The Rise of Self-Service Kiosks in the Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry has seen a steady rise in the adoption of self-service kiosk technology in recent years. With the increasing demand for convenience and efficiency, self-service kiosks have become a valuable tool for both customers and restaurant owners. In this article, we will explore the benefits of self-service kiosks in restaurants, the impact they have on sales, and why they are becoming a must-have option for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and other dining establishments.

The Power of Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks have become a game-changer in the restaurant industry, allowing customers to take control of their ordering experience. These kiosks, equipped with easy-to-use touchscreens, enable customers to browse menus, customize their orders, and make payments without the need for assistance from a cashier. This level of control not only improves the overall customer experience but also provides significant benefits for restaurant owners.

Boosting Profitability

One of the key advantages of self-service kiosks is their ability to boost profitability for restaurants. By streamlining the ordering process and reducing the need for additional staff, restaurants can cut down on labor costs. With self-ordering processes in place, fewer staff members are required to man the front counter, freeing up resources that can be allocated to other value-added tasks.

Moreover, self-service kiosks attract more customers to restaurants. In a world where contactless payment options are increasingly preferred, self-service kiosks offer a convenient and safe ordering method. According to surveys, 60% of customers would visit a restaurant more often if self-ordering kiosks were available. Additionally, self-service kiosks help minimize long lines, which can lead to customers leaving the establishment. By reducing wait times, restaurants can increase customer satisfaction and drive more business.

Increasing Average Order Value

Self-service kiosks provide an opportunity for restaurants to increase their average order value. These kiosks can automatically suggest add-ons and upsell opportunities, encouraging customers to make additional purchases. Unlike human order takers, self-service kiosks never forget to promote limited-time offers or new menu items, resulting in higher check sizes.

Studies have shown that the average order value increases by 21% when customers use self-service kiosks, translating to approximately $5 more per transaction. The convenience and privacy of the kiosk experience also eliminate any hesitations customers may have about ordering extras, leading to more significant upselling opportunities.

Streamlining Operations

Self-service kiosks not only benefit customers but also optimize restaurant operations. By reducing the reliance on human interaction, kiosks minimize order inaccuracies that can occur during busy times. Customers can review their orders on the touchscreen, ensuring accuracy before making a payment. This level of control leads to improved order accuracy and customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, self-service kiosks enhance workflow efficiency, allowing staff members to focus on other critical tasks such as food preparation and providing targeted customer service. With kiosks handling the ordering process, staff members are freed up to deliver orders to tables promptly and maintain a clean and welcoming dining environment.

The Impact of Self-Service Kiosks on the Restaurant Industry

The adoption of self-service kiosks in the restaurant industry has been significant, with major fast-food chains leading the way. McDonald’s, for example, has been adding kiosks to their locations at a rapid pace, with the goal of having them available in all their restaurants. Taco Bell has even gone a step further, opening digital-only restaurants that rely solely on self-ordering kiosks.

Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) of all sizes have recognized the value of self-service kiosks and are implementing them in their drive-thrus and dining rooms. Large chains like Panera, Wendy’s, and Subway have embraced kiosk technology to enhance the customer experience and increase efficiency.

Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks for Restaurants

Now that we understand the power of self-service kiosks and their impact on the restaurant industry, let’s delve into the specific benefits they offer for restaurants of all types and sizes.

Improved Customer Experience

Self-service kiosks revolutionize the ordering process, allowing customers to make their selections at their own pace, browse menus without feeling rushed, and customize their orders to their preferences. The intuitive touchscreen interface makes ordering quick and convenient, enhancing the overall customer experience.

In addition, self-service kiosks provide customers with vital information such as allergen or nutrition details, enabling them to make informed ordering decisions. This transparency builds trust and ensures that customers receive the food they desire.

Reduced Wait Times

Long lines can be a major turn-off for customers, leading to frustration and potentially lost business. Self-service kiosks help reduce wait times by eliminating the need for customers to wait for a cashier to become available. Instead, customers can place their orders directly at the kiosk, resulting in faster service and happier patrons.

Enhanced Order Accuracy

Order accuracy is crucial for customer satisfaction. Miscommunications or mistakes during the ordering process can lead to frustration and disappointment. Self-service kiosks minimize the risk of errors by allowing customers to review and confirm their orders before finalizing the transaction. This level of accuracy ensures that customers receive exactly what they ordered, enhancing their dining experience.

Increased Sales and Average Order Value

Self-service kiosks have a proven track record of increasing sales and boosting average order values. By suggesting add-ons, upsells, and promotions, kiosks encourage customers to explore additional menu options and make more substantial purchases. The convenience and ease of use provided by kiosks empower customers to order confidently, resulting in higher check sizes and increased revenue for restaurants.

Cost Savings on Labor

Implementing self-service kiosks can lead to significant cost savings by reducing the need for additional staff members. With kiosks handling the ordering process, fewer employees are required to take orders at the front counter. This reallocation of resources allows restaurant owners to optimize staffing levels and allocate personnel to more value-added tasks such as food preparation and customer service.

Remote Monitoring and Management

Modern self-service kiosk systems offer remote monitoring and management capabilities, providing restaurant owners and managers with real-time access to data and insights. This remote access allows for efficient troubleshooting and issue resolution, even when managers are not physically present at the restaurant. Multi-location restaurant owners can monitor and manage multiple kiosks from a centralized location, ensuring consistent performance and customer satisfaction across all their establishments.

Customizable and Integrated Solutions

Self-service kiosk solutions are highly customizable, allowing restaurants to tailor the interface to their specific branding and menu offerings. Integrated with robust POS systems, these kiosks provide seamless communication between the ordering process and other back-end operations such as inventory management, pricing control, and loyalty program integration. This integration streamlines operations and enhances the overall efficiency of the restaurant.


Self-service kiosks have become an integral part of the restaurant industry, offering a range of benefits for both customers and restaurant owners. From streamlining operations to increasing sales and average order values, these kiosks are transforming the way restaurants interact with their customers. With their customizable interfaces and seamless integration with POS systems, self-service kiosks provide a convenient and efficient ordering experience that enhances customer satisfaction and drives revenue growth.

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, it is clear that self-service kiosks are here to stay. Embracing this technology can give restaurants a competitive edge, attract more customers, and optimize overall operations. Whether you operate a QSR or a full-service restaurant, self-service kiosks offer a powerful solution to meet the demands of today’s tech-savvy and convenience-oriented customers. So, consider integrating self-service kiosks into your restaurant and unlock the benefits they have to offer.



Bernie Fussenegger
Bernie Fussenegger,
Marketing,Branding & e-Commerce -Consultant
Click to learn more about Bernie Fussenegger

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