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Guests are steering the wheel toward self-serve options that cater to their unique preferences. The results of Qu’s 5th Annual Digital Survey unveil how unified technology and flexible options are ruling the investment roadmap this year.

It’s all about options and convenience for the guest. A whopping 44% of brands are gearing up to introduce kiosks as a fresh ordering channel in 2024. Additional investment plans also favor mobile apps (25%), expanded delivery partnerships (25%), phone AI ordering (20%), and voice-activated drive-thru systems (16%).

Guest Preferences: The Driving Force

The heartbeat of the in-store evolution is the guest’s desire for personalized and convenient experiences tailored to their preferences. In the era of on-demand everything, guests crave self-serve options, empowering them to take control of their orders and the overall dining experience.

The Kiosk Comeback: New Ordering Channels’ #1 Investment Priority

Kiosks are making a triumphant return, reemerging as the cool kid in the industry. With nearly half of the industry planning to invest in them this year, they offer operators flexible options to overcome some of their toughest challenges.

The advantages of embracing kiosks are hard to ignore, with labor efficiencies, cost savings, revenue boosts, operational flexibility, and enhanced guest experience among the list of perks. Let’s dive into the key factors that make this technology a must-have for any forward-thinking restaurant chain.

🎧 Prefer listening? Listen to our QSR Uncut episode as we cover all things kiosk (and other trending topics in the industry).

Alleviating Labor Pressures

Once popularized by major chains like McDonald’s, kiosks faced a decline during the pandemic. However, amid escalating labor challenges, they are regaining popularity. Last year, only 13% of fast casual and QSR brands considered them an investment channel. This year, there’s a notable surge directly associated with obstacles around retaining and attracting talent, a shrinking workforce, and rising wages in states including California.

The appeal of kiosks lies in their ability to reduce the number of employees required for order-taking, allowing operators to reallocate resources toward order processing, guest experience, and other restaurant demands.

Revenue Boost: Upselling and Optimizing Guest Interactions

Kiosks change the game for guests, empowering them to tailor their orders, leisurely explore menu options, and skip lines during busy hours. This newfound sense of control and convenience enhances guest satisfaction, cultivating loyalty and driving repeat business.

They also offer a discreet and user-friendly avenue for elevating ticket prices. Just like the way we freely pile up our Amazon carts without prying eyes, people can discreetly indulge their preferences and add more items to their orders.

Intuitive interfaces, coupled with personalized recommendations, guide customers to discover additional offerings and take advantage of special promotions, creating a journey that boosts overall sales.

Operational Flexibility: Adapting to Changing Demands

During periods of staff shortages, these terminals can help maintain efficient operations, ensuring that your guests receive prompt service without compromising quality.

The versatility of kiosks allows you to adjust your service model based on demand. During slower periods, you can rely more heavily on these self-service options, minimizing labor costs while still providing a seamless dining experience.

Accuracy, Control, and Convenience

The success of any restaurant ultimately hinges on delivering an exceptional guest experience. Kiosks offer a level of order accuracy and speed that can be challenging to replicate with traditional ordering methods when staff is slammed. By eliminating the potential for miscommunication in ordering, guests can relax knowing that their orders will be prepared exactly as requested.

One-of-a-Kind Innovation in Kiosk Technology

Have you heard of a 2-in-1 Kiosk option? Qu Flex is a dual-purpose POS and Kiosk solution. With a 180-degree rotation, it offers a unique ability to serve as both a cashier terminal and a customer-facing kiosk. Even better, reusing your POS hardware for the kiosk lowers your costs and eliminates the need for additional hardware investments.

Flexible Options Aren’t Just a Trend

The path ahead is clear as we stand at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. Flexible, self-serve options are not just preferences but expectations for today’s on-the-go, get-it-now guest. The unprecedented adoption of kiosks is a strategic move toward a more efficient, customer-centric, and profitable future.

Check out other top trends and investment priorities for 2024 →

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