A Step-By-Step Guide to Implementing Self-Service Kiosks In Your Establishment

4 years ago   •   7 min read

By Maeve Cloherty

In today’s modern society, consumers expect fast service with a do-it-yourself approach in their ordering and payment experience. Whether their ordering concessions at a theme park or food items in a multi-unit restaurant franchise, the biggest deterrent for guests are long lines and inefficiency. So, how do you combat those lines while appeasing your guests? The answer is simple. Self-service.

Self-service kiosks not only split up the lines and add more order and efficiency to your establishment, but also provide you with the opportunity to upsell items and increase your bottom line. Today’s order and transaction processes are intuitive, streamlined, and built to satisfy a growing need for rapid service that is almost completely customer-controlled. Despite how far point-of-sale technology has come, 49% of consumers still would like more self-service kiosks available to streamline the checkout process.

So, now that you understand why self-service kiosks are shaping almost every consumer-driven business, how do you go about selecting the right one for your business and finding the perfect placements to achieve the most success? Here's a step-by-step guide to implementing self-service kiosks in your establishment.

1. Find your need.

The first step to implementing kiosks is to understand your need. Ask yourself tough questions about your current business model and how you can improve the guest experience in your establishment. What are you hoping to accomplish by rolling out new self-service kiosks into your space? Whether your current operations are plagued by long lines or you’re just looking to get more bang for your buck with your POS system, it’s imperative you truly understand why your business needs to implement kiosks before you embark on the journey to actually roll them out.

It’s also important when analyzing your current operations to look into your POS system as a whole. Are you just looking to add on kiosks? Or do you want to do a full system upgrade to more cloud-based operations to seamlessly sync with the kiosks? Map out a wishlist of everything you are hoping to achieve when implementing kiosks and bring those goals with you to every step of implementation.

2. Select the right POS system.

The next step is to do your research. Now that you have a plan and are comfortable with what you are looking to start with, it’s time to start digging into the industry of self-service kiosks. Whether you’re considering starting small with just the installation of a couple of kiosks, or are looking to upgrade your entire POS operations, make sure to do your due diligence to find the right vendor to match your needs.

To start with your selection process, analyze all of the various competitors in the market and in your own industry. Are any of your direct competitors implementing kiosks? Have they seen success? Which POS system did they select? This is a tried and true way to get a feel for how your target audience is reacting to kiosks and how to implement them successfully, with those consumers first in mind.

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3. Integrate kiosks into the omnichannel guest ordering experience.

Now that you’ve selected a company to entrust with your kiosk needs, the third step is to take a look at your entire operation with those new kiosks in mind. If you’ve read other SpotOn content, you have probably seen the term omnichannel. We describe omnichannel as the ability to offer different methods of ordering and payment to consumers. When you take a step back into the vetting process and think about the encompassing omnichannel guest ordering experience, this ensures the kiosks will seamlessly fit into your current operations, or work within your new POS system.

When incorporating kiosks into the omnichannel product suite, this includes integrating with mobile ordering, handheld POS devices, fixed and portable terminals, Kitchen Display Systems, and back-office management. Whichever your business currently has or is looking to add on in the future, keep these in mind to ensure your guests have the most options and the best experience in your space.

4. Choose successful locations.

One of the most important parts of this process is to choose the right hardware type and location for your kiosks. Look at the current design you have in place and determine where those high traffic areas are and dead, under-utilized space. That’s where kiosks are most successful.

If you operate an amusement park, for example, see where the food court space is and place the kiosks where lines tend to back up. In a stadium, see where the restrooms are during intermission or half-time and place the kiosks so fans can kill two birds with one stone to get back to their seats right away. In a quick-service restaurant, place kiosks in a position where lines can form around them to create two separate areas for the kiosks and registers.

Once you have those locations sorted out, think of the type of kiosks that would make the most sense. Two options are floor-standing models and countertop kiosks. Floor-standing models can create their own space within any establishment, given the area and the amount of free room your business can allow, while freestanding is a great option to really highlight the kiosks and get your guests processing their own orders without question or hesitation.

5. Design with the consumer in mind.

Once you have the locations and models in mind. Next, is to think about the consumer. Your kiosks must be inviting and intuitive with that easy-to-use factor to attract your guests. What’s the point of implementing kiosks if they go unused? The software is a key piece to achieving the most use and getting your return on investment. The interface the user interacts with should be simple, bright and vibrant, minimal, and the right ratio and sizing for fast typing and touchpoints.

When thinking of the various industries that self-service kiosks are infiltrating, most software run in a similar fashion, whether it’s a restaurant with food items or a retail shop with clothing. Users are used to a certain type of functionality, so ensure the software is familiar.

6. Sort out the logistics.

You’re almost to the finish line. As you get closer to launch, think about how you’d like to deploy. Some operators choose to unleash all of the kiosks at one particular event or one day and then run from there. Others start slow and steady with one or two kiosks to see how they function and how their audience reacts, then carry on from there. No matter which route you take, think about the consumer. The consumer should be first in mind throughout this entire process. They are the ones that will be utilizing the kiosks and they will be the deciding factor on their success in your space. You must also think about your staff who will help oversee the kiosks and provide support and assistance for guests.

As you prepare for the launch, start looking ahead to the future and how you will plan for maintenance, support, and the sometimes inevitable, repair. This is where choosing a POS company you trust will come into play. Make sure the vendor offers consistent support and schedules important maintenance upgrades for you to have the most success. At SpotOn, our support team works 24/7 and is reachable via text, email, or calls, with industry leading service and support.

7. Launch.

You’ve made it to launch day. After your due diligence and the time and effort spent finding the perfect operation, it’s time to sit back and watch the kiosks work. In addition to providing a sense of ease in your business, they also allow your business to increase the bottom line. Once you reach launch day, keep in mind this is an ongoing project to look at the kiosks’ successes and misses and plan from there.

Interested in implementing kiosks at your venue? Learn more about SpotOn’s Self-Service Kiosks now.

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