Friday, February 2, 2007

Fast Food Chains Banking on Their Own Score This Super Bowl

Quick service restaurants are gearing up for the anticipated “Super Bowl surge” this February. But, some will be more prepared than others to handle additional customer transactions, all because of a relatively new, but growing, guest-service technique that has the industry a-buzz: Let guests handle their own orders.

EMN8 Inc. is a leading developer of the latest evolution of self-service kiosks, replacing the sterile, one-dimension “pong-esque” kiosks of the past with vibrant, cinema-quality graphics, 3-D animation and user-friendly interfaces. These graphic advancements not only make the ordering process more fun and entertaining, but reflect the actual personality of a brand.

“Self-service is everywhere these days. Implementing a self-service option in our restaurants came naturally,” said a major fast food restaurant franchisee. “We chose EMN8 because of their ability to integrate with our systems and support our customers paying by either cash or credit. The great graphics make ordering easy and fun – they really capture our brand.”

Even more important to quick-service restaurant owners are the results, which come in the form of faster service, line reduction and, best of all, an estimated 15- to 30-percent increase on per-ticket sales. The potential is evident, especially when you consider that fast-service dining sales are expected to reach $180 billion in 2007. High periods such as Super Bowl Weekend can make the difference between a good year and great year.

According to Stephen M. Donly, EMN8’s chief executive officer and president, it’s events like the Super Bowl that best showcase the company’s industry-leading kiosk design.

“Initially, people are a little intimidated when seeing a service kiosk, said Donly. “But – especially if there’s a line – our fun, friendly interface draws them in and they give it a try. More often than not, they’re instantly hooked. Think of how many people now use ATM machines – it didn’t use to be that way,” explained Donly. “People like kiosks because they’re faster, easier and more convenient. We’re now seeing that same trend in the quick service area, only with more animated and enjoyable self-service technology.”

Industry statistics confirm Donly’s assessment. According to IHL Consulting, a global research firm for technology, self-service transactions will reach $450 billion by 2008. And, according to Forrester Research, consumers who frequently buy food and beverages from quick service restaurants and coffee houses “want the latest high-tech conveniences.”

“It’s a more personal experience where people can order what they want, change their order if they want, pay with cash or credit; whatever they choose to do. It’s their way, all the time. That means they’re happy and more likely to return. And that means the restaurant owner’s happy.”

No comments: