Justify the Cost of Self-Service Kiosks

Running a successful business means paying attention to the bottom line. You want to know you’re getting a good return on investment (ROI) for everything you put into your restaurant — including your technology. Point of sale (POS) technology, especially self-service kiosk solutions, can seem a little intimidating because it can carry a higher initial cost than other elements you may be putting into your business. But adding self-service kiosks to your restaurant POS system will be well worth the initial investment. Here are the factors that will help create a good ROI from your kiosks.

Labor Cost Reduction

Ongoing labor shortages continue to be an issue for the restaurant industry, which historically has a high turnover rate. With self-service kiosks, you can allow your technology to do the work of staff you may not have. Whether you choose floor- or wall-mounted self-service kiosks in a quick-service restaurant (QSR) or tabletop kiosks at a table service establishment, your staff will be freed from order-placement and payment processing tasks.

This freedom allows you to reposition the employees you do have to other, more helpful areas of the business, including:

  • Running orders
  • clearing tables
  • Food prep
  • Customer service

Being able to get the food prepared and into the customers’ hands faster means your restaurant can handle more orders per day (and you’ll have more satisfied customers, creating more repeat business). Plus, with the burden of placing orders and processing payments taken off their shoulders, your staff will be less stressed (especially during peak times). Increasing their job satisfaction means you are more likely to keep staff retention high.

Restaurant Revenue Boosting CTAIncreased Sales with Self-Service Kiosks

Besides saving labor, ordering kiosk also saves time, since orders go straight to the kitchen. And throughput is not the only thing that increases: typically ticket size increases too. A self-service kiosk generates orders up to 30% higher in value than orders placed in person. One reason is that customers are less self-conscious about what they are ordering and feel more comfortable getting what they really want. They will also be confident that any substitutions, customizations, or other special instructions will be put in accurately, since they are doing it themselves.

Lastly, the kiosk can be programmed to reliably and consistently upsell or cross-sell, increasing the number of items and add-ons. This increase in sales comes without having to pay additional employees’ hourly salary or tips.

Keeping Up with Big Chains and Customer Expectations

Whether you’re a mom-and-pop restaurant or have a few locations regionally, you are always trying to keep up with the large chain restaurants in your area. Big chains and franchises such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Chili’s have been reaping the benefits of kiosk ordering for years. By implementing a self-service kiosk solution, you are offering your customers a new level of service that brings you up to the level of those large chain restaurants you’re competing with.

Customers want to be able to handle their ordering, add-ons, substitutions, and payments in their own time. A self-service kiosk allows them to have this freedom and get the exact meal they want. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report, 61% of consumers said they are likely to use kiosks. Growing numbers of customers have come to appreciate — even expect — the convenience, speed, and accuracy of kiosk ordering.

How to Know Your ROI

Getting back to the discussion of the bottom line and what kind of ROI to expect from kiosks: do you know how to calculate your ROI? The formula is:

(Amount returned / amount invested) x 100 = ROI

Amount returned means your net profits — ie, your total sales revenue minus your startup and operational costs (aka, your amount invested).

Once you know how to calculate your ROI, how do you determine whether it’s good? A little research reveals that for the first quarter of 2022, the average return on total assets for the restaurant industry in the US was around 10.73%. For QSRs in the 2022 period, the average ROI was 5%. Of course, most business owners want to do better than average, but that gives you a starting point.

Where to Start Your Kiosk Experience

Knowing the potential benefits of self-service kiosks, from reduced labor costs to increased sales, are you ready to start investing in your restaurant technology? Learn more about how self-service kiosks can help your restaurant increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction, and get ready to watch your ROI rise.