Why Self Ordering Kiosks Are a Secret Weapon for Small Restaurants

The Dubai and in fact the entire UAE has a large population of expats, in general the restaurants, fast food, cafes, and pubs are very common sighting everywhere. Even if on a hot summer weekend while we are sitting in our living room and want to order food quickly, we can have somewhere from 3 to up to 6 choices in our close proximity, who can deliver us in 20 to 30 minutes. This means the competition is very tough, furthermore the rapid growth of food ordering apps, such as Talabat, Zomato, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats, etc. are making it even more difficult for the small restaurants to sustain growth and stability in such a competitive environment. The UAE alone is one of the largest food market in the entire GCC accounting for almost 31% of the total market share in the GCC. These all factors makes the UAE food sector very competitive. The small restaurants have to think out of the box in order to establish a brand and sustain growth over the time.

Why Self Ordering Kiosks Are a Secret Weapon for Small Restaurants

Furthermore due to large scale presence of the multinational chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut and many such more, the market have become tougher for local and small restaurants. The interaction with international brands and highly developed chains have risen the standards of a common foodie. So, along with the competition another important aspect is to meet the customer’s expectations and following industry trends which could make it very difficult for small restaurants to sustain growth and profitability.It is not just maintaining a standard in the food quality and variety but the customer experience have also become a very important aspect of the business in 2022 and this trend will only grow in future.

Why Self Ordering Kiosks Are a Secret Weapon for Small Restaurants

The customer experience in the restaurant is very crucial for the success. Here is how a self-ordering kiosk can provide you a greater competitive advantage and how you can enhance customer experience, increase productivity, performance and profitability with the help of self-ordering kiosk.

What is Self-Ordering Kiosk?

Self-ordering kiosk is a specific type of interactive self-service kiosk that we are all familiar with. If you are living in Dubai or any other part of UAE you must have seen these flashy screens everywhere, at shopping malls, banks, government offices, parks, and even on streets. In fact the ATM/CDM machine is also a self-service interactive kiosk. When we apply the same technology in the food industry specifically at restaurants, it becomes a self-ordering kiosk. The name itself is self-explanatory, the self-ordering kiosk means an interactive kiosk which allow the customers to order their food at their own without any help from the staff. The entire process is digital and even the customers can make payments through the kiosk as well. The self-ordering kiosk provides the entire menu, special offers, bundles, and any other option which is available for the customers, they can chose the required items and then they can pay through the credit/debit card or by depositing cash into the kiosk. That is called self-ordering kiosk.

See Also: Self-Service Kiosks in Retail: Revolutionizing the Shopping Experience

What is Self-Ordering Kiosk?

The Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk for Small Restaurants

Mostly you would have noticed the self-ordering or food-ordering kiosks at only large chains and high-end restaurants, cafes or fast food outlets and usually the local and small restaurants don’t deploy such technologies, in fact they prefer more traditional practices. This is what can provide you a greater competitive edge. The rarity of the self-ordering kiosk in small restaurants makes it the secret weapon which can be a game changer for your business. Here are some key benefits of the self-ordering kiosk for small restaurants, cafes, casual dining and fast food businesses.

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 1. Better Customer Flow and Queue Management

When we talk about small restaurants or any other small business the biggest challenge is the limited resources. In case of small restaurants the peak hours could be a queuing nightmare for the business. It could become extremely difficult to satisfy each and every visitor and manage customer flow during the peak hours of the day. The crowded restaurants and delayed service results in sire in customer churn rate and the bad experience also repel customers. The poorly managed customer queues, delayed service and uncomfortable waiting experience will eventually decrease the footfall and could have devastating impact on the sales and revenue. However, with the self-ordering kiosk the business can divert some of the traffic to the kiosk which also help easing down the workload of the staff and improve overall customer flow and queue management.

Better Customer Flow and Queue Management

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 2. Less Wait Time and Better Customer Experience

The self-ordering kiosk enable your customers to order form the interactive kiosk without any help from the staff. This can free up some of the staff and help small restaurants to manage their resources more efficiently. Hence the workload at the counters also reduced, which means more customers can be served in the same amount of time. This help reducing the overall wait time of each and every customer whether they are ordering from the self-ordering kiosk or through the counters. Wait time is one of the biggest reason for the bad customer experience, if a small restaurant can manage the customer wait time effectively and improve the customer journey, the customer experience gets improved. When the customers start having good experience, they become more loyal. The long wait time and over-crowded counters are the major reasons for customer churn, if this can be reduced, the customer churn rate automatically get reduced.

Less Wait Time and Better Customer Experience

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 3. Improved Upselling and Increased Check Size

For small restaurants the upselling and increased check size are great tools to generate more revenue and profits. Every restaurants have some high-margin and some low-margin products, business usually rely on the staff to pitch high-margin items, special offers, or add-ons to the customers. However, that is not as that effective, especially during the busy work hours the staff tend to skip such things and only focus on the original order to ensure quicker service delivery. The self-ordering kiosk comes with a large touch screen, which have a lot of real estate to show offers, add-ons, deals and other promotional content along with the main menu of the restaurant. McDonald’s witnessed huge increase in upselling through the self-ordering kiosk and they also noticed a significant increase in check size from the kiosk. Small businesses can utilize these features to generate more revenue and profits.

Improved Upselling and Increased Check Size

The upselling and increased check size are some of the primary goals of the small restaurants as they help them generating more revenue and profits. For example, you can offer additional topping along with the original order at a discounted price, you can offer them 2-in-1 combo, or you can offer them to go for a deal at discounted or even normal rates. You can also suggest add-ons such as sweets, cold drinks, water, etc. which can increase the average check size as well and it can also generate huge profits for your small restaurant. According to Harvard Business study, when McDonald’s implemented self-ordering kiosks they found that 30% increase in check size and 20% of the customers who don’t order drinks initially end ups buying them when placing their order through the self-ordering kiosk.

Improved Upselling and Increased Check Size

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 4. Improved Order Accuracy

Order accuracy is one of the most common problem at restaurants. When people are dealing with a cashier the chances of miscommunication are high. Especially in multi-cultural societies such as Dubai and other emirates of UAE the communication could be challenging. But when using a self-ordering kiosk such problems can be avoided and small businesses won’t have to bear the cost of wrong order. Furthermore the dispute between the business and customer are costly, either the business will lose the customer or else they will have to compensate them, both way the business will have to bear the cost. The self-ordering kiosk offers an intuitive user interface (UI) which always have photos and several other details of the item the customer is selecting, so the chances of errors or miscommunication are slim to none. This way the small restaurant can save a lot of time and resource without compromising customer experience.

Improved Order Accuracy

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 5. Reduce Cost & Increase Profitability

For small restaurants it is always hard to maintain a balance between performance, productivity and profitability due to limited resources. The self-ordering kiosk not only facilitate customer journey and improve customer experience but it also divide some of the work of the staff. Which provide businesses more control over resource management, they can reassign staff during busy hours to improve efficiency and productivity. Furthermore the self-ordering kiosk is a one-time investment and it can effectively divide the workload of the staff which means businesses doesn’t have to retain additional staff. As most of the time only during the peak hours, additional staff is required, which can be substituted by the self-ordering kiosk. I am not saying the kiosk could be an alternate of the human staff, obviously the business needs them, but in order to improve productivity during the peak hours, businesses might not need additional staff since the kiosk is taking up some of the work load.

Reduce Cost & Increase Profitability

Since past few years the interactive kiosk industry have witnessed unprecedented growth. Resultantly the increased completion in the market compelled vendors to produce most cost-effective solutions which reduced the initial cost. Furthermoreretaining one or two additional employees could put a financial strain on the small restaurant, as it is costly and a continuous expense. However, the self-ordering kiosk is a one-time investment, and its operational cost is also very low comparing to a human staff.This helps small restaurants in improving productivity without putting additional strain on financeand increase their profitability in long term. Furthermore the self-ordering kiosk is built on a very flexible technology which makes scalability and upgrade much more convenient and cost-efficient. Average lifecycle of a self-ordering kiosk is 3 to 4 years, and with minor upgrades and changes the small restaurant can increase the lifecycle to few more yearswhich increase the ROI. Better resource management also help businesses reduce the operational cost and minimize the staff to obtain higher profitability.

Reduce Cost & Increase Profitability

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 5. Achieve Higher Staff and Customer Satisfaction

The self-ordering kiosks add significant value to customer experience and reduce their wait time which help achieving higher customer satisfaction. The self-ordering kiosk offers more flexibility, freedom and control over their order which increase customer happiness. It also help promoting marketing content and other customer engagement tools help increasing customers’ interest in the brand. Customer happiness and customer satisfaction drive customer loyalty and ensures long term success. Since the self-ordering kiosk can take up some workload from the staff hence they can focus more on their primary tasks, it improve their work efficiency too. Balanced workload lead to staff satisfaction. Happy and satisfied staff always perform well and are more passionate about their work. Collectively all these things add value to the brand image and brand reputation.

Achieve Higher Staff and Customer Satisfaction

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 6. Great Marketing Tool

The self-ordering kiosks usually comes with a large display ranging from 27 to 45 inch screen. These bright flashy screens can easily get people’s attentions. Small restaurants can run promotional content on the screens and they can also insert marketing content in the interactive screens. This help small restaurant market high-margin products and other offers which can generate more revenue for the business. Usually the small restaurants have limited marketing budget. The self-ordering kiosk can be used to promote marketing campaigns as well. It also comes with a powerful CMS (content management system) software which enable businesses to schedule multiple campaigns for different times of the day or for certain occasions. The self-ordering kiosk can help small restaurants with their marketing needs as well.

Great Marketing Tool

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 7. Customer Feedback Collection

The customer feedback is very important for small restaurants and in fact for any business. These days in Dubai and all around the UAE the customers tend to share their experiences in the social media and they post online reviews and feedback which help business promote their brand and the negative feedback can also repel several customers. Collecting customer feedback from the self-ordering kiosk can save a lot of time and efforts. It make feedback collection simpler and more convenient for the restaurant. The touchscreen also made it easier for the customers to share their feedback. The feedback data can be collected, processed and analyzed by in-built analysis tools and customized reports can be generated from within the system which can be a great help during decision making and strategy building process. The customer feedback can provide valuable customer insight and help small restaurants understand their customers in a much better and well-organized fashion.

Customer Feedback Collection

Benefits of Self-Ordering Kiosk: 8. Crucial Business Intelligence Data

Modern day businesses are heavily relying on data and digital solutions. Since the past few years have completely transformed the business landscape and our society become more integrated with technology and digital solutions. This raise the importance of collection actionable data which help small restaurants and businesses to align their resources and strategies with their long term goals and objectives. The self-ordering kiosk can collect a variety of statistical and system usage data at each and every step of customer journey. This provides businesses a better understanding of customer liking/disliking, current trends, and a lot more. The ability to record each and every order details allow businesses to understand the popularity of their products and enable them to test multiple strategies to fine tune their marketing and selling strategy.

Crucial Business Intelligence Data

The business intelligence data can be integrated with the POS and any other third-party system as well. The self-ordering kiosk are very flexible towards integration with third-party software and systems which enable small restaurants leverage the technology at its fullest.

Why the Self-Ordering Kiosk are Gaining so much Popularity?

Apart from the benefits and value the self-ordering kiosk can offer for the businesses and their operations, the biggest factor that is contributing to their rapid adaptation in the market is the customer behavior and market trends. With the rise of the food ordering applications and online platforms the customer are getting accustomed with the level of control, flexibility, freedom and convenient offered by these digital channels. That is why the customers expect the same kind of experience from the restaurants as well. The self-ordering kiosk are specifically designed to enhance customer experience by offering them instant service and more personalized and convenient interaction. The multi-lingual UIs (user interfaces) also offer improved experience and better customer interaction. Furthermore the technology have become more cost-efficient and more easily available which also results in sudden popularity in the self-ordering kiosks in Dubai and all around the UAE.

Why the Self-Ordering Kiosk are Gaining so much Popularity?


For small restaurants it is crucial to optimize resources and achieve higher efficiency. Intelligent systems and solution like self-ordering kiosks can be a great help to improve several internal processes. Moreover following the market trends and meeting the customer expectations are also crucial to sustain growth and profitability. The self-ordering kiosk improve customer experience, reduce service time, increase staff and customer happiness and can help businesses in improving their operational and marketing strategies. The initial cost is not high and the operational cost is much less compare to hiring and retaining a new human resource. That is why made them a perfect companion for small restaurants in Dubai and anywhere else in UAE. RSI Concepts is a leading customer satisfaction solution provider in Dubai, UAE. If you want to learn more about the subject or if you want us to help you building a high quality cost-effective self-ordering kiosk system, please feel free to contact us through our Contact Us page or leave a comment in the comment box below and we will get in touch with you soon.

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