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Reducing Lines for Hungry Students with Technology

Around 18 months ago we identified a key area to improve the customer journey in our university restaurants the UK and Ireland – wait times.

Design Thinking – How we started:
We began by analysing our restaurants, tracking the customer journey, and conducting market research with leaders in the space, with our local payment technology provider Omnico. The result was a Kiosk payment solution that heavily used imagery for meal selection and offered easy payment.  

We emulated the user experience within the kiosk which so many of our customers were already used to from restaurants such as McDonalds, to ensure that customers would easily understand how to use the kiosks to place their orders.

The Trial Ground – “Dough & Go”
With only one till and an incredibly small space, very long lines were the norm at a pizza outlet in University College, London, called “Dough and Go,” making it the perfect place to launch this pilot program. 

Before the kiosks, the teams on site struggled to serve customers quickly at busy times which was causing long waits for hungry students.

Post Launch Results:
We wanted to ensure the solution was truly intuitive for customers, so we continued to work with the team on site throughout the trial to fully understand and resolve any usability or customer journey problems. 

With 3 new kiosks, the overwhelming benefit was the improved customer journey through drastically reduced wait time for our consumers. Additionally, the team was able to focus on fulfilling orders and deliver the best possible customer service.

We also found we were able to be more inclusive in the presentation of our menu information. The use of imagery on the menu in the kiosk meant that it was much easier for the high percentage of international students at the university to quickly understand the menu. In fact, even for students to whom English is a first language, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, meaning that the imagery on the menu was a very popular feature which further supported reduced queuing time. 

The trial has been so successful that we are now in the process of rolling out kiosks to our universities across the UK & Ireland, meaning that by the end of 2019 the solution will be in place across another 12 outlets in 8 universities.

We will continue to evolve and innovate in our use of technology to improve customer experience across all the industries we serve. A trial for kiosk technology is already in progress with one of our global Business & Industry clients, and we are continuing to develop and implement payment solutions such as click-and collect and self-check-out as well as kiosks across our restaurants.

Find out more about the ways we are innovating through technology.

November 14, 2019

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