Self-Ordering Kiosks are becoming more popular in Quick Service and Fast Casual restaurants. Most recently McDonalds has announced that they would be rolling out self-order kiosks to all of their 14,000 US stores and extend the facility to their global operations.
Many of the other major QSR players have followed suit with their own trials, pilots and rollout announcements, while in the Fast Casual space companies like Panera have been executing their own kiosk rollout strategy for some time.
Beyond the kiosk, the mission-critical system that these companies all have in common is of course their Point of Sale. But while the POS is a common component in all of these companies, it is often times from a different POS provider, given the number of options there are to choose from. This diversity of POS systems creates some challenges for the retailers now wanting to integrate kiosks, and also for the kiosk solution providers themselves.
There is, however, an organized way for both retailers and solution providers to work together and effectively go about the business of exploring kiosks and finding the best fit. The goal of both parties is to find the combination that provides the desired self-order kiosk function in a solution that is also well integrated with their POS, so as to mitigate issues with respect to cost, redundancy of data, support and long-term cost of ownership.
Integration of sales data on the kiosk into the sales database that is on the existing POS has many advantages. You want the sales data from the kiosk to be included in the total sales reporting you get from the POS, but you also want to be able to separately see the sales that are being generated on just the kiosk.
Integration of back-end systems, including payment processing and KDS: Through the POS, the kiosk should be able to make use of the payment processing/payment gateway services you already have in place. By the same token, the kiosk should be able to send prep information to the POS so that it in turn sends it to the KDS. In other words, leverage what you have.
You should not be paying extra for separate payment processing and KDS services for just the kiosk; nor should you even consider those options from a pure operations standardization standpoint.