What The $1B Kiosk Industry Can Do For Hotels And Restaurants

15. March 2018.








Kiosks aren’t just for selling tickets or providing customers with another way to order a meal. They can personalize the guest experience too.

“Our take on it is that we’re all different,” Bite CPO Steven Truong has said. “Our recognition and learning algorithm allows us to give each guest a different experience — and cater to their personal needs.”

Bite is far from alone in its quest to capitalize on the demand for kiosks. Overall, the kiosk market is booming and is projected to reach $1 billion by 2021.

And, between 2013 and 2016, the size of the U.S. interactive kiosk industry market grew at an average of 10.36 percent from $533.37 million to $716.97 million, according to the PYMNTS Kiosk & Retail Report. Here are five segments for the kiosk market — and how they help businesses function more efficiently.

— Food self-service kiosks made up 16 percent of the percentage participation in relation to the total market. For instance, McDonald’s is on its way to making “wait time zero” a reality, with kiosks playing a big role. Early statistics have shown a 20 percent higher average ticket being placed at the self-service kiosk versus the counter. And Panera made news when it decided to start using touchscreen order kiosks to solve crippling bottlenecks in its stores. The bakery chain is rolling out the technology along with simplified kitchen displays. Subway, too, is hoping that new technology, including touchscreen kiosks, can save it from a three-year sales slump before it has to close more stores.

— Beverage self-service kiosks made up 14 percent of the percentage participation in relation to the total market. For example, Urban Remedy has 30 branded refrigerated kiosks in Whole Foods stores across California. Each kiosk comes stocked with between 20 and 30 unprocessed nutrient-rich items, including packaged meals, beverages and snacks. For Urban Remedy, the machines keep perishable health-conscious packaged foods cool — with a product line that includes foods from purple potato salad to spicy Thai noodles, as well as juices like Slender Greens, so keeping food at the right temperature is key for the company.

— Ticketing self-service kiosks made up 10 percent of the percentage participation in relation to the total market. At U.S. train stations, Amtrak riders can use a kiosk to print out tickets that they purchased earlier online. Riders can also buy tickets to certain destinations through the kiosks themselves. In Shanghai, for example, the kiosks have some smart features. When a passenger verbally tells the kiosk his or her destination, the kiosk will recommend a route. In addition, the system allows riders to buy tickets or find information without speaking with an attendant or pressing a button.

— Patient interactive kiosks made up 9 percent of the percentage participation in relation to the total market. At DaVincian Healthcare, for example, the company conducted a pilot with 100 community service centers in 2016. The idea was that with a feature function phone, a consumer could actually connect with a kiosk at a community service center and alert them that they wanted to speak with a doctor — which they could do through either text messaging or, if the service center had 3G, via videoconferencing and telediagnostics. In a three-month period, the company saw 100,000 patients that never had access to a doctor before. Fifty percent of all the care provided was free, and for the other 50 percent, the average cost was less than $2; people were able to pay for that using their mobile phone.

— Check-in kiosks made up 11 percent of the percentage participation in relation to the total market.YOTEL, for example, a “new breed of hotel” that’s popping up around the globe, uses self-service kiosks to do everything from helping guests check in within minutes using just a QR code to storing their bag using their cute and cuddly Yobot to, soon, getting comfort food from an automat inside the hotel. That use of technology allows YOTEL to invest in its human talent to help guests with the things that are not so easily automated.

There are likely still more applications for smart kiosks on the horizon. Bite, for example, sees a future place for technology like this in limited- and quick-service restaurants, concession stands and even in retail beyond the restaurant industry.

And “we’re seeing more and more about facial recognition coming through,” Truong said.

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