Over the last decade, self-service kiosks have grown in popularity, with brands in a wide variety of industries switching to kiosks for tasks such as providing information, taking customer orders and delivering service.
Kiosks offer a number of benefits for both businesses and customers. For businesses, they’re a way to reduce labor costs while improving the efficiency of service, helping customers get what they need faster, easier and more effectively.
For customers, kiosks provide a way to discover information and purchase products without the inefficiencies of traditional customer service. Kiosks also allow for a level of customization that’s often impossible the “old fashioned” way.
One of the most interesting realities of the huge growth in the popularity of kiosks is that they’re being used in a variety of industries, from hospitality to retail. Below, we’ve highlighted three of the industries that are using kiosks most effectively, along with specific kiosk-focused brands.
Fast food and casual dining brands have been some of the biggest advocates of kiosks, largely in response to rising wages and demands for fast, efficient service from customers. Brands like McDonald’s, which traditionally rely on service staff, are increasingly turning to kiosks.
Last year, McDonald’s announced that it would begin to use interactive kiosks at all of its 14,000 locations across the United States. The fast food giant also plans to add table service, with staff tasked with bringing order to customers at their tables instead of requiring food to be picked up.
In this way, the introduction of kiosks into the fast food industry has helped customers. Not only is it easier to order than ever — customers also receive table service similar to what they’d get at a more expensive traditional restaurant.
Other restaurant brands, such as Panera Bread, have also started using kiosks to take orders from customers. The company implemented kiosks on a mass scale in 2015 as part of a brand “reinvention” process, allowing for more employees within each location.
Kiosks aren’t just a hot topic in the foodservice industry — they’re also becoming increasingly popular for retailers. From big-box stores to small retail chains, many of the country’s biggest retail brands are investing heavily in kiosks and service-focused automation.
Walmart, for example, recently started testing in-person pickup kiosks at one of its locations in Oklahoma City. The retail kiosk allows customers to order their groceries online and pick them up at any time of day, saving shoppers from having to browse their store manually.
Retail giant Target has also tested kiosks in many of its stores. In 2013, the big-box retail chain added iPad kiosks to the baby departments of many of its stores, giving customers the ability to quickly and easily access information on specific products.
Kiosks for Hospitality and Tourism
Over the last few years, self-service kiosks have started to become a more common sight in the hospitality and tourism industry. A Tunisian luxury hotel, Hotel La Cigale, became one of the first hotel brands to embrace automation when it added a “reception” kiosk to its front desk area.
Hotels, offices and other businesses that traditionally have reception staff have benefited from the rise of kiosk manufacturers producing reception and service kiosks — interactive kiosks that can answer common customer questions, provide directions and grant access to guests.