How to Add Self-Service to Your Restaurant

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Self-service restaurants are on the rise across the United States. Customers expect their dining experience to be convenient and frictionless, and self-service options can certainly help! With 29% of people in the U.S. saying they eat out at least once every week, it’s important for the hospitality industry to adopt technologies to stay competitive. Adding self-service to your restaurant is an excellent strategy.

Why Is Self-Service Important in a Restaurant?

Self-service food ordering kiosks have long been associated with fast food. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic boosted their popularity, and like many innovations triggered by the pandemic, they persisted once normalcy returned. There are tons more benefits, too. As many as 79% of customers believe self-service kiosks make their dining experience convenient, and they provide restaurant owners and management with actionable data on customer preferences. 

Using self-service options is also an effective way of handling the current labor shortage without impacting the customer experience. They give customers control over their dining experience and allow them to take their time placing orders. There are also huge advantages, like shortening wait times, boosting revenue, and making sales interactions easier. If you want to make your restaurant stand out in the age of instant gratification, self-service kiosks are a game-changer.  

The Best Self-Service Restaurant Technology

Allowing customers to serve themselves makes the dining experience fun and personal. While many automation opportunities exist in the restaurant industry, some of the most popular include: 

1. Food Ordering Kiosks

Restaurant self-service kiosks give customers the power to order and pay themselves. As people become accustomed to the speed and accuracy of online ordering, they expect the same control, choice, and personalization when they eat out. These kiosks work with your point-of-sale (POS) system, allowing customers to browse your menu and place orders at leisure. 

The systems often include a touchscreen with a user-friendly digital interface to display your tasty menu items. The screen also guides customers through the ordering process, showing prompts with promotions or menu modifications clearly. 

2. QR Code Payments

01-QR-Code-Payments

QR code payments in restaurants are gaining traction as the industry embraces digital transformation. This type of ordering allows customers to view your menu, order their food, and pay all at once, improving convenience and efficiency. The process is simple — the restaurant places QR codes at accessible locations for customers to scan. The code opens your online ordering page on the customer’s phone or tablet. They can select the items they want and place the order from their device. Then boom! Their food is ready quicker than ever. 

Customer orders will come directly to your POS and get sent straight to the kitchen. The process makes the experience convenient for everyone, from the customer to the kitchen staff, leading to faster turnaround times and a fantastic bottom line. 

3. Self-Service Drinks

Benefits extend to the beverages side of things, too. Whether customers want to enjoy a crisp glass of wine, a robust brew, a tropical cocktail, an energizing cold brew, or any other drink, self-pour systems significantly benefit any restaurant or bar. The technology allows customers to choose and pour their beverages and pay for them by the ounce, speeding up service and avoiding the long lines associated with peak times. 

Customers can enjoy an interactive experience with self-service beer taps, choosing any size drink they like, sampling a wide variety of options, or even combining them to create the perfect mix. This option eliminates the risk of over-pouring and minimizes waste while creating an intuitive and enjoyable experience for customers. 

The Benefits of Self-Service

Self-service options are a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from other establishments. Consider some of the benefits in more detail below. 

Improved Guest Interactions

Self-service options save employees a lot of stress and time. Instead of focusing solely on getting the correct orders to the right customers, your team can devote their time to making the dining experience memorable, welcoming customers, and making them feel at home. 

Reduced Costs and Losses

Bars and restaurants can lose significant revenue on inaccurate quantities, leakage, theft, and free samples. A robust self-service system with integrated payment capabilities reduces these losses significantly. Theft becomes a thing of the past, and customers pay a nominal amount to taste and find a drink that suits their needs. 

Increased Profit

Increasing profits and ensuring a positive return on investment is critical for any restaurant. Self-service systems provide continuous service with less staff, allowing your team to focus on productive activities. They also give you incredible agility, so you can change your menu whenever you want!

Plus, customers can move at their own pace when selecting what they want. When they feel comfortable, they may spend more than when they’re hassled to move on so the person behind them can order. 

Faster Service

Self-service solutions shorten wait times for customers. More people can place orders and pour drinks simultaneously, resulting in less time spent in lines. 

Fresh Drinks

02-Fresh-Drinks

With self-serve beverage stations, customers can get freshly served drinks straightaway instead of waiting in long lines at the bar. They can also expand their horizons, quickly tasting all the available drinks and limiting spending on unsuitable options. Every patron can find a drink they love while managing their budget. 

Limited Reliance on Staff

When you’re feeling the labor shortage or have staff members call in sick, you can continue serving customers confidently with self-service. Customers can pay, pick up, and pour from designated areas, even if your front-of-house staff is absent. You can also reduce labor costs by having fewer people working any shift without lowering your team’s effectiveness. 

Better Inventory Management

With self-service, you can access your past and current inventory in real time to stay ahead with orders and push the right products at the right time. You’ll have actionable data you can use to identify opportunities for improvement. 

Increased Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities

Your self-service kiosks are excellent for pointing out promotions and matching meals and drinks. Instead of frazzled servers trying to remember all the upsell and cross-selling opportunities every time they interact with a new customer, the machines can speak for themselves, personalizing recommendations and eliminating irrelevant options. 

Enhanced Accuracy and Efficiency

Human interactions are prone to error — multitasking, time pressure, and many other factors can lead to a breakdown in communication that impacts the customer’s experience. Self-service leaves ordering up to customers, allowing them to check their food orders and sample drinks until they find the perfect match. 

Removing friction and focusing on getting customers food and drinks creates a seamless overall experience — the best bars and restaurants balance efficient ordering with attentive face-to-face service. Allocating your resources gives your staff time to focus on quality control, cleanliness, and customer interactions, enabling your business to thrive. 

Elevated Customer Experience

As customers sample the drinks you offer, they benefit from a social experience as they exchange with one another and compare selections. Self-service creates a sociable atmosphere, encouraging them to return and share memorable moments. 

Embrace Self-Service With PourMyBeer

Self-service is the next step for any bar or restaurant looking to meet customer demands, create a unique experience, and boost profitability. PourMyBeer’s innovative self-pour technology will boost your sales and increase profitability while creating loyal customers who can’t wait to recommend your establishment and return to enjoy the fun. 

Let your customers get the drinks they want with our drinks-on-tap system. Contact us today or request a quote to learn more about how our self-pour solutions can transform your restaurant. 

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