the increasing costs of employing people would also contribute to the use of these machines. Instead of several employees taking orders, one employee can service the machines at various locations to work out bugs.