Increased use of self-service kiosks would lead to more customer visits at fast food chains, Tillster study finds

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The increased use of self-service kiosks would lead to more customer visits at fast food chains, according to a new study by Tillster, a leading provider of restaurant digital ordering and engagement products and services, which powers Burger King and Taco Bell apps.

Its study of 1,000 fast food diners in the US, examined the impact of queues on customer ordering and found only 36% of people would wait in a queue at the counter, which is longer than five people, meaning fast food restaurants would lose 64% of their customers if counter queue length is longer than five people. However, four fifths – 80% – of people would choose to order from a self-service kiosk if the queue length is up to five people or longer, meaning only 20% of customers would still choose to order from the cashier if queue length is longer than five people. And 61% of people would choose to order from a self-service kiosk if the queue length is four  people or longer, meaning only 39% of customers would still choose to order from the cashier if the queue length is longer than four people.

Tillster also studied the impact of queues at drive through locations and found only 56% of people would wait in a queue longer than four people, meaning fast food restaurants would lose 44% of their customers if the queue length is longer than four cars.  

Tillster discovered one third of customers’ fast food experience is time spent waiting for food: on average, when visiting fast food restaurants, customers spend nine minutes ordering and waiting in a queue for their food (the entire pre-dining experience), and 19 minutes enjoying the food.

The availability of self-service technology will drive customer visits across all age groups but especially from the younger generation, the study showed.

Over 70% of those aged 18-24 would visit more often if self-service was offered and 65% of those aged 25-44 would do so. Even among older customers, 60% of those aged 45-54 said they would visit more often if self-service was available, dipping to 40% of those aged 55+ .