Are Digital Kiosks the Next Big Thing in Lubbock?
Would you like to order food in a restaurant the way you order merchandise from Amazon?
Restaurants all over the United States have been adding digital kiosks to their lobbies and at tables. You see them everywhere from McDonald's to Cheddar's. We even had the waitress point to a 3D bar code when we asked for a menu while recently dining at P.F. Chang's.
A recent article I read from Business Insider called "Understaffed restaurants are pushing customers to order at digital kiosks..." states that customers who order from a person order an average of $13 a ticket, while orders at a kiosk are almost $20 a ticket. So are kiosks making things better or worse for the customer? I think it's both.
First, if you're ordering from a kiosk, there's a huge speed factor that you don't have to worry about when ordering from a waiter or cashier. When you're in a lunch hour time crunch or just don't want to wait forever, this is nice.
The kiosk also does not get your order wrong. How many times have you ordered food from a person when human error kicks in and it comes back wrong? I hate that. If the kiosk gets it wrong, then it's your fault for putting it in wrong, but it will not help with cooks misreading it. This is also helping greatly with the recent worker shortage. Lastly, for those who are germophobic, you don't need to have contact with another person, you just hope the restaurant cleans the kiosk well.
On the other hand, why do you go out to a restaurant in the first place? I was a waiter in college, and I love to go and have someone wait on me to just spend time with my family. A kiosk takes some of that away.
I was dining at Cheddar's with my wife and the waitress greeted us and took our first order, but then pointed to the kiosk in case we wanted to pay or get a dessert. I felt like the waitress was leaving and all other interaction could be done with a machine. It just takes something away from the experience. I know there's a worker shortage now, but in the long run kiosks will take jobs away from college students. Once a company moves to kiosks, they will not go back to having staff.
No matter what your thoughts are, the time of the digital kiosk is here. It saves the restaurants too much money not to use them, and if the Business Insider story is true, they make a lot more money as well.
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