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It’s no secret that restaurants are driving much of the growth for self-serve kiosks. Some of the largest chains, including McDonald’s and Wendy’s, are moving forward with in-store, self-serve kiosks, forcing their competitors to take notice.

The National Restaurant Show, which concluded yesterday at Chicago’s McCormick Place, confirmed that hardware and software providers are scrambling like never before to meet this growing demand. The exhibit floor featured dozens of solutions tailored to all types of foodservice establishments, including food trucks.

Many players in this market have recognized the importance of integrating self-serve kiosks with mobile ordering, point-of-sale systems and back-end software to minimize the amount of work required to allow a restaurant to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Self order technology establishes the foundation for additional kiosk capabilities, such as order pickup, nutrition information and loyalty programs. Many restaurants are already using digital messaging on screens and integrating with credit card payment.

Show highlights

Kris Bartel, left, of Zivelo and Jeff Pinc of Panasonic present a QSR self-serve kiosk.

Following are some highlights from the show floor.

Oracle Hospitality demonstrated kiosks powered by its Simphony Cloud that allows the kiosk to send information to the kitchen. The company also showed its 7-inch order tablet.

NCR Hospitality demonstrated its Aloha platform that integrates with self-order kiosks, in addition to mobile, online ordering, digital signage and other management functions.

Diebold Nixdorf displayed an interactive kiosk for Burger King in Europe. The company also highlighted technology that supports four key drivers in the retail and hospitality industries— digitalization, individualization, automation and miniaturization.

The company’s new K-Two kiosk automates routine transactions and provides engaging consumer experiences with order taking functionalities and more. The solution enables consumers to browse the menu, select items, place their order and pay electronically. Once the order is ready, the consumer can simply pick it up at the counter and leave.

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BrightSign displayed a self-serve kiosk designed by Felbro Displays aimed at the QSR market. The kiosk’s chassis can add side-mounted modules, including table buzzers, card readers and brochure displays.

Nextep displayed self order kiosks that use facial recognition technology to make ordering easier. The company also showed a new drive-thru touchscreen and a drive-thru mode for order management systems.

Zivelo displayed its X-Series kiosk for QSRs and fast casual restaurants at the Panasonic booth. The companies combine Panasonic displays and electronics with Zivelo’s kiosk design and technology to offer turnkey public computing solutions.

A POS provider, eTouchMenu, displayed a kiosk that notifies order takers’ handhelds to take orders from one section of the restaurant to another.

Coates Group displayed kiosks that integrate with POS systems, in addition to camera technology designed to close the communication loop between customers and staff, and also provides analytics to measure performance in real time.

Eats365, a Hong Kong based POS provider, displayed an integrated platform that integrates self-order kiosks and tablets with mobile order apps and back-end management software.

TouchBistro displayed a self-ordering kiosk, along with improvements to its iOS 10 app, particularly in the area of gift card reporting and sales.

MXH Hospitality showed a restaurant kiosk with a 32-inch screen that includes six phone charging stations.

Scott Johnson of SlabbKiosks and Tim Fogarty
of POSitouch present a complete POS solution.

Ziosk displayed a new Aurizon tabletop kiosk that integrates with mobile payment.

POSitouch demonstrated its QSR POS solutions with SlabbKiosk hardware. Other POS providers displaying kiosk and tablet modes included Toast and Lavu.

Most exhibitors agreed that restaurants represent the biggest growth opportunity for self-order kiosks. This year’s NRA Show confirmed the accuracy of this observation.

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