DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Central Ohio-based fast food giant Wendy’s plans to install self-ordering kiosks in about one out of six of the burger chain’s franchises nationwide by the end of this year.
A typical location would get three kiosks for about $15,000, The Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/2md5sjn ). David Trimm, Wendy’s chief information officer, estimates that payback on those machines would come in less than two years thanks to labor savings and increased sales.
The kiosks have two purposes according to Trimm: appeasing younger customers by given them an ordering experience they prefer and reducing labor costs.
Kiosks also have the potential to circumvent the long lines of peak dining hours while increasing kitchen output at the same time.
In all, about 1,000 locations will have the kiosks.
“They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it,” said Darren Tristano, vice president with Technomic — a food-service research and consulting firm. “They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk.”
Kiosks are also valued by the company for its ability to provide data about customers.
Wendy’s spokeswoman Heidi Schauer said higher-volume stores will get priority for the kiosks because demand for the technology is so high.
“This move puts them at the forefront of the kiosk and tech movement,” Tristano said.
Kiosks already have been installed at several central Ohio locations where the company first tested the technology.
Customers will still be able to order at the counter for now, although Tristano predicts that mobile ordering and payment via smartphones will one day overtake self-ordering kiosks and cash registers.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com
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