Category Archives: Food order kiosk

Chick-Fil-A Kiosks Installed on Campus

Full article originally published on TheAllState.com

Chick-Fil-A Now at School Campus with Self-Order Kiosks

chick-fil-a kioskNew to the nation and new to the APSU campus, Chick-fil-A order-taking kiosks were officially debuted to students on Monday, Jan. 14. The kiosks are located in the Morgan University Center food court. Lauren Fladger, Senior Leader of Chick-fil-A’s Service and Hospitality team, said “[Austin Peay] is the first college campus that Chick-fil-A has been really involved with the implementation of kiosks.”

Construction for these kiosks began in December and was completed just in time for the Spring semester. There are a total of three kiosks and customers can easily navigate the touch screens when fulfilling their orders.

The kiosks will automatically change menus depending on the time; properly formatting to breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

Upon completion, students or guests will be shown an order confirmation on the kiosk screen and receive a printed receipt. After that, customers can get into line to receive their order from Chick-fil-A’s counter.

Craig is a  senior staff writer for Kiosk Industry Group Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He contributed to this article.

From UK and McDonalds — Dirty Touchscreens UK McDonalds – Verdict — Not So Dirty

Editors Note: We originally reported this on November 28 and continued to monitor this story from the UK to see how it developed. It originated on the tabloid website — https://metro.co.uk/ which generally publishes things that only some people on Facebook are looking to believe.

The article below came out on a tabloid and it certainly bears a closer inspection before taking it at face value.

See the subsequent No The Screens are not contaminated article on Washington Post. Thank you Washington Post!

Then there is Science Alert.

Not that screens don’t need to be cleaned. They do. And they are treated with antimicrobial treatments to ensure they stay as clean as possible.

Editors Note: It is amazing to us the number of top-tier,  presumably news organizations that felt compelled to excerpt a tabloid site and push it out to the masses though.  Maybe our current President is correct in some fashion here. They need to revisit their ethics. Being first and being the most extreme in delivery can reverse the criminal act here in our opinion.  I don’t eat at McDonalds but I do read the news.  I’d rather not read tabloids or a rehash of one.

Sad to see kiosk niche sites propagate this with no restraint.  Are they working for the self-service industry or for a buck?  Appears to be a buck…


Excerpt:  “Poo found on every McDonald’s touch screen tested.”

So says a tabloid headline that conjures an image of stool smeared on McDonald’s self-order touch screens ― you know, those giant screens that people touch just before they eat their cheeseburgers.

But the reality is far more mundane, not the public health pandemonium this headline suggests.

No, there is no poop on McDonald’s touch screens. There are, however, bacteria — a lot of them. These are the same bacteria that live in people’s gut, intestines, nose, skin, mouth, throat and, yes, stool. Some live in soil and water. The article with the aforementioned headline lists the harmful bacteria that were found on the touch screens of several McDonald’s restaurants in the London area. It notes the infections and diseases people could get from them.

Also — The McDonalds order kiosk manufacturers in the US, Canada and Rest of World are using a special hardened AntiGrafitti powder coating which is resistant against aggressive, disinfecting cleaning substances. It is unknown what kind of surface treatment is used or done by the UK manufacturer.

Maintenance and design are critical steps and even more critical when it is a multi-national deployment that involves multiple providers in the supply chain.  We would estimate as high as 7-10 kiosk manufacturers involved across the world. This incident is just some restaurants in the UK.

Here is our page on Antibacterial for reference and also see our recent post on Clean Kiosks.

These strains of bacteria are not “an active threat to human health but something to be monitored,” one of the study’s authors said in a statement.

Additional excerpt: Matewele said he did not intend to place any blame on the fast-food giant and only wanted to raise awareness, especially among people who consume food at restaurants or other public places.

“If people know about it, they can do something. … They can probably take something like an anti-bacterial cleanser,” Matewele said.

In a statement, McDonald’s said: “Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day with a sanitizer solution. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.”

 


mcdonalds kiosk customer example

 

Traces of feces have been found on every single McDonald’s touchscreen swabbed in an investigation by metro.co.uk. Samples were taken from the new machines that have been rolled out at restaurants across the country – every one of them had coliforms.

Metro.co.uk’s study with the university’s school of human sciences involved swabs taken from eight McDonald’s restaurants. Six in London and two in Birmingham.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: ‘Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.’

Full tabloid article with pictures

More on McDonalds Kiosk Self-Order

Craig is a  senior staff writer for Kiosk Industry Group Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He contributed to this article.

Restaurant News – Global Payments Acquires SICOM

Global Payments to Acquire SICOM Systems, a Leading Provider of Enterprise Technology Solutions to Restaurants

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, announced today an agreement to acquire SICOM Systems, Inc. from LLR Partners. SICOM provides enterprise, cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions and other technologies to quick service and fast casual restaurants, as well as food service management providers, worldwide.

“The acquisition of SICOM aligns perfectly with our software-driven payments strategy and establishes Global Payments as a leader in one of the largest addressable markets we serve today”

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“The acquisition of SICOM aligns perfectly with our software-driven payments strategy and establishes Global Payments as a leader in one of the largest addressable markets we serve today,” said Jeff Sloan, Global Payments’ Chief Executive Officer. “SICOM’s technologies are highly complementary to our existing Xenial solutions, with the combination providing Global Payments’ market-leading technology solutions across the entirety of the restaurant vertical market. The transaction also allows us to expand our owned software solutions into food service management, a large addressable market globally with attractive fundamentals, while further accelerating our business mix toward technology enablement.”

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Global Payments will acquire SICOM in a cash transaction valued at approximately $415 million. Global Payments will finance the acquisition with its existing credit facility and cash on hand. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018. Global Payments expects the transaction to have an immaterial impact on 2018 financial results.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions delivering innovative services to our customers globally. Our technologies, services and employee expertise enable us to provide a broad range of solutions that allow our customers to accept all payment types and operate their businesses more efficiently across a variety of distribution channels in many markets around the world.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with approximately 11,000 employees worldwide, Global Payments is a member of the S&P 500 with customers and partners in 31 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Brazil. For more information about Global Payments, our Service. Driven. Commerce brand and our technologies, please visit www.globalpaymentsinc.com.

About SICOM Systems, Inc.

SICOM Systems, Inc. is a leading best-of-breed provider of end-to-end technologies and services for quick service and fast casual restaurants, as well as food service management companies. The company offers front-of-house, middle-of-house and back-of-house solutions that are helping leading restaurant brands around the globe streamline their operations. Founded in 1987, SICOM is headquartered in Lansdale, Pa. and can be found online at www.SICOM.com.

About LLR Partners

LLR Partners is a lower middle market private equity firm committed to creating long-term value by growing our portfolio companies. LLR invests in select industries, with a focus on technology and services businesses. Founded in 1999 and with more than $3.5 billion raised across five funds, LLR is a flexible provider of capital for growth, recapitalizations and buyouts. For more information about LLR and advice for scaling growth companies, please visit www.llrpartners.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Investors are cautioned that some of the statements we use in this release contain forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the “safe-harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including revenue, earnings estimates and management’s expectations regarding future events and developments, statements about the benefits of the proposed acquisition of SICOM including future financing and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.

Important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking statements include our ability to safeguard our data; increased competition from larger companies and non-traditional competitors, our ability to update our services in a timely manner; our ability to maintain Visa and MasterCard registration and financial institution sponsorship; our reliance on financial institutions to provide clearing services in connection with our settlement activities; our potential failure to comply with card network requirements; potential systems interruptions or failures; software defects or undetected errors; increased attrition of merchants, referral partners or independent sales organizations; our ability to increase our share of existing markets and expand into new markets; a decline in the use of cards for payment generally; unanticipated increases in chargeback liability; increases in credit card network fees; change in laws, regulations or network rules or interpretations thereof; foreign currency exchange and interest rate risks; political, economic and regulatory changes in the foreign countries in which we operate; future performance, integration and conversion of acquired operations, including without limitation difficulties and delays in integrating or fully realizing cost savings and other benefits of our acquisitions at all or within the expected time period; fully realizing anticipated annual interest expense savings from refinancing our corporate debt facilities; our loss of key personnel and other risk factors presented in Item 1- Risk Factors of our Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and any subsequent SEC filings, which we advise you to review.

Additional important factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those anticipated by our forward-looking statements or historical performance associated with the proposed acquisition of SICOM include the ability to meet closing conditions at all or on the expected terms and schedule, business disruption during the pendency of the acquisition or thereafter making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships, including the possibility that our announcement of the acquisition could disrupt SICOM’s relationships with financial institutions, customers, employees or other partners; and difficulties and delays in fully realizing benefits of the acquisition.

Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and should not be relied upon as representing our plans and expectations as of any subsequent date. We undertake no obligation to revise any of these statements to reflect future circumstances or the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contacts

Global Payments Inc.
Investor Contact:
Winnie Smith, 770-829-8478
[email protected]
or
Media Contact:
Kimberly Mann, 770-829-8755
[email protected]

Self-Order – Approach Video Showing How Unique Needs Met

Approach Video Showing How Unique Needs Met by Self-Service Kiosks

kiosk frank mayerGRAFTON, WI – Recently, Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. released a promotional video for the company’s self-service kiosk Approach, featuring why the self-order kiosk is a simple solution for businesses seeking additional convenience for customers as well as new revenue opportunities.

With multiple industries embracing the digital experience for their patrons, self-service options are becoming increasingly visible in places like quick service and fast casual restaurants, retail stores, hospitality locations, banks, dispensaries, and more.

Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. Visit www.frankmayer.com/approach for more information about Approach.

Contact
Cheryl Lesniak, Integrated Marketing Specialist
[email protected]
(262) 834-1489

HMSHost rolls out kiosk ordering with QikServe kiosk

HMSHost kiosk ordering in Quick Service Restaurants Roll Out

QikServe kiosk solution deployed in more than 50 highway and airport restaurants

qikserve kiosk

 BETHESDA, MD – Meeting the needs of busy travelers, global restaurateur HMSHost continues to innovate the restaurant industry with expanded service format options, offering self-order kiosks in quick service restaurants it operates in airports and highway travel plazas across North America. This modern ordering and payment amenity is now available across a variety of HMSHost quick service restaurants in over 50 airports and travel plazas and will be deployed in approximately 100 locations by the end of 2019. The innovative kiosk solution utilizes the QikServe self-service platform and is seamlessly integrated with HMSHost’s point-of-sale system.

Kiosk ordering in these restaurants serves travelers using QikServe’s enterprise platform, allowing guests to browse the menu and make selections, order, and pay via an intuitive digital interface. The ordering process also includes a range of cross-selling and up-selling options that offer guests more options to add to their meal. The kiosks have already demonstrated a typical increase in average transaction value of around 20%.

qikserve kiosk“Since deploying the QikServe kiosk solution, we have seen a significant improvement in overall guest satisfaction,” said James Schmitz, Vice President of Innovation at HMSHost. “We are confident that technology solutions like kiosk ordering are transforming the food industry. By introducing these innovations in travel venues, HMSHost is exposing people from all over the world to the technology-driven future of dining out.”

Self-order kiosks improve the guest experience for travelers by helping combat long lines and providing more flexible levels of interaction when placing an order. Guests have more time to browse the menu with kiosk ordering, often leading to the discovery of new favorites and greater sales. The platform also helps during times of high customer volume, common in travel venues.

“We are thrilled to be working with a world leader like HMSHost to revolutionize the ordering process at its restaurants across North America,” said Daniel Rodgers, Founder & CEO, QikServe. “I am delighted that we are delivering value for HMSHost while also bringing convenience to the traveler experience. This is a fantastic demonstration of how our integrated platform provides the flexibility to deliver a wide range of digital self-service experiences across the hospitality industry.”

Exposure to broad audiences will play a role in revolutionizing the restaurant industry as HMSHost continues to launch innovations like the QikServe-powered kiosks in more of its restaurants. The companies are also working together on self-service solutions beyond kiosks. These technology solutions are impacting the restaurant industry, giving guests convenient options to order exactly what they want and giving restaurants improved satisfaction levels and stronger overall results.

HMSHost Leading the Industry

HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as 2018 Best Overall Food & Beverage Operator (for the eleventh consecutive year) by Airport Revenue News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards recognized HMSHost’s Summer House Santa Monica at Chicago O’Hare International Airport as Best Airport Bar / Restaurant Atmosphere. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which include plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events like Airport Restaurant MonthChannel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, and the Adrian Awards Gold winning campaigns, #HMSHostLove and Eat Well. Travel Further.

About HMSHost

Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 100 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of nearly $3.3 billion and employs more than 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.6 billion in 2017, the group operates in 31 countries and employs over 58,000 people. It manages approximately 4,000 stores in about 1,000 locations worldwide.

Visit HMSHost.com for more information and connect with HMSHost on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About QikServe

QikServe is the enterprise platform for guest self-service in hospitality. Using any channel from kiosks and tablets to web and mobile apps, hospitality operators can provide powerful in-store solutions from ordering to payment, giving guests the convenience to order and pay for their food and drinks whenever and however they want. www.qikserve.com

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Case study on HMSHost’s kiosk ordering implementation: https://www.qikserve.com/hmshost-case-study 

 Download photos: https://goo.gl/VtL4Vo  

HMSHost Media Contact:

Sean Matthews

[email protected]

(240) 694-4290

QikServe Media Contact:

Danny Sullivan

[email protected]

+44 772 497 4255

Taco Bell Self-Order Kiosks Get Inspiration From The Airlines

Taco Bell is trying to convince customers to order via kiosks instead of cashiers at restaurants across the US — and it’s drawing inspiration from an unlikely source

From Business Insider Aug 3, 2018

taco bell ordering kioskTaco Bell is installing kiosks in all of its restaurants.

 Hollis Johnson

  • Taco Bell is set to install self-ordering kiosks at all locations across the United States by the end of 2019.
  • The fast-food chain turned to the airline industry to better understand how customers reacted when confronted with machines instead of human employees.
  • Taco Bell ‘s biggest takeaway was that airlines made a major mistake by not having employees around to help customers understand how to use kiosks — a misstep the chain plans to avoid.

Read full article on Business Insider

Photos: Restaurant with robot kitchen opens in Boston

Robot Kitchen Opens in Boston

BOSTON — The world’s first restaurant with a robotic kitchen that cooks complex meals has opened. Spyce’s automated kitchen has seven cooking woks able to serve up to 200 meals an hour.The Boston eatery’s menu is based on a half-dozen bowls with flavors t

Source: kpic.com

200 meals an hour is max rate.  Is average restaurant 60 customers and 20 tables. Turnover is 30 minutes?  120 customers?

Robotic Kitchen

Acquisition – SICOM Acquires Self-Order Point of Sale Solutions Provider NEXTEP SYSTEMS

SICOM Acquires Self-Order Point of Sale Solutions Provider NEXTEP SYSTEMS

Lansdale, PA and Troy, MI – June 12, 2018 –Nextep Systems Order Kiosk SICOM announced today the acquisition of NEXTEP SYSTEMS, a provider of self-ordering point of sale solutions, digital signage and restaurant management software for managed food service, quick service and fast casual restaurants. NEXTEP’s lineup of self-ordering solutions includes kiosks, touchscreen drive thru systems and mobile ordering and will be added to SICOM’s Encounter™ Omni-Channel Point of Sale platform.

NEXTEP was founded by Tommy Woycik when he realized self-ordering technology could prevent people from waiting in lines at restaurants. After creating its first self-ordering solution, NEXTEP has expanded its product catalog to include a full spectrum of order management solutions on its single-platform, cloud-based architecture.

NEXTEP has also introduced several innovative technologies in the self-ordering space, including Intelligent Upsell™ for increasing check averages and facial recognition functionality that provides a personalized guest experience.

“We are truly excited to welcome NEXTEP to the SICOM family,” said Jim Flynn, CEO of SICOM. “The talented team at NEXTEP has created an impressive lineup of industry-leading and inventive self-ordering technologies, and this acquisition will allow SICOM to offer the most comprehensive omni-channel point of sale platform in the industry. We’re also excited to expand into managed food service and fast casual restaurants with a broader and proven suite of products designed specifically for these markets.”

“The team at NEXTEP has accomplished a tremendous amount since our inception in 2005,” said Tommy Woycik, President and Founder of NEXTEP. “SICOM is a perfect fit for NEXTEP, and we are excited to join a company with the same level of commitment to providing leading technology solutions to managed food service providers and quick service and fast casual restaurants. We’re confident that joining forces with SICOM will provide new opportunities for the NEXTEP team and our customers.”

ABOUT NEXTEP SYSTEMS

From Self Order Kiosks and Touchscreen Drive Thrus to mobile ordering and traditional POS terminals, the NEXTEP SYSTEMS solution empowers guests to check out faster, resulting in bigger check totals and higher sales volume. With 7 patents granted and 4 more pending, NEXTEP SYSTEMS offers the industry’s first and only 360° integrated foodservice technology platform to more than 1,500 managed food service, QSR, and fast casual customers.

ABOUT SICOM

SICOM Systems, Inc. is a leading best-of-breed provider of end-to-end technologies and services for quick service and fast casual restaurants. The company offers front-of-house solutions (Digital Menu Boards, Point of Sale and Order Confirmation Units), back-of-house solutions (Drive-Thru Director™ and Chef™ Kitchen Management), as well as above-restaurant solutions (360° Data Analytics, SEMS4 Restaurant Management and RTIconnect Restaurant Management) that are helping leading restaurant brands around the globe streamline their operations. SICOM has over 40,000 digital menu boards, 8,000+ Drive-Thru Directors and 7,000+ Chef Kitchen Management solutions in operation worldwide, while its Point of Sale systems are in more than 6,500 restaurants worldwide and it has more than 10,000 restaurants leveraging its enterprise management systems. Founded in 1987, SICOM is headquartered in Lansdale, Pa. and can be found online at www.SICOM.com.

QSR Ordering Kiosks And Out-Of-Stock Shoes

From Pymnts.com article

QSR Ordering Kiosks Evolved From A 1980s Solution For Out-Of-Stock Shoes

QSR KioskAs a college student in the 1970s, Murray Lappe heard that his fellow students wanted to promote their organizations through a new medium. During a retreat, the students thought of having a traditional bulletin board, but Lappe had an alternate take: Why not digitize the concept?

“We kicked the idea around, and it got some interest,” Lappe told kioskindustry.org. “After the session, the Dean suggested I apply for a grant to see if we could make it happen.”

With just $2,500 in seed money for the project, Lappe went to work on an interface and an algorithm to power what would arguably become one of the first self-service kiosks. The device would come to have a plasma touchscreen, which was important since many people didn’t know how to use a computer at the time.

“I wanted to make it as simple as possible for people who had never used a computer before,” Lappe added. “I didn’t want it to look or feel like a computer.”

The kiosk, which was dubbed the PLATO Hotline, appeared in the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign’s student center only a few weeks before Lappe graduated. And it was a resounding success.

Kiosk Meets Retail

A few years after the introduction of Lappe’s kiosk, the Florsheim Shoe Company decided to bring self-service kiosks into its retail stores. Through the kiosks, customers could also view different styles on a video screen, while the machine would literally talk to customers and sell them on the features of different shoes.

Read the full story at Pymnts.com article

McDonalds Kiosk – Great Falls Montana Video

McDonalds Kiosk – Great Falls Montana Video

 

mcdonalds kiosk great falls
Click image for video

Self-serve kiosks are making their debut in the fast food industry! The recently renovated 10th Ave. McDonald’s here in Great Falls has just added self-serving kiosks to their menu.  Instead of 3 places to order, there are now 8 in the newly designed restaurant.

In an effort to offer a better guest experience, McDonald’s is allowing their customers to have the opportunity of ordering everything themselves.

The staff that was once stuck behind the counter, are now making the experience more personable by helping out on the floor.

For many, the new service is great!

The good news is that these self-serving kiosks won’t be taking jobs away from the fast food industry any time soon. In fact, they’ve created some!

The new kiosks have allowed the opportunity for labor to be directed elsewhere, such as in the kitchen or helping customers on the floor.

One of these new positions is known as GEL, or Guest Experience Lead. This position is designed to help customers understand the new kiosk and order process.

It’s also important to note the new self-serving kiosks are just an option You can still order your meal the traditional way or through the drive-thru.

Overall these kiosks have drastically helped with efficiency and customer interaction.

COMMENTS

Eunice Coughlin

Eunice Coughlin Just wanted to share our recent experience with kiosks in McDonald’s. We were at a McDonald’s in Waco, TX on Easter weekend (Sunday) and people were using the kiosks. The problem was that there were not enough kitchen staff to fulfill the orders that were coming in from the kiosks and the regular order takers. People were waiting a good 10-15 minutes for their food. Hopefully, these kinks will be worked out soon. Maybe a solution: disable the kiosks when there’s not enough kitchen staff?

 

  • Craig Keefner

    Craig Keefner That may be McDonald specific. Paneras process was to first upgrade the kitchens to ensure the higher order level would be met. I haven’t seen anything from McDonalds on expanded kitchen throughput. The kiosks though are desired particularly at the “burst” point so that when the counters are busy, you can still order quickly. Obviously they have some work to do but they may see it as a good problem. Thanks Eunice!

 

Craig Keefner

That may be McDonald specific. Paneras process was to first upgrade the kitchens to ensure the higher order level would be met. I haven’t seen anything from McDonalds on expanded kitchen throughput. The kiosks though are desired particularly at the “burst” point so that when the counters are busy, you can still order quickly. Obviously they have some work to do but they may see it as a good problem. Thanks Eunice!

 

More information

Self-Order Kiosk Approach Announced by Frank Mayer

Approach32  Self-Order Kiosk for Fast Casual

frankmayer approach kioskFrank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s self-ordering kiosk delivers an interactive dining experience that offers expediency and order process efficiency to both customers and store employees.

GRAFTON, WI – Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. announces the launch of Approach32, a self-service kiosk designed to meet the quick service restaurant industry’s demand for customer convenience, order accuracy, and faster service by enabling consumers to browse a digital menu, customize an order and pay at the kiosk.

Frank Mayer Approach KioskOutfitted with a 32-inch touchscreen monitor, the kiosk also features a payment terminal and printer, assistive technology and a software package option to integrate with various POS systems.

The enclosure marries smart design with a small footprint, offering an array of customization options and brand personalization – all while being backed by Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s trusted name in delivering experience and unsurpassed quality in the interactive kiosk market.

“With our history of serving the kiosk market, designing Approach32 to fit the distinct needs of quick service restaurants and fast casual dining was a logical step,” says Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “The Approach kiosk is the answer to the growing movement toward self-service.”

Approach32 is also available as a smaller unit, containing a 22-inch monitor and tailored for restaurants with less floor space.

In addition to operating within quick service and fast casual restaurants, Approach32 also offers functionality for a variety of other markets including wayfinding, product selection, self-service checkout, and registration check-in.

Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a leader in the development of in-store merchandising displays, interactive kiosks, and store fixtures for brands and retailers nationwide. The company helps retailers and brands utilize the latest display solutions and technologies to create engaging customer experiences. Visit www.frankmayer.com/approach for more information about Approach32 and Approach22.

******

CONTACT:
David Anzia, Senior Vice President of Sales
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.
1975 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton, WI 53024
(855) 294-2875 | [email protected]

MORE SELF-ORDER KIOSK IMAGES

In The Wild – Subway Drive-Thru Self-Order System

Caught in the Wild – Subway Drive Thru Kiosk

Subway drive thru kiosk
click for full size

 

Hello folks!  Please help me congratulate Tara Hill and her staff for her implementation of our World’s Fastest Drive Thru™ Solution at her brand new Fresh Forward SUBWAY® Restaurant located in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, CA.  What a beautiful location that she has there!   This is our third Canadian location with our solution(with more to come) and Nova Scotia is definitely a hot zone for Drive Thru for SUBWAY®.  With the new generation of consumers, this type of technology is needed and creates one of the most positive experiences(and very profitable) for Drive Thru ordering!  Please, if you’re in the area, please stop by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 

Costco Food Court Now Testing Self-Ordering Kiosks

Costco Kiosks
Costco Kiosks

After discovering the Costco food court kiosk at a location local to us, we decided to try it out for ourselves. Here’s what we thought.

Source: www.foodbeast.com

Nice video of food self-order costco kiosks being tested at Tustin, CA Costco.  The hotdogs are legendary and the pizza (pepperoni) is top rated by Consumer Reports actually.

Bite Says Face-Recognizing Kiosks Improve Customer Experience

Bite Says Face-Recognizing Kiosks Improve Customer Experience

Jack In The Box Kiosk

That’s a belief driving the startup Bite, which creates facial recognition kiosks for quick service restaurants (QSRs). Using a combination of iPads, proprietary software and machine learning, Bite’s tablet kiosks can recognize your face to unlock loyalty programs, bring up food preferences and provide opportunities for restaurants to upsell.

Source: thespoon.tech

Jack in the Box CEO, Leonard Comma, made news this week when he said “it just made sense” for his fast-food chain to consider switching from human cashiers to machines. To be sure, there are big societal implications if every restaurant made such a shift, but what if automated kiosks provide a better customer experience?

McDonalds Kiosk – Table service, touch-screen order kiosks coming to all U.S. McDonald’s

McDonalds Kiosk – Table service, touch-screen order kiosks coming to all U.S. McDonald’s

McDonald’s on Thursday announced a bold plan to roll out its “restaurant of the future” concept to Chicago and other big U.S. cities.

Source: www.chicagotribune.com

Here is video of Just For You

On Thursday, McDonald’s announced that it would expand the service to all 14,000 of its American restaurants.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, speaking at a McDonald’s in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood on Thursday, said the company has long expected customers to adapt to its business model of ordering at the counter and then waiting to collect their own food. Now, he said, “we’re adapting our business around customers.”

The Journal also reports that “test runs at more than 500 restaurants…showed an increase in foot traffic and contributed to a mid-single-digit percentage increase in restaurant sales, lifting the $5 to $6 average check by $1, on average.” Customer satisfaction scores also increased “because families, in particular, appreciate having their food brought to them.” (The company also announced rollout of a new mobile order-and-pay app, which would allow customers to order and pay for food from their smartphones.)

Inc. article on McDonalds 11/21/16


Reuters article 11/21

McDonald’s USA in tech push plans self-serve kiosks, mobile ordering

The cost of installing kiosks is between $50,000 and $60,000 and the company is willing to help with money or financing, McDonald’s executives said. Eastbrook has said that equipment is not expected to reduce the number of workers in restaurants, since traditional order takers would be redeployed to help customers learn to operate kiosks and to deliver food to tables.

Demonstrating returns is key to convincing franchisees to make the switch, executives said. In a video, one UK executive said sales grew 8 percent in downtown London as a result of the initiative.

Kiosks vs. Mobile Apps: A Face-Off of Restaurant Tech

Nice write up on kiosks versus tablets in the QSR ordering space.

Source: globenewswire.com

When it comes to mobile apps vs. kiosks in the restaurant field, here’s why some experts give the edge to using a self-service ordering device over a mobile app:

Excerpt:

What has made kiosks particularly enticing to consumers is their efficiency.

Customers want to buy products that are easily available, within their budget and present the required information pertaining to ingredients, product details, nutritional value and others. Products and information provided at kiosks quickly cater to those demands.

“When kiosks first came along, there was a learning curve for users,” Vasa said. “It took them some time to figure them out. As time has gone on, kiosks are everywhere. Exposure has helped people understand the technology and become more comfortable with it. Kiosks no longer are seen as potential obstacles, but rather as necessities.”

Juke Slot develops automated technology designed to facilitate faster service and provide entertainment for consumers in the casino, hospitality and restaurant industries. Its Android-based kiosks’ sole purpose is to provide faster service and entertainment to the everyday public environment, with customized application capabilities based on customer needs.

The company’s device provides a tableside ordering, custom designed EMV-certified hardware solution that enables secure transactions. Juke Slot’s lineup also features a standup touchscreen kiosk aimed at the quick service industry.

Juke Slot focuses on giving its customers more control of their operation — over their customer ordering process, over their onsite marketing and over their business processes.

For more information or to purchase Juke Slot’s software or kiosks, email [email protected].

Meet Birdcall – A Futuristic Chicken Sandwich Shop Open Now in Five Points

Self-Order Kiosk by Birdcall

Denver’s newest fried chicken sandwich spot opened in Five Points last night. Birdcall is the latest from the Park Burger team, led by Jean-Phillipe Failyau and Peter Newlin. It is the first …

Source: 303magazine.com

New Birdcall restaurant opening up

Excerpt: Birdcall, a contemporary take on a retro chicken restaurant is the third restaurant concept and venture for the group that is lead by chef Jean-Philippe Failyau along with his partner Peter Newlin. The first location opened its doors in August at 800 E. 26th Avenue in Denver. Known by Failyau and Newlin and the staff as smart hospitality, their goal is to revolutionize the way restaurants take care of their guests. Starting immediately, customers witness the birdcall experience by ordering from custom designed kiosks. Built from the ground up, Newlin and his team have developed their very own user-friendly, customer facing, POS system that allows the guest to feel completely immersed in the brand experience from start to finish.

When Birdcall opens in the spring, a manager who plays much more Apple Store genius than restaurant maitre d’ will oversee the staff-free dining room set where Tom’s Home Cookin’ operated for 17 years. The team behind the upcoming fried chicken sandwich spot, who also owns the Park Burger mini chain and two locations of Homegrown Tap & Dough, has a modern goal in mind: Using technology to be able to serve quality food at an affordable price.

Birdcall will be a modern fast-casual restaurant where design and a high-quality food program will aim to be the core of the new age restaurant experience. There will be affordable (think $5) all-natural Colorado-raised chicken sandwiches, a variety of them that includes Cordon Bleu, Nashville Hot, Kimchi, plus all sorts of flavors of hash browns, and plenty of beverages, alcoholic and not.

Instead of sitting down and ordering from a server or going up to a counter to do the same, guests will walk up to a high-tech kiosk developed uniquely for Birdcall and enter what they want. The software will be able to retain customer information so that next time a guest comes a swipe of a card will automatically pull up previous orders, which can be duplicated, or a menu of favorites, which one can choose from skipping the larger menu. Here’s what to expect:

Here is Feb article that shows main area + wireframe of kiosk

McDonald’s hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks

McDonalds Kiosk Raises Earnings Expectations by Analysts

  • Cowen says McDonald’s will upgrade 2,500 restaurants to its “Experience of the Future” technology by year-end, which includes digital ordering kiosks.
  • The firm raises its rating on McDonald’s to outperform from market perform and price target for the shares to $180 from $142.
  • Same store sales estimate for 2018 raised to 3 percent from 2 percent.

Video Link

Andrew Charles from Cowen cited plans for the restaurant chain to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017. The technology upgrades, part of what McDonald’s calls “Experience of the Future,” includes digital ordering kiosks that will be offered in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and table delivery.

“MCD is cultivating a digital platform through mobile ordering and Experience of the Future (EOTF), an in-store technological overhaul most conspicuous through kiosk ordering and table delivery,” Charles wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018 with a combined 130 bps [basis points] contribution to U.S. comps [comparable sales].”

Full release on CNBC

QikServe unveils food order kiosk solution for hospitality sector

Multichannel ordering and payment leader targets growing trend for in-store self-service ordering

Edinburgh, UK – March 22, 2017 QikServe, the multichannel ordering and payment specialist, today announced that has rolled out a new solution for hospitality businesses that are looking to implement kiosk-based ordering and payment systems. The QikServe Kiosk Application is latest addition to QikServe’s suite of ordering and payment solutions, which also includes mobile, tablet and web-based applications.

The QikServe Kiosk Application gives operators a flexible, customizable platform for building their own self-service system. Operators combine brand logos, colors and images with QikServe’s intuitive user interface to deliver a unique self-service kiosk customer experience. Adding and updating product images, food and drink descriptions or relevant up-sell and cross-sell options, can all be easily managed by operators within the app.

In 2016, several restaurant giants made significant commitments to the implementation of self-order digital kiosk initiatives. Many hospitality operators view kiosks as the first step towards full mobile ordering, with no need to download an app or check in via mobile, customers are often more ready to engage via kiosks.

qik serve kiosk orderingThe QikServe Kiosk Application allows operators to capture guest data insights to intelligently optimize in-house operations, such as number of visits, most popular locations and kiosk positions, typical order spend, most ordered meals or successful upsells, peak self-service hours by day, week or month and more. This data can help operators optimize menus for greater spend and to provide enhanced experiences and services based on usage data.

“Kiosks offer hospitality operators more than just a new ordering option – they support operational efficiency by helping reduce queues and can provide eye-catching digital signage opportunities,” said Daniel Rodgers, CEO, QikServe. “Adding to our existing applications in mobile and web-based ordering our Kiosk Application provides operators with a fast, cost-effective way to implement self-service ordering using our purpose built screen flows and interface design that are designed to deliver great user experiences.”

QikServe’s Kiosk Application can be installed on any kiosk hardware running the widely used Universal Windows Platform, enabling secure, PCI-compliant payments via an integrated card-reading terminal that can be configured to accept payments types including Android Pay, Apple Pay, Chip and Pin, mag stripe and NFC Contactless.

About QikServe

QikServe’s patented technology allows hospitality operators to provide the ability to order and pay for food and drinks directly from any device. Using QikServe, guests can use mobile devices to order exactly what they want, when they want it. QikServe is available as a standalone, customer-branded app or can be fully integrated into hospitality operators’ existing mobile apps and POS platforms. It makes use of technologies such as in-store beacons or QR codes to alert customers to download and use the app. Once logged into the application, guests can open their check, add to their order, customize meals or room-service orders and pay for them from within the app.  With Gold Partner status in Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), QikServe is fully integrated into Oracle Hospitality’s Point of Sale (POS) platform; therefore customers who use Oracle’s POS solution can quickly deploy a fully-branded mobile order and payment service for their diners. www.qikserve.com

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Images and video available at: http://www.qikserve.com/index.php/press/

 Media contact:

Danny Sullivan

+44 772 497 4255

[email protected]

Order Kiosk – Review of McDonalds Kiosk Burger Ordering at SXSW

Order Kiosk – Review of McDonalds Kiosk Burger Ordering at SXSW

mcdonalds kiosk burger ordering
mcdonalds kiodk burger ordering

They are gigantic touch screens that let you customize your burger with toppings like guacamole, grilled mushrooms, onions, and bacon.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

Good point on the oversize smartphone.  Writer says the units are expensive but never notes a cost.  Looking at them with the Verifone “wart” I personally think they are in the B- range when it comes to design, which usually equates to cheaper.

They are gigantic touch screens that let you customize your burger with toppings like guacamole, grilled mushrooms, onions, and bacon and sauces like sriracha mayo. But the kiosks have drawbacks, like not working in the drive-thrus that provide 70% of McDonald’s revenue and being relatively expensive.

Open Letter to Washington Post – Job Killing Kiosks

self-order kiosk

Source: www.linkedin.com

Here is a personal opinion letter/piece that I wrote for rebuttal to Andy Puzder and Rensi.  I was deliberately ruthless and demonstrative for effect. I also sent to the Washington Post and may send to some more. I also published as personal letter on the Kiosk industry group site.

Letter to Washington Post Job Killing Kiosks

I am the executive director of a kiosk industry group association that specializes in self-service in all industries.

This is in response to the recent news items by Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder and Ed Rensi, former president and CEO of McDonalds declaring that self-order automation in fast food industry is a “consequence” and a matter of time if we “foolishly” increase the minimum wage.

That is simply not true.

Neither one of them has, to any degree, or wants – to implement modern automation for customers. What they want is to maintain the status quo and use self-order automation as a bully club of sorts. Almost a threat.

The status quo? It is generally lowest paid minority and immigrant (legal and illegal) workers, not unlike field workers in early California days. Hispanic and black predominantly. Virtual slave labor to be harsh. That is the model for their fast food restaurants which the majority they franchise and franchisees factor for their ROI.

Both minimum wage increases and automation “disrupt” that model and make waves for them. They are protecting that model. Not unlike Hearst protecting the paper mills when hemp was shown to be a superior newspaper print medium than cutting down trees. Outlaw hemp and the mills made money.

Meanwhile small business gets left behind, again. They cannot afford the investment for self-order and an high minimum wage is difficult at best for them.

Automation creates a ton of jobs all the way across the food chain (so to speak) from metal fabricators, engineers, service techs, salespeople and many many more. How many jobs does automated checkout at Walmart account for at NCR? Tens of thousands. Panera’s is a great example of modern thinking in the food industry.

How many jobs does Amazon and Bezos create, foster and necessitate? Those automation jobs in the warehouses (even with the automation) count. Those jobs and skills do require training and education.

Has McDonalds in Europe, in their corporate-owned restaurants, seen a reduction of labor due to self-order? No. They have increased employment.

Puzder and Rensi are change-agnostics. They like it the way it is. The old way. McDonalds is changing for the good. CKE may be glad Puzder is leaving.

There is indeed a shift towards more automation in the public space. That certainly redefines workers in the public space as well.

I’m from the south and when I was 14 in 1969 my mother took me to the Arkansas bottomland near Fort Smith and had me pick peas and cut cabbage for $5 a day. We did it one week in the summer. That was a lesson in minimum wage I never forgot. I went to school and that is the best thing minimum wage can do.

Feature – Serves you right!

Good article by Elliot Maras published last week regarding jobs and the fast food kiosk.

By now you’ve already heard it — the introduction of self-order restaurant kiosks is raising fears that kiosks are killing jobs. News media outlets and websites are perpetuating the story that restaurants want to replace workers with kiosks to protect their bottom lines.

What’s to be done about it? Plenty.

If ever there were a time for the kiosk industry to speak with a collective voice, that time is now.  Let’s start with a reality check.

Restaurants in the fast casual space have deployed tablets on the tables for years now.  Those kiosks have increased the spend and added efficiencies.  They have helped increase business and traffic flow.  Customers complete surveys and provide feedback.  E-Club enrollments.  Customers and businesses are very happy with these kiosks. Notables in this “fast casual” space are Chili’s, Paneras and Red Robin.

The restaurants have grown and prospered. Kitchens have been upgraded for more capacity, and more people have been employed. One industry insider says:

In a dozen years of providing self order kiosks to the restaurant industry, I haven’t seen a reduction in “total labor”. In many cases the order taking (and less frequently payment) is automated, but more orders are processed and the orders are larger. That means more labor is needed in the kitchen and customer service. It really is more of a shift that a reduction.

Drive-thru and outdoor ordering have been mainstays for kiosks/ordering stations, and we are seeing next generation touchscreen ordering from companies like NEXTEP and many others. Tommy Woycik of NEXTEP insight:

When we introduced self order at the drive thru, many restaurants that had closed their drive thrus were able to reopen them. Without the automation, the economics simply didn’t make sense (i.e. the drive thru was losing money). Closing the drive thru eliminated a job. Reopening with a kiosk actually added labor, but just enough to make the drive thru feasible.

As far as the economic circumstance consider what the investment Seeking Alpha site has to say — 

The restaurant industry can be difficult to navigate as food trends shift like the wind. Companies that operate a large number of locations should produce significant margins from size and scale. However, because the consumer can be fickle when it comes to eating out, margins and revenue can quickly turn south as volume slips from over extension, saturation, or just a change in diet. Restaurants need foot traffic, automobile access, or a consistent supply of guests like a hotel or resort. Because of this and other equipment requirements, restaurant leases are amongst some of the highest cost in the country. The reason for this is simple: Location. Location. Location.

Margins in a franchisee business, especially in low-cost fast food like a McDonalds or Burger King or Subway are tough adversaries.

Still, Americans are spending more at bars and restaurants than at grocery stores for the first time ever. $55B versus $53B according to Quartz report.

Click for full size

Fast Food Kiosk Coming Up Fast?

Recently we have seen the McDonalds announcement where, having done most of Europe, it is now looking to introduce self-ordering in the United States.

The CEO of CKE Andy Puzder, who has been a tireless opponent of minimum wage over the years, is now conveying the sense that kiosks are a result of minimum wage coming with a bit of “I told you so” for effect.

We have seen very few deployments in fast food and we won’t see significant minimum wage increases for several years.   The franchisee model and the type of food service may be more relevant factors.

Self-service arrived many years ago and is simply expanding given the increased connectivity and independence of those customers.  And the battle for new customers and most importantly retaining your current customers.

More Jobs – consider the jobs that automation supports. From basic metal fabrication, design, concierge, assistants, service techs, admins and yes, even, salespeople which we sometimes make fun of. They all support families and communities.

Automation creates a ton of jobs all the way across the food chain (so to speak) from metal fabricators, engineers, service techs, salespeople and many many more.  How many jobs does automated checkout at Walmart account for at NCR?  Tens of thousands.  Panera’s is a great example of modern thinking in the food industry.

How many jobs does Amazon and Bezos create, foster and necessitate? Those automation jobs in the warehouses (even with the automation) count.

And before we assign the entire industry to McDonalds/CKE/Darden/YUM/JackintheBox/Wendys, consider this quote from thebalance.com:

Even though it seems like the largest U.S. restaurant chains dominate the retail restaurant niche, only about 30% of America’s restaurants are part of a multi-unit chain, and only a fraction of those restaurant chains are publicly traded restaurant companies. The vast majority of U.S. retail diners are spending $1.9 billion in approximately one million restaurant locations owned by individual culinary entrepreneurs.”

For contrast consider the early theory that ATMs will eliminate bank employees.  Banks became smaller for sure but they built more of them, and more people were employed.

So What Does Kill Jobs  If Anything?

The statements that kiosks are killing jobs are more targeted at killing minimum wage politically.  That’s politics and those issues come and go as it serves someones interests.  You might also say China is killing jobs too, but it’s not really them that is killing jobs.

The tax advantages of imported goods may go away in a new “border adjustable” Republican plan (which companies like Walmart are not happy with).   Incentivising companies to build in the US will create jobs.

A labor shortage for skilled workers and craftsmen (higher middle class) is killing jobs.  People need to be trained. See Profoundly Disconnected and Mike Rowe which we support.

Fact is though Automation and connectivity are killing jobs.

Mr. Maras makes the good point that training and skilled workers is a fundamental issue.  Vocational schools which focus on job skills with computers and automation.  And why not take a page from the German labour playbook? Works for their labour force.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Other countries devote more resources than the U.S. to cushioning and retraining displaced workers. As a share of gross domestic product, Denmark spends 25 times as much, says Dr. Autor.

He offers another historical example. Near the end of the 19th century, America’s agricultural states faced the prospect of mass unemployment as farms automated. 

In response, they created the “high school movement,” which required everyone to stay in school until age 16. It was hugely expensive, both because of the new schools and teachers, but also because these young people could no longer work on the farm. But it better prepared workers for 20th century factory jobs and fueled the explosion in college attendance after World War II.

Self-service automation is energizing the job market and the general economy. The clear benefits will not go away and by implementing them properly businesses will be enabled to indeed grow to the next level, and even more people will be employed.

Amazon says it will create 100,000 jobs in U.S. by 2018

Amazon will create 100,000 full-time jobs in the United States with full benefits over the next 18 months, the tech giant announced in a statement Thursday.

The company says the positions are for workers across the country and across all skill and experience levels. Most of the positions will be at fulfillment centers, including new ones under construction in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.

“Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it’s created hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley—they’re in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country.”

Full article

Kiosk Industry Association

Followup:  One of the KI sponsors (Olea) contributed this — We’ve been following Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame and he’s doing a lot to promote this sort of thing. Our thought was to create a foundation that starts with say a $5k scholarship or money to a school who’s got a great set of shop classes, or one that is building a shop class and is short on funds. We think we could get suppliers and other companies that we work with to also support our efforts to take that number higher over the years. Companies that we buy CNC equipment from or grinder belts those types of vendors.

Comments:

When we purchased a new press brake for $300k Amada the manufacturer told us that it had all sorts of software on it to make running it easier. Then we got it and found out you really needed very qualified operators at +$50k salary. We had to use 3 agencies to find two people and we offered a signing bonus, 1 week vacation and 75% company paid HMO. It took us months to find people.

A year or so later we had a conversation with them and they said it’s not something that is taught anywhere. You get on the job training and build up to it. So, we have a program here to teach anyone that wants to learn. Then Amada said they’ve been forced to figure out how to make the machines smarter so that anyone can run them. In exchange, you’ll get anyone to run the machine for $15 bucks an hour but why??? All because nobody is being trained to do these things. Businesses will adapt. Labor shortages and training is causing higher level middle class jobs to disappear just as fast or faster than innovation or anything else.

Then of course there’s China or other places with low labor costs causing havoc. Everyone pays the same price for a high-end CNC machine no matter where you are in the world. But the guy standing at the machine for a few bucks an hour vs. the guy making $26 per hour makes it tough for America to compete. Hence the US Kiosk industry needing to be very fast with custom designed goods that can be built and delivered before a Chinese box can be put on a boat for a 4-6 week journey.

 


Members  involved in Self-Service and this article.

Kiosks in Fast Food Creating Jobs and Increasing Revenues – Counterpoint

fastcasual-mcdonaldsKiosks killing jobs? Current events beg the question, but the facts say otherwise

Reprinted with permission Dec. 12, 2016 | by Elliot Maras

 
We at the Kiosk Industry Association have seen the news media running controversial headlines and opinion pieces by CEOs and ex-CEOs decrying the minimum wage increase and attributing loss of jobs to self-order.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. Here is a very nice piece from Fast Casual and Elliot Maras providing an accurate counterpoint. Thanks Elliot! — Editor

 
President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Andrew Pudzer as Secretary of Labor has helped push the “kiosk as restaurant job killer” theme into the nation’s consciousness. Pudzer, CEO of CKE Restaurants, is an advocate of automation.

The high-profile Pudzer nomination directs attention on automation as restaurant chains continue to introduce self-order kiosks to improve customer service. It comes on the heels of the “Fight for $15” wage campaign, which is placing unprecedented pressure on restaurants, particularly limited-service concepts.

Late last month, Ed Rensi, a former president and CEO of McDonald’s USA, penned a column in Forbes reminding readers that businesses in 2013 warned that the labor-union-led “Fight for $15” would force companies to replace full-serve employees with self-service alternatives.

Rensi’s main point was that businesses cannot absorb the higher wages that labor unions are advocating. But for people less familiar with the restaurant industry, the controversy over the $15 wage has muddled the full story about why foodservice chains are introducing self-service kiosks and what impact kiosks really have on restaurant labor.

Shortly after stories broke claiming McDonald’s was planning to roll out self-order kiosks in all of its 14,000 U.S. stores, The Gateway Pundit, a political website, carried the following headline: “Congrats Minimum Wage Protesters! McDonald’s Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide.”

Both the restaurant industry and the kiosk industry now find themselves forced to defend their actions, which in reality are not killing jobs.

Kioskmarketplace in May reported that many restaurant chains were deploying kiosks before the $15-minimum wage push had gained steam. The Digital Screenmedia Association in 2011 reported that 21 percent of all QSRs were planning to introduce self-ordering kiosks. Also, in 2011, McDonald’s installed 840 kiosks across Europe with the goal of improving customer service.

Robotics researchers, restaurant executives, industrial engineers, consultants and economists have all said automation in the restaurant and fast-food sectors is not as simple as installing automatic tellers in banks or employing robots to assemble cars, according to Reuters.

Several chains are using kiosks and other technology that allow orders to be placed more rapidly and efficiently. Such efficiencies are serving to reallocate labor from the front to the back of the restaurant and in some cases, add jobs.

Labor moves to the back of the house

During McDonald’s shareholders meeting in May, company CEO Steve Easterbrook was asked if he expected to see kiosks taking the place of workers and causing people to lose their jobs. “It may change the nature of the jobs in the restaurant, because frankly technology is something that our customers are embracing,” Easterbrook said. “We can just reapportion that labor into more service orientated roles that we think the customer will benefit both ways.”

According to Panera Bread’s 2015 second quarter earnings call report, digital utilization efforts reduced order input labor but increased labor hours. Panera’s new business model, introduced in 2014, includes fast lane kiosks for dining in and ordering to go. Under this model, called Panera 2.0, the company actually added labor hours to meet the demand driven by multiple points of digital access and to ensure the ability to serve with greater accuracy in an environment where about 70 percent of orders are customized.

“This extra labor is necessary to drive a better guest experience consistent with operating clarity,” the earnings report said.

CEO Ron Shaich indicated as early as October 2014 that same-store sales from 2.0 stores outpaced traditional cafes, according to FastCasual.com. With 5 percent of all company sales placed through web, mobile or kiosk, Shaich said he was encouraged by the potential for the 2.0 model.

Saladworks, a fresh salad franchise chain that is also revamping its stores, does not expect labor hours to decline as it installs self-serve kiosks, according to Pat Sugrue, president and CEO.

“We didn’t do this for labor purposes; we did it for throughput and also capacity,” said Sugrue. “We’re going to have more people making salads. From an hours perspective, hours should go up, not go down.”

Sugrue pointed out that the kiosks could impact labor costs in a positive way for the company that is not synonymous with fewer hours worked.

Self-order kiosks change labor metrics

“If the sales go up faster than the net hours, then our labor as a percentage of sales will come down,” Sugrue said. “I think we’re going to add hours, but we should be able to increase throughput, and therefore, sales, and our labor percentage could come down.”

The objective of the kiosk is recognizing that how you want to be served and how I want to be served can be very different, Sugrue said.

“Increasingly, millennials and millennial-minded people don’t necessarily need that interaction with someone. For those who order off the kiosk, that will shorten the queue for those who don’t order off the kiosk, and it will provide better service to either group,” he said.

Self-Order Kiosks long-term impact not known

This is not to say that some jobs won’t be eliminated in some situations. The long-term ramifications of self-order kiosks are hard to determine, given the newness of self-order restaurant kiosks. Transitioning to kiosks will require companies to continue serving those customers who still want personal service.

“During slower times, brands still need the appropriate number of counter staff because the kiosk is a customer service option, not a requirement,” said Jodi Meryl Wallace, chief marketing officer at Acrelec America, a provider of customer experience technology. The company’s European operation has been involved in numerous restaurant kiosk deployments. “There’s also the need for front-of-house team members to assist customers who are new to using the kiosks,” Wallace said. “Because of kiosks, brands have begun to offer table service delivery of orders so staff is redirected to that task as well.

Because kiosks increase the speed at which orders are taken, brands have found that there’s an increased need for back-of-house/kitchen staff during peak periods when kiosks are used, Wallace said.

“Kiosks grow revenue by increasing throughput and by providing consumers with ‘order privacy’ which results in customers adding more side items, beverages and desserts, and more frequent upsizing of menu items,” she said.

Meeting customer needs

Ultimately, restaurants must meet expectations of all their customers, and 64 percent of millennials prefer self-service, according to an MHI Global report.

“Add to that kiosks can present a menu in multiple languages…and they’re fun to use,” Wallace said. “In France, 90 percent of consumers will use the kiosk option when it’s available. “Brands have reported that the average check size at the kiosk is 30 percent higher than at the counter.”

Reducing restaurant labor has a little bit to do with it, but it’s not the driving force, said Tom Radtke, vice president of sales at Keyser Retail Solutions, a retail technology integrator.

“You’re going to continue to have that kid at the counter,” he said. “There’s a group of people who won’t go to the kiosk.”

Radtke agrees with those who predict self-order kiosks will improve restaurant sales.

“The kiosk can lead you through the process and do suggestive selling, and that kiosk does it better than a 13-year old crew kid,” said Radtke. “Typically that (kiosk) order is a higher ring than it is at the counter.”

Another factor is that consumers today, especially millennials, are more appreciative of businesses that use technology. Hence, there is a customer perception factor involved.

Is a groundswell underway?

The controversy won’t be going away soon. If McDonald’s deploys kiosks nationally, it marks one of the country’s most significant restaurant kiosk developments.

Given how long limited-service chains have been testing kiosks, one can’t assume that McDonald’s action — regardless of what’s motivating it — signals a groundswell movement, however.

“If your customer doesn’t embrace it, you’ve got a huge expenditure for something that doesn’t have much of a payback,” said Radtke. “How do you incorporate another layer of ordering, transaction processing into the inside of the restaurant?”

He noted that it took a long time for bank customers to embrace ATMs.

Some observers do think a groundswell is in the making, however.

“The QSRs are starting to understand the ROI on this,” said Charles Lewis, director of business development at Elite Manufacturing, a kiosk hardware manufacturer.

The speed and order accuracy that kiosks deliver are creating higher profit margins, Lewis said.