Self-Service Restaurant Kiosks and the Millennial Generation

Self-service restaurant kiosks are booming in the limited service restaurant industry, especially among the millennial generation. There are many reasons why, but before we jump in to them I want to share a quick story.

One of our WAND Rock Stars was recently at a restaurant chain standing in a long line waiting to order and he noticed something interesting and snapped the photo to the below. Looking at the photo you’ll notice there are two self-service kiosks that are not being used whatsoever by the many customers standing in line to order.



Well of course our Rock Star walked over the kiosk and immediately placed his order. The reason why? He’s a millennial.

Now, we’re not saying only millennials order from kiosks because that is most definitely not the case. However, self-service kiosks are increasingly growing in popularity, and one of the reasons for this is the desire to appeal to the millennial audience. As the example above proves, this audience is constantly looking for ways to use technology to make their lives easier. And kiosks do just that.

Here’s what you need to know about using self-service restaurant kiosks to appeal to the millennial generation:

  • They provide instant gratification – As the example above illustrates, the use of self-service kiosks means people can quickly place their order and then find a booth to get comfortable, relax a bit and catch up on their snapchats before their food arrives. The millennial generation is all about instant gratification; they’ve grown up with it all their lives and have come to expect it.
  • They increase speed-of-service – We’ve all been stuck behind that person in line who has no idea what they want to order or has an endless list of questions to ask about menu items. With kiosks you can move customers through the line faster, millennials more-so than others because it’s likely they’ve already looked up your menu online and decided in advance what they are going to order before they arrive.
  • They increase average ticket size – With kiosks you don’t have to rely on your staff to add on extra items or try to upsell customers. You can simply have questions pop up with prompts like “Add a cookie for $2?” or “Upgrade to a large for $0.50?” that allow you to instantly increase ticket sizes. For the millennial generation that it used to technology these decisions don’t slow down their order process and are an easy way to upsell.
  • They are super user friendly – Self-service kiosks are smarter than they have ever been before, and they are also extremely easy to use, especially for millennials who have grown up with computers and technology their entire lives. Because of this it’s easy for them to use self-service kiosks since they aren’t leery of them or don’t get confused like other generations might.
  • They are looking for them – As our opening example points out, not only are millennials using self-service kiosks but they are actually seeking them out. It’s no longer a nice surprise if a restaurant has a kiosk; it’s a disappointment if they don’t. It’s a new ballgame ladies and gentlemen.

Besides the reasons stated above some of the other reasons to consider adding self-service kiosks to your restaurant include; reducing labor costs but not needing to as many staff to operate order lanes and lower hardware costs by using tablets.

And keep in mind, though the millennial generation has no little issues using kiosks, other customer groups may experience problems so it may make sense to designate a self-service kiosk attendant to help walk customers through the system. The good news about that is once someone does it the first time it will be so intuitive so they will be more likely to use the system again.

As you’re debating whether or not to add self-service kiosks to your restaurant think about your targeting. If you’re trying to appeal to the millennial generation then kiosks are probably a no-brainer.

Want to learn more about millennials and your QSR restaurant? Read our article 5 Reasons Your QSR is Not Attracting Millennials.