Self-Service Kiosks Boosting Fast Food Sales
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by Alex Bailey | April 08, 2024

Self-Service Kiosks Boosting Fast Food Sales

Major fast-food chains across America are racing to install more digital kiosk ordering stations - and they have a good reason. The self-service kiosks have shown their efficiency in making customers spend more money per order.

"People who ordered at kiosks rather than at cashiers spent on average nearly 10% more," Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told investors in February.

Digital kiosks let customers take their time looking at all the menu items and customizing their order without the usual rush of a busy checkout line. "Kiosks would 100% of the time try to upsell you to a larger item or ask if you want to add on fries or chips and guacamole," analyst Andy Barish told Business Insider. "Cashiers may not because there's people trying to get through the line quickly."

The technology allows kiosks to promote specific menu items based on time of day, weather and other factors. Seasonal drinks or meal deals can be highlighted and promoted to customers as soon as they start ordering.

Burger King is expanding kiosk availability after seeing "tremendous results" in pilot tests, according to CEO of Restaurant Brands International Josh Kobza. Over half of its international locations already have kiosks, and the plan is to make the entire business "100% digital" for ordering over time.

At Shake Shack, kiosks make up "well over" half the in-restaurant orders at its nearly 300 company-owned U.S. locations. The kiosk channel is Shake Shack's "most profitable," benefiting from labor savings and customers tending to dine-in more.

Yum! Brands, parent of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, is also prioritizing kiosk expansions. Taco Bell has them in all U.S. stores, while KFC should have kiosks in the "vast majority" of non-China restaurants by end of 2026.

"My point of view is we need to get this business to 100% digital," said Patrick Doyle, executive chairman of Burger King's parent Restaurant Brands International. "We should have all of the order-taking done through digital ordering channels over time."

For fast food giants, kiosks provide both a better experience for customers and higher sales. It is safe to assume the more and more fast food restaurants will continue adding self-service kiosks in the coming years.

by Alex Bailey | April 08, 2024 | SHARE