Okay I will admit it; I hate malfunctioning supermarket self-service systems, any scanning or weighing issues at the checkout infuriates me, even if there are helpful and cheery staff to hand.

Why do they get it so wrong time and again?

If I hear ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ one more time I will simply scream … there is not a Meteorite in my shopping!

Along with a few well-chosen post watershed phrases to accompany my angst!

Especially, when the alternative is to stand with your three items behind aisles full of stacked trolleys and soul less faces, when just two lanes of 15 are open at 8pm on a Thursday.

We all put up with the convenient inconvenience or is that inconvenient convenience?

(I think I may have borrowed that line from somewhere)

Or is that pure profits over a lack of usually craftily garnered customer care?

Two fingers to the shopper … Serve your bloody self!

The only alternative is to simply leave and go to another store; abandoning would be purchases on the end of an unattended aisle, highlighted by the insipid yet over bright strip lights.

Like bedraggled beach finds, made by a child on a desolate grey winter’s day, reluctantly let go of at the edge of a car park, along with countless other treasures.

Possibly slight over dramatisation but it has just happened again.


On the plus side we have:

  • fewer mistakes
  • user friendly interface
  • better service
  • larger orders (better for the restaurant)
  • faster
  • increased menus
  • informative (allergens)
  • consumer choice (bespoke ingredients) made to order
  • multiple payment methods (chip & pin, contactless and mobile)
  • reliability
  • collection or table service options
  • cheaper – for the restaurant
  • and more advertising space or part-time digital signage

On the negative side:

  • the queue to make a cash order or use a coupon, certainly likely to spend more than had planned to
  • Fast food isn’t necessarily cheap food
  • Not ideal for the more senior of our population, disabled or technophobes

So is that why, along with our Supermarket hatred; initial and fairly recent polls showed a 78% majority who were unwilling to go to a restaurant, fast food or otherwise with self-serve kiosks?

Despite the data or was that perception?

McDonalds, KFC and others have basically ignored this research, delivered on some honestly great, simple, quick and easy to use systems.  Relied on screen and device savvy young customers to pave the way … or were we already actually conditioned by Amazon and other brilliant shopping sites?

KFC plans to roll-out kiosks to over 5,000 restaurants globally before the end of this year!

This mass wave of instalments explains why Tillster’s research predicts the self-service kiosk market to reach $30.8 billion by 2024.

From the same Forbes article: According to the National Restaurant Association State of the Industry 2019 report, 41% of quick-service operators plan to devote more resources to tablets, iPads, tableside ordering systems, or self-serve kiosks this year.

And, according to the Tillster report, a whopping 67% of customers plan to place an order with a self-service kiosk within the next year—a 25% increase over the previous year.


Yes, I am a convert, a fan and also heading towards evangelist.

I can see the benefits, along with tablets, ordering apps and other services; all have their place and kiosks will be everywhere, even the local chip shop.

As for the supermarkets, they really need to invest in something that can read a barcode and weigh an item without being really frustrating!

If you would like your own self service kiosk soloution please talk to us