If you live in the middle of a hustling bustling urban jungle like Karachi, you need access to everything faster than ever before and food delivery is at the top of the list. The fast foods that suffered because of poor road planning, non-existent traffic management and lack of parking space, experienced quite the revival thanks to the rise of delivery services. Increased number of users on smartphones and high-speed mobile internet, makes helps to put back every restaurant and cafe back in business. Why? Because you click the order and have it delivered to you.
Last year, McDonalds Pakistan introduced self-serving kiosks allowing you to enter a branch, place your order using a touchscreen kiosk, swipe your plastic card at the POS device and go to the counter to physically collect the food. Upon casual observation, the service looks great and it does seem like a smart solution for anyone who hates waiting in line… which seems to be everyone. The problem with the solution is the placement.
There is actual science behind planning and executing placement for better user experience, and floor planning of a cafe or store is a big part. It’s the same UI and UX design and planning applied to apps, web and graphic design.
The objective of planning and designing the floor plan is to let the maximum number of customers into the store, and facilitate their movement and flow throughout the shop. If it’s a store, then shelf space is placed to attract the attention, which means that real estate can generate more value through marketing. If its a cafe, there has to be an unobstructed path for customers to enter and get to their tables, and for servers to maneuver deliveries to the tables. The higher the turnover of customers, the more business is generated.
Coming back to the kiosks in question, the idea for making fast food faster, makes sense providing it doesn’t block the way of customers entering. If you look closely at the photograph, you’ll actually see an employee placing the order for the customers who are exhibiting the same behavior at the kiosk as they would at the register. A behavior change doesn’t happen because technology is introduced; there is an entire element of change management in play.
Transformation takes place if the entire ecosystem is in play and payment is a big part of this cycle. With the credit card usage trends still rallying in the single digit percentage of the population, is the 10×10 space dedicated to the kiosks smart business sense?