The role of the kiosk in hospitality changes yet again
Kiosks have been present within the hospitality sector for some time but their role is evolving once again. It is still the old motivation – increased customer service / satisfaction leads to increased profits. For the quick service restaurant, the kiosk has the potential to drive increased sales given that it can handle a greater number of orders in a shorter time period. For the customer, the kiosk can not only reduce waiting times but also improve the overall experience by providing the option to customise, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.
International POS printer manufacturer Star Micronics and leading kiosk manufacturer Evoke Creative have worked with major retailers and some of the world’s biggest brands including McDonald’s. Increasing demands from competition and ever changing consumers means quick service restaurants are experiencing demand for better products, delivered faster and fresher.
Evoke was approached to conceive the future of self service in-house for McDonald’s. Global demographic and cultural differences mean the product had to be as intuitive and approachable as possible whilst retaining a clean, friendly aesthetic. The volume of production and the potential global reach meant the product had to be produced efficiently, shipped and installed worldwide in the safest and simplest way and remain in operation in demanding environments 24/7. Evoke used its extensive technical knowledge to design an adaptable modular product range capable of handling multiple hardware options from the diverse markets the company operates in.
The end product has set a new standard for self-service machines within the industry. Innovation at every stage of the process enabled Evoke to produce the best product at the best price whilst ensuring quality and reliability were kept as the highest priority.
For printing receipts, Evoke turned to Star to provide a reliable, high performance printer that could handle the demanding environment in which the kiosk operates. Selecting the robust encased TSP700II, this printer provides the perfect solution for ease of operation in high value kiosk applications. Providing the same level of performance as an open frame printer, an encased printer is easier to install, service and maintain; factors that are driving their increased use in kiosks. Furthermore, the unique multi-functional capability of the TSP700II to print receipts, tickets, labels and barcodes at 250mm/second has driven its deployment in an ever wider variety of kiosk applications and environments.
Evoke’s Technical Director Dean Ward said: “We needed a reliable, effective printing solution, and Star printers were able to provide the perfect model which also fits within our design for tool-free replacement of internal components, and fuss-free changing of printer rolls. As the primary supplier to McDonald’s UK stores it was essential for us to source components which could be produced in bulk and work every time, Star printers are our go to for these projects.”
Printers such as the TSP700II can also add significant value with tools such as digital receipting by enabling retailers and hospitality operators alike to provide promotional material that the customer can store on their smartphone. For the hospitality sector, this provides the potential to increase sales given that customers can readily access coupons and take advantage of relevant discounts.
Star’s digital receipting service AllReceipts™ developed by Star Cloud Services is available free of charge across its range of encased printers.
Triggered by a traditional printed receipt, a digital copy of the receipt is sent to the AllReceipts App on the customer’s smartphone with no email address or mobile number required. Receipts can only be claimed once and are then deleted, while saved receipts can be viewed by date or by retailer with personal or business tags on the customer’s device. The latest significant feature to be added to this service is Receipt Flip, the first two-sided colour digital receipt option. Enabling retailers to take advantage of the reverse side of digital receipts, as they can on printed receipts, Receipt Flip allows terms and conditions to be displayed as well as store policies, promotions, marketing material, etc.
Enhancing the functionality of the AllReceipts service, the Engage NOW feature allows the retailer to provide links to promotions, discounts, coupons, etc on the Engage NOW landing page. Customers using the AllReceipts App can simply tap on the retailer’s logo from the list of receipts on their smartphone and be directed to a URL that the retailer specifies. Engage NOW is secure and easily customizable, providing a highly personal customer connection. Such technology enhances the kiosk offering and allows retailers to communicate directly with customers.
As Annette Tarlton, Marketing Director, Star Micronics EMEA, states: “The established and successful partnership between Star Micronics and Evoke provides a level of service and experience that is unrivalled within the kiosk industry. Working with major operators across a number of industries, we offer kiosk solutions that provide the technical expertise and creative design to ensure kiosks continue to develop an ever greater presence across a wide range of markets.”