Do customers really prefer cashiers over kiosks?

Although it may not seem like it, artificial intelligence is very much a part of Americans' everyday lives. Based on analysis by Gallup, 85 percent of U.S. consumers regularly utilize one of six products that perform some type of AI-related function, the most common being navigation apps. Satisfied users say GPS units serve as a game changer, enabling them to go to places they probably wouldn't without GPS guidance.

"Nearly 80% of respondents said they'd be less likely to patronize restaurants using self-service kiosks."

So it's a bit surprising that a majority of Americans would take exception to their favorite eateries using kiosks as point-of-sale systems instead of cashiers.

That's the finding from a recent poll conducted by MSN, which revealed nearly 80 percent of respondents said they'd be less likely to patronize restaurants using self-service kiosks, USA Today reported.

From streaming media services to intelligent home personal assistants, families have come to rely on automated technology. Not only do they take advantage of them in their work and personal lives, but they also have a high regard for them, as almost 80 percent of respondents in the aforementioned Gallup survey said automated tools have a "very" or "mostly" positive impact on their daily activities.

This makes the majority opinion on restaurant kiosks puzzling. Detractors may not know what they're missing, because those who've used the devices swear by them, based on sales figures. 

 While diners may say they’re not buying into the self-service kiosk era, their actions suggest otherwise.

Customers buy more from kiosks

Steve Easterbrook, chief executive officer at McDonald's, told CNBC that the fast-food chain has heavily invested in the technology because it's paying dividends, borne out in the data. Specifically, customers tend to buy more product when they can go to a screen instead of a cashier.

"What we are finding is when people dwell more, they tend to select more," Easterbrook explained. "There's a little bit of an average check boost."

McDonald's is just one of several major restaurants that are doubling down on self-service kiosks. Panera Bread, Wendy's and Subway have all either implemented these stations or intend to, multiple news outlets have reported. And by 2023, Research and Markets expects the automated kiosk segment's worth to balloon to $34 billion.

Pizza entrepreneur Bob Stephens told Pizza Marketplace that he can attest to the popularity of the restaurant kiosk, echoing Easterbrook's comments.

“We found that people will buy more because it’s a touchscreen. They don’t have to interact. They don’t have to talk to the clerk.”
— Bob Stephens, Pizza Entrepreneur
 

Kiosks specialize in customization and convenience

Convenience seems to be the key to what restaurant goers consider great customer service. This is particularly true among millennials, of whom more than three quarters report ordering delivery food in the past 90 days, according to a survey from marketing agency Acosta.

Customization is king in the restaurant industry, which is another reason why self-service kiosks are increasingly popular. Seventy-two percent of customers have come to expect this capability when dining out, according to QSR.

Want to implement unattended payments into your kiosks?


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