Topic: Tech

Can Self-Service Machines Really Help Your Food Franchise?

Apr 25, 2022 7:30:00 AM

Self-service has been a key trend of the last year.


In the aftermath of the pandemic, customer behaviour irreversibly changed – and more and more businesses are now looking into ways of implementing contactless ordering.


Whilst the ghost kitchen sector relies on online food delivery platforms, many restaurants also operate hybrid spaces; running virtual food brands and in-house restaurants simultaneously.


If you run a customer-facing space and are considering self-service machines, you’ll want to understand whether the investment is worth it and if they actually influence your profits.


So, can self-service machines really help your food franchise?


What are the benefits of self-service machines?


Some of the key factors underpinning the shift towards self-service machines are rising staff wages (combined with staff shortages across the restaurant industry), ease of reporting and customer preference for seamless, speedy and contactless service.


It’s generally seen as a win-win for customers and restaurant franchises alike – with food delivered in a frictionless manner and operational costs reduced with less staffing needs.


Automated tech can also allow you to collect valuable customer and order data, further enabling personalisation of your diners’ experiences.


Self-service doesn’t just have to be large free-standing machines either. This could include self-service phone apps too, which are already well-used and familiar with the majority of diners.


There are even exciting developments such as Tabology’s “software enabled self-serve beer taps” allowing customers to pull their own pints, with every drink billed straight to their credit card.


As well as reducing staffing (and waste), per-person spend is also likely to increase – with consumer psychology playing a role in lessening barriers involved with “in-person” ordering.


What are some of the obstacles?


With a combination of reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction – is it too good to be true?


Well, there are some challenges involved with implementing self-service machines for restaurant franchises. These are worth carefully considering before you make any big decisions about your business.


Firstly, self-service isn’t the right solution for all restaurants. It generally isn’t appropriate if your food is relatively complicated or customizable. In this instance, customers appreciate talking to a “real life” server, who can advise appropriately.


Of course, as well as the initial cost outlay and complex programming, you’ll also have to pay for engineer callouts if the technology breaks. In the worst-case scenario where all your machines go down – do you have a back-up?


Self-service machines can also create separation between customers and the human face of your business. So think carefully about how you’re implementing self-service technology, as well as how you’re training your staff.


The key takeaway:


Despite the obstacles, self-service machines and apps are definitely here to stay.


They can help restaurants reduce their staffing costs, improve sustainability, data capture, reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction.


Just make sure you’ve appropriately budgeted for the upfront costs, as well as carefully thought-through their installation and impact on your restaurant’s customer service.


Peckwater Brands analyse the latest market data to create the highest-quality food concepts that wow your customers. To earn more from your kitchen, explore our virtual food brands and get in touch today.

Your call-to-action heading goes in here. Make it a show stopper!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique.

Topics from this blog: Tech

Explore Case Studies

You run the kitchen, we do the rest.

Get in touch with us today and start running a delivery franchise from your existing kitchen.

Book a call