A pilot project initiated in December by White Castle saw two touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio. It is currently the only restaurant in the family-owned, 406-unit chain to feature the kiosks. The large screens allow customers to order their burgers exactly as they like them in the privacy of the kiosk area.
McDonald’s is testing a similar system at a store in Laguna Niguel, California. Customers there can order from iPads at every table, choosing from among more than 20 toppings and sauces to create custom-made burgers that are grilled to order. The company will use this as a test to help McDonald’s gauge how customers feel about the customization experience.
Other quick-service burger chains have jumped on the kiosk and tablet-ordering bandwagon. Both Chili’s and Applebee’s recently announced that they are adding tablets throughout their restaurants, allowing customers to order and pay at their tables.
Burger quick serves’ increasing adoption of kiosks and tablets is said to help in reducing labor costs, enhancing customization, speeding up the ordering process, and standardizing menu information and marketing messages. Promotional messages can be pushed out to customers with the click of button.
Neither McDonald’s nor White Castle executives are saying whether kiosk and tablet ordering will be rolled out to additional stores.