Technology is growing exponentially, morphing the restaurant industry and more specifically, changing the way in which customers order their food.
The rise of fast-casual dining and popularity of online ordering has placed greater emphasis on the initial customer interaction – the process of viewing the menu offerings and selecting a meal. For years, restaurants placed more emphasis in the kitchen and less on the other side of the counter. Today’s diners want control, quality, speed – the whole enchilada. As a result, restaurants are looking at new ways to provide this efficient, balanced experience.
The latest experiential trend is the use of self-order kiosks. McDonald’s recent announcement that it will roll out kiosks and table service at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants caught everyone’s attention. For McDonald’s it was another step toward a complete customer-focused future, and another way to show fast-casual competitors that they’re the originators of speedy service.
Kiosks can greatly diminish wait times in lines, especially during peak lunch or dinner hours. They can also eliminate incorrect orders because the customer can create their meal step-by-step without confusion. Also, online ordering has shown that individuals tend to order more if they’re placing the order – the average ticket increases by 15-20 percent.
An issue with the kiosks, of course, is the cost. It can be a large investment for a business to undertake. However, with how quickly technology is evolving, it is important to stay ahead of the pack or at the least, on par with the competition.
One example of a pizzeria utilizing the kiosks is The Pizza Collective in Singapore, which has the self-ordering kiosk system as well as an open kitchen environment. Customers can watch their pizza being made that they just customized. Pizzas are always made fresh to order with local ingredients so The Pizza Collective has checked off both quality and speed in their fast-casual experience.
The restaurant industry is a competitive environment and operators want to stay ahead of the game. Technology will play a consistent factor in the future of pizzerias, so it is vital for companies to pay attention to trends. As a result, you can expect to start seeing a lot more self-order kiosks at the large chains as well as neighborhood restaurants.
It absolutely needs to be excellent, both in quality and speed, to satisfy customers and prompt return visits. Pizzerias must simultaneously focus on both sides of the counter to ensure the customer has a satisfying experience.
Ordering fresh, local ingredients as often as possible and cooking the food well takes care of most of the quality side, but quality meats and cheeses are the simple element of the equation. Fast casual dining by name, needs to be fast and simple.