It’s been another busy month in the world of Hospitality tech news.  From evidence that kiosks aren’t in fact killing off fast food jobs and how operators should be mindful of kiosk costs to how brands can get their employees on board with new technology, we cover the top stories for you this month:   

Self-service kiosks aren’t killing fast food jobs 
Food & Wine reported that although McDonalds intends to install kiosks in 2.500 locations by the end of the year, a future without cashiers is not their aim.  McDonalds emphasises kiosks are not a labour replacement but an opportunity to transition back-of-house positions to more customer service roles such as concierges and table service where they can engage with guests to enhance the dining experience. Other evidence kiosks aren’t job killers include: 

  • 5-6% increase in sales where kiosks are located necessitates maintaining or even increasing staff numbers 
  • Customers often order more and more orders can come in at once during busy periods requiring staff to fulfil these requests 
  • Kiosks don’t affect the two-thirds of McDonalds business that comes from drive-thru ordering   

 

87% of restauranteurs believe incorporating technology into their restaurants would help attract more customers
Modern Restaurant Management emphasizes the importance of integrating back end systems such as POS, guest management, waitlist and online ordering.  Benefits of integration include: 

  • The ability to sync front-of-house data with the dining room overview so staff can see real-time table updates based on incoming POS data 
  • Offering staff mobility by integrating tablet POS with existing hardware to improve speed, accuracy and improving the dining experience 
  • Improving the customer experience with accurate wait times and speed and accuracy of service 
  • More personalized service with guest profile capture  

 

Communication is key to get employees on board with new technology
Fast Casual reports on a panel discussion at the Interactive Customer Experience Summit that addressed the important of employee buy-in in order to achieve new technology implementation success.  Key takeaways include: 

  • Don’t take a departmental siloed approach when introducing new technology get sales, marketing, accounting, inventory etc to work together.  Set-up a cross- functional team when engaging in new technology projects 
  • Make sure all employees are on board from the research stage and communicate to get employee buy-in 
  • Eliminate old, competing technologies  
  • Implement proper training, don’t rely on store employees training each other 

 

Payment technologies make paying bills simpler for customers and restaurants
Splitting the bill can be frustrating when going out in groups but according to Food News Feed, payment tech is working to alleviate this pain point.  Customized apps allow guests to order and pay when they’re ready and conveniently split the bill when dining in groups.  General payment apps let customers select a restaurant, open a tab, review the check and split the bill using their smartphone.  Table top payment options are also popular as tablets bring a fresh dynamic to the dining experience.  Contactless and card-not-present payments are also gaining popularity especially in QSRs where they help to eliminate lines and speed up table turnover.     

UK eating out stays strong even as financial pressure grows
According to Cardlytics Spending Index, eating out spend in the UK was up 3% Restaurants and QSRs continued to be the main drivers for spend representing 9% of consumers’ wallet share.  The contribution of the hospitality industry to the UK economy has outpaced growth in every other sector since the downturn in 2008.  There is also a wider trend of consumers wanting to treat themselves during leaner times.  Cardlytics comments, “The increased demand is good for hospitality but with the sector set for further growth in the form of increased competition, brands will have to work even harder to stand out and attract new customers. But elsewhere, with consumers cutting back on spending, it’s clear brands will have to adjust to a new normal of low spending growth and focus on offering value.”  

Restaurants should be prepared to for the costs of kiosks
Kiosk Marketplace answers some of the most frequently asked questions about kiosk investment.  Key takeaways include: 

  • Operators should be prepared to pay 50% of the total cost of the self-service initiative upfront.  It’s best to pay Small orders of $5,000 or less upfront to make the process go more quickly. 
  • Shipping, installation, onsite support and software licence renewals are extras you should be prepared to pay. 
  • If you can’t finance the upfront costs, a third-party such as capital financing companies, can be brought in to finance the project.  Be aware that background checks and credit inquiries will be made along with potential collateral requests.