Restaurants are increasingly reliant on self-service technology to improve the customer experience. From handheld or desktop tablets used to collect payment to kiosks used for self-service ordering, technology allows restaurants to provide a variety of options to customers to enhance their visit. However, it is incumbent upon restaurants to provide an accessible and equal experience for all their customers when utilizing these new technologies.
Customers with disabilities are often left out of the interactive experience due to the misconception that guests who are blind or who have low vision are more easily satisfied with the assistance of an in-person attendant. Yet this alternative does not provide an experience comparable to that of a non-visually impaired patron. Most people with disabilities do not want to be treated any differently from anyone else, and an in-person attendant often serves as a reminder of their disability.
The Future of Kiosks in the Restaurant Industry
Kiosks allow users to avoid lines and oftentimes allow them a greater ability to customize their order. Kiosk deployers typically attempt to design the kiosk interface to decrease the time it takes for a user to place an order. No one – neither the restaurant nor the restaurant patron – is well-served if the time it takes to place an order on a kiosk is significantly slower for users with disabilities and requires additional human assistance.
Restaurant self-service kiosks are currently deployed in leading restaurant chains such as Taco Bell, KFC, Panera Bread, Wendy’s, Subway, and Dunkin’ Donuts via both pilots and full international rollouts. Additionally, tabletop ordering or payment tablets are used in TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Friendly’s, Tropical Smoothie, and Chili’s, to name a few. Self-ordering and self-service POS solutions are running apps such as Appetize, Tillster, and Ziosk. In these examples, the user experience should be accessible for all patrons, whether on a robust kiosk enclosure or a small handheld tablet.
Read full article at Modern Restaurant Management