Leveling the Restaurant Technology Playing Field 

Do-It-Yourself kiosk software helps smaller restaurants become more competitive against industry giants

Bessemer, Alabama, UNITED STATES

Birmingham Alabama, July 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kiosks and the electronic ordering convenience they bring continue to pad the bottom lines of scores of restaurants.
Quick service giant Panera Bread Co. just announced that sales through its digital platforms – kiosk, mobile and web – will top $1 billion this year and likely double by 2019. And McDonald’s, in the process of rolling out self-service kiosks to its 14,000 stores in the United States as part of an initiative it calls “Experience of the future,” has seen sales and usage spike as well.
Without deep pockets and physical resources, many small- to medium-sized restaurants simply can’t keep pace on the digital front, industry experts say. Kiosks at McDonald’s, for instance, reportedly cost close to $60,000 to install.
“This could really handicap the smaller businesses in the future with labor shortages and minimum wage increases,” said Grace Vasa, CEO of technology firm Juke Slot. “Technology needs to be affordable for all businesses.”
The self-service kiosk industry is projected to top $31.75 billion by 2020, according to research from Allied Market Research.
But projections will not be met with large corporations alone, experts say.  Smaller operators – those who own or manage a single or a handful of locations – are key to the technology’s success. Their inclusion into the kiosk field allows for more widespread use.
Countless restaurants once kept at bay from incorporating the technology may soon capitalize on the digital revolution, too.
New software that focuses on ease of use, flexibility and affordability aims to help owners overcome two of the biggest hurdles to implementation.
Do-It-Yourself kiosk application from Juke Slot is the only solution of its kind on the market for restaurants. The custom interactive kiosk software doesn’t require a high degree of programming savvy to configure; configuration is as simple as filling out a job application online. Using a step-by-step process, it’s designed to be used easily by those with a basic set of computing skills.
Some of the larger restaurant chains collectively have spent millions in recent years to develop kiosks and the software that runs them and deploy the units, Juke Slot officials say. Panera, for instance, soaked $120 million into its digital efforts over the last three years.
“Who can afford it?” Vasa said. “Not the small operators. Making kiosks affordable for smaller businesses is long overdue.”
From a hardware standpoint, kiosks typically don’t change from deployment to deployment – whether they’re being installed in McDonald’s or in Olive Gardens. The difference is in the software, which is customized to fit each brand.
What helps cut down on cost and time with kiosk deployments for large chains is that software is designed for hundreds – or thousands – of the same units, as opposed to tailoring software to a single individual restaurant.
Juke Slot knows the tediousness that comes with designing platforms for companies running one or two eateries. The overwhelming workload and taxing of resources spurred the idea of the Do-It-Yourself design.
“We’re giving the restaurant total control of imagining their system,” Vasa said. “On top of that, we can integrate it with the current POS.”
The Do-It-Yourself solution is preloaded into a kiosk. The software enables anyone with access to the network – owners, managers or staff members – to tweak the menu available to customers via a smartphone app or through computer access. Updates to product descriptions, images and menu color schemes are immediate and made in real time.
That way, restaurants can adjust to changing situations throughout the day. For instance:

  • If the restaurant runs out of a certain dish, a worker can access the menu electronically and remove it from the rundown. Once changed, the ordering system would no longer include the option. Doing so prevents a host of issues. For one, the waiter might not get the message and have to relay the disappointing news back to the customer after putting in their order. For eateries with paper menus on the tables, they aren’t able to X out the item without destroying printed copies.
  • If the restaurant wants to add an item to the menu, it can be included – with a description, photo and price – as quickly as something can be removed. This cuts down considerably on the time it typically takes restaurants with printed menus to get the dish into its system and make it available, a process that typically can take a couple of weeks. Restaurant staff can simply take a picture of the new menu item and upload the image to the kiosk in seconds.
  • A restaurant holding a daily happy hour from 5-7 p.m. where beer prices drop from $5 to $1 can use the app to automatically adjust drink prices at the start of the two-hour span and raise them back at the end.

“If more small- to medium-sized business were able to go to digital menus, it would save them a lot money,” Vasa said.
Juke Slot’s goal for the Do-It-Yourself kiosk system, is for it to be available off-the-shelf, on sale in office supply stores and through other distribution partners.
In the meantime, to help those businesses make the move toward self-ordering, Juke Slot has begun a limited time special sale on its popular kiosks equipped with Do-It-Yourself software. Its Tempo device, a larger standup unit suited for quick-service restaurants such as sandwich shops and pizzerias, is available for a subscription rate of $399 a month, with no up-front costs.
For more information or to purchase Juke Slot’s Do-It-Yourself software or kiosks, email sales@jukeslot.net.

Visit us on the web: www.restaurantkiosk.com

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