December 7, 2022
Lauren Platero

Self Service Technology: Examples & 6 Groundbreaking Facts

Automate restaurant operations with self service technology. It will simplify the customer experience by lessening wait times and ensuring accuracy. Self service technology can also enhance customer satisfaction.  

With self service technology, waiters and waitresses can focus on providing excellent customer service and getting people out of the eatery at a quicker pace. A fast table turnover rate is essential for maximizing profits.

If you work as the business owner or restaurant manager of an eatery, we highly recommend you consider the benefits of self service technology. So, without further ado, let’s learn all about it.

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Self Service Technology

Restaurant technology is taking over the industry one solution at a time. Eateries that employ self service technology can benefit from increased productivity and profitability.

Self-service technology can also streamline food delivery processes, payment processing, and meal preparation. But before we dive into the advantages, disadvantages, and interesting facts about self service technology, let’s define the term.

Self Service Technology Definition

Self service technology consists of advanced solutions that allow customers to place and retrieve orders independently. Within the food and beverage industry, this could look like many things. In fact, you’ve probably used self service tech at one time or another.

Many restaurants onboard such technologies to streamline operations. In doing so, they’re also able to increase the ROI. The ROI meaning refers to the amount of money the business generates vs. what is invested in it.

Advantages of Self Service Technology

Self service technology constantly delivers new innovations to the restaurant industry. It allows businesses to be unique within a pretty saturated market, initiates product differentiation, and rise above the competition.

Self service technology also helps restaurant staff be more efficient. As customers use digital devices to handle common operations, the staff can give their undivided attention to more dire and urgent situations. So while visitors are viewing the menu or paying the bill, the wait staff can be checking on orders and larger parties.

Upselling and cross selling are two initiatives that every business should pursue. Fortunately, this category of technology can lead customers down a sales funnel to secure higher cart values.

Digital devices can display images of entree food, the appetizer list, and the dessert menu. Not only can this be appealing to customers browsing the menus, but they can be added to the checkout page.

Consumer data reports show that people spend more money on online orders than during table service, so offering digital menus can be a very profitable decision.  Restaurant automation gadgets that integrate with the POS system boast numerous benefits. And as the industry evolves, they’ll continue to have an even greater impact.

Disadvantages of Self Service Technology

Tech solutions are designed to enhance restaurant operations and customer service. However, technology can’t always be perfect.

Technology relies on wifi or internet usage to function. With this said, there are variables that could result in a malfunctioning system. Some of the most popular might include storms, mobile service, etc.

Think about the customers who enjoy dining at pay at table restaurants. If an error occurs that interferes with the eatery’s cloud-based software, the devices might not work properly. Systems like QR codes and kiosks are also solutions that could be affected by system errors.

So you might wonder how to ensure that customers don’t become dissatisfied. Or, you might be contemplating how to avoid these issues in general. Just be sure that you acquire backup systems or an even mix of digital devices and staff.

Imagine a customer is trying to order a meal at self ordering kiosks but the touchscreen won’t work. Having employees on duty who can manually take these orders would save the day.

As always, just be prepared for any potential issues. And, understand various problems and solutions for the tech products your business invests in.

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Examples of Self Service Technology

So onboarding self service technology sounds like a great idea–but which ones should you choose? These are some of the most popular options.

  • Kiosks: If you’d like to install a solution for consumers on the go, then opening food kiosks might be the perfect business venture. They consist of very minimal maintenance and can be very profitable over time.
  • Tabletop Devices: Digital devices provide customers with the most convenient service. In one device that connects to the restaurant POS platform, visitors can browse the menu types, place orders, and pay the tab.
  • Drive-Thru Service: Every quick service restaurant has a drive-thru window and digital menu boards. Plus, they’re one of the most lucrative restaurant styles. Between the profitability and low restaurant expenses, definitely consider the cost to open a QSR.
  • QR Codes: As long as the customer has a smartphone, a custom QR code can suit your restaurant. Upon scanning a code, it will redirect your customers to a sleek and professional digital menu. Then, they can browse and place orders as they wish.
  • Pre-Order Food and Drinks: If consumers would like to multitask, ordering food or drinks ahead of time is super convenient. Whether they’d like their morning coffee to be ready before work, or would like a quick bite to eat upon arrival at one of their favorite country clubs,  this option is valuable.

6 Facts About Self Service Technology

Are you feeling uncertain about the decision to use self service technology? Don’t fret! Here are six statistics about this kind of technology in restaurants that might pique your interest.

  1. 70% of smartphone users browse mobile food menus.
  2. Less than 20% of restaurants have their own mobile app.
  3. Over 80% of consumers browse restaurant menus before they visit.
  4. Roughly 80% of consumers agree that innovative restaurant technology improves their dining experience.
  5. Over 80% of restaurant owners say that technology helps to increase sales, improve productivity, and gives the business a competitive advantage.
  6. 90% of franchise owners believe that restaurant technology provides the business with a competitive edge.

As you could imagine, technology is revolutionizing the restaurant industry all the time. As business owners and consumers become more accustomed to digital devices and hospitality software there will be even more opportunities for innovation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Self Service Technology

Self service technology spans vast ecosystems. Between the number of industries that can utilize such solutions, as well as the variety of products it can enhance, there’s much to learn. Read on to discover more ideas about it.

What Are the Benefits of Self Service Technology?

Several benefits of self service technology include:

  • Seamless operations
  • It can save time
  • Better customer service
  • It supports efficiency
  • It maximizes profits

What Are the Types of Self Service?

There are various types of self service technology, especially within the food and beverage industry. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Kiosks
  • Fast-food
  • Delivery apps
  • DIY eateries
  • Buffets

What Is Self Ordering Technology?

Self ordering technology consists of devices and cloud-based software that allow patrons to order menu items on their own. It’s beneficial for the customers since they can take their time. It’s also beneficial for businesses since it can help maximize profits.

What Is An Example of Self Service Technology?

An example of self service technology in the restaurant industry is tabletop devices. With these monitors or tablets, customers can look at the menu, order food, and pay the bill–all without the presence of waiters or waitresses.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Self Service Technology?

The pros of self service technology are that it can be innovative, save time, and simplify standard processes. The cons are that technology can malfunction. When companies onboard tech solutions, it’s crucial that everything is set up properly and all employees receive the right training.