McDonald’s was the QSR chain to introduce and deploy self-ordering kiosks on a global scale. This strategy helped McDonald’s change the game and become the largest fast-food giant. Why is McDonald's so persistent in offering self-orders in its stores around the world?
1. Order more
The data shows that customers can order more in the self-service method. The self-ordering machines encourage customers to order more by displaying menu combinations, special offers, and promotions. They can also customize a personalized menu for customers based on their previous habits.
2. Comfortable dining environment
Deploying self-service kiosks provides a more comfortable dining environment for customers. The self-service kiosks take up a small footprint and are concentrated in small areas, which leaves a more spacious area for customers to enjoy their food. At the same time, the kiosks can shorten the long line in front of the cashiers, and a more comfortable dining environment is built up.
3. Standardized service level
McDonald's is well-known for its standardized service that is customers could enjoy the same level of service and dishes no matter in which store. Humans are uncontrollable and the service attitude and ability of employees in different stores may be different. The self-ordering kiosks can eliminate this difference. Machines can treat every customer equally and deepen the standardized service level of McDonald’s.
4. Give customers more autonomy
Customers obtain more autonomy in ordering by using self-ordering machines. They could flexibly build their menus totally according to their own tastes and specifications. They don’t have to consider others’ opinions if they would like to remove tomatoes from their hamburgers. They could decide the time they spend browsing the menu without worrying about the invisible pressure from cashiers.
5. Multilingual support
It’s difficult for humans to grasp multiple languages but it’s easy for machines to do that. Self-service kiosks in McDonald’s support multiple languages and allow customers to interact with machines in the language they prefer. This is especially important for foreign visitors. The multilingual support provided by kiosks avoids the situation of turning customers away because of language barriers.
6. Vivid menu display
Used as a digital menu board, the self-service kiosk provides an intuitive interface to show dish options and makes them more visually appealing. The large touchscreen with high definition can vividly display the pictures of each item and customers can instantly know what it is without asking other people.
7. Elevate ordering speed
The core of fast food service is to be fast. If customers have to spend much time waiting in line to order, it is contrary to the concept of quick service restaurants. McDonald’s deploys tens of self-service kiosks in its stores, which provides more choices for customers to order. They don't have to wait in front of a limited number of cashiers. The kiosks speed up the ordering journey of customers.
8. Reduce ordering errors
The traditional way of ordering food is customer-cashier-kitchen transmission, and mistakes can happen in each loop. By contrast, self-service kiosks are less likely to make mistakes, for the ordering details can be conveyed from customers to the back kitchen. By eliminating the middleman link, the probability of making an order error is greatly reduced.
9. Reduce operating costs
The labor cost is going high and it is becoming more cost-effective to replace cashiers with self-ordering machines. Unlike cashiers who require shifts, the kiosks can operate all day long. Besides, the machines can be set to work as soon as it’s unpacked, without any training. Additionally, machine management is much easier than human management, and the operators can upgrade the machines remotely and effortlessly.
10. Better staff distribution
As machines replace the ordering tasks of part of cashiers, more labor can be distributed to complete other tasks, such as clearing tables and making dishes. This conduct improves the serving level of McDonald’s stores, provides higher-quality services for customers and elevates their satisfaction.
The success of McDonald’s with the self-ordering modal becomes an example for other QSR chains. The other QSR giants like Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, etc., capitalized on this advanced technology and introduced self-ordering kiosks to their stores on a large scale.
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