Self-Service Ordering Kiosks are Transforming the QSR Environment

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat while driving down the highway, somewhere to take your kids’ soccer team for dinner after a big game, or a simple afternoon pick-me-up, quick serve restaurants—commonly referred to by the acronym QSR—serve as many Americans’ go-to for a quick and easy dining experience. 


In addition to speed and convenience, one of the largest draws for quick serve restaurants is the simple volume and variety in which they are present across the country. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by the NPD Group, there are 353,121 quick serve restaurants in the United States alone—ranging from the largest chains, to more regional and local operations. 


While the QSR experience is typically quite simple, the introduction of more advanced technology—namely self-service food ordering kiosks—over the course of the past decade has, and continues to, enhance the overall guest experience. 


Self-service QSR kiosks aren’t just in the early stages, though. In fact, some of the largest QSR restaurants in the country, from McDonalds to Panera Bread, Subway, and Wendys have implemented various self-service kiosk solutions.  Uniquely designed to decrease congestion, increase order capacity, and personalize the customer experience in a food service setting, the technology is exploding across the industry. Here’s how quick service restaurants and their customers are benefiting: 

Decreased Congestion

When consumers visit a quick serve restaurant for a meal or a quick snack, they expect exactly what the name indicates—to be served quickly. However, due to their popularity and the high volume of customers served, some QSR restaurants struggle to effectively manage and prevent congestion—especially during peak meal times. Designed to promote simplicity, self-service ordering kiosks can allow consumers to both place and pay for their orders all from the kiosk. By providing a self-service option in addition to a traditional cashier and cash register, quick service restaurants are able to reduce the number of people both waiting in line to order and standing around the counter waiting for their food. 

Increased Order Capacity

Just as self-service kiosks can help increase the rate at which customers are able to place their orders, they can also increase the capacity and number of orders that can be filled within a given time period—the two practically go hand-in-hand. By redirecting their time and attention away from entering orders to focusing on food preparation, orders are able to be turned around more quickly. This increase in order capacity can benefit both consumers and restaurant owners as consumers are able to receive their orders in a timely manner and restaurant owners are able to serve more customers and increase order output without increasing costs. 

Personalized Customer Experience

While many quick serve restaurants promote consistency across the board—from their menu choices to their restaurant decor—QSR ordering kiosks allow customers to personalize both their order and experience to ensure that they are exactly as they’d hoped they would be. Customers are also able to receive more personal one-on-one assistance from employees if they have questions during the ordering process. 


According to the 2019 Kiosk Marketplace Annual Census Report, restaurant order and pay kiosks are among the verticals with the best growth opportunities when it comes to self-service solutions. While self-service kiosks have yet to find their way into every quick serve restaurant across the country, there’s no denying that their presence is continuing to grow. 


From decreasing congestion to increasing order capacity and personalizing the customer experience, self-service food ordering kiosks are transforming quick serve restaurants as we know them. 


To learn more about Meridian’s food service kiosks, visit or give us a call at 866-454-6757.

July 24, 2019