The automated food displays that were popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s have made a comeback today. However, gone are the cold fluorescent light and the weird space age vacuum sealed food housed in aluminum chambers. Nowadays, diners have been enjoying the convenience that touchscreen tablet technology provides with the desktop automated kiosk. These devices marry the accessibility of tablet touchscreen technology with the convenience of quick and easy service. For restaurants considering adding this technology to their business, they should know that desktop kiosks provide reliable point of sale services that can be tailored to any kind of restaurant setting.
OTG Management, a company that owns and manages 18 restaurant chains in 15 airport locations across the country, has recently expanded its business operations with the purchase of 7,000 iPads. The CEO of OTG states that this has been the largest deployment of iPads for retail use in this country.
Many consumers have already experienced using the iPad in retail situations, and OTG plans to install these iPads for use by individual diners at tables at OTG’s restaurants nationwide. These kiosks will allow diners to place orders for food, surf the internet, make video calls, and complete purchases all while sitting to enjoy a steak or burger while between flights. Using the iPad will be free for the consumer in the restaurant, although the food will not. This larger trend of convergence of technology in all aspects of our lives has only been made possible by the introduction of the tablet computer.
Although people have been using kiosks for years in the form of ATMs and airport self-service, the tablet computer has really ushered in a new age of convenient retail service that caters to the individual, and having an iPad installed at individual tables at restaurants really adds an attractive reason for costumers to come into the restaurant.
For someone considering adopting the desktop kiosk, there are only really a few things to consider. Desktop kiosks are really suited to time intensive situations that require customers to sit down and interact one-on-one with someone. Restaurants tend to fit this very well.
For a restaurant not inclined to adopt an iPad for their desktop kiosk, they will need to consider what kind of interface they want to best meet their customers’ needs. This can be in the form of a keyboard interface or a touchscreen, but touchscreen does offer considerable advantages over keyboard interfaces. The restaurant owner could consider adding keyboard support to cater to the disabled, but there is also some great voice recognition technology that is easily integrated into the interface. Durability is something to consider.
Tablets are not a cheap investment for a desktop kiosk, and the restaurant owner will want their investment to last. If the kiosk is to be used in a self-service environment, then printers and vending attachments will need to be considered as well.
Finally, the software itself needs to be developed for integration with the kiosk, but there are many companies that develop software just for retail kiosks.
Investing in a desktop kiosk for your restaurant is a smart move for the future. It is a form of technology that people are comfortable interacting with, and consumers will expect the convenience it provides in more areas of their life and not just at home or with their personal tablet computer.