More than halfway through 2021, the United States is still grappling with a damaging labor shortage that has existed since the pandemic began. There were a record 9.3 million job openings in April 2021, as many workers left their jobs.

For businesses across the board, a lack of available workers means having to cut operating hours, increase the workload of existing employees or just close completely.

Restaurants have been hit especially hard by the labor shortage, particularly smaller and locally-owned restaurants. In an industry already fraught with low profit margins and frequent closures, this situation can be devastating.

The shortage is a major problem for everyone: restaurant owners are losing money, workers are struggling to fulfill consumer demand and customers themselves are dealing with slow, often sub-par service.

Several solutions have been proposed and implemented to combat the shortage. Some larger restaurant chains have opted to raise wages to attract new employees, while others have begun offering signing bonuses. Yet still, many positions remain unfilled.

Luckily for employers, automation technology has the potential to eliminate the effects of the labor shortage by reducing the need for employees. Automation can help businesses stay open on a reduced staff, give customers the speed and convenience they’re looking for, and repurpose employees to perform more meaningful tasks.

The ultimate tool to end the labor crisis? The new, all-in-one Samsung Kiosk, powered by GRUBBRR’s self-service technology.

What’s New About This Kiosk?

Self-service kiosks have been around for years, with many restaurant chains adding them into their regular business models. These kiosks have proven helpful for restaurants looking to speed up customer service and reduce reliance on staff.

Regular kiosks do have some inefficiencies, however: they generally require separate hardware to operate, such as separate card readers or receipt printers. This can make setup an expensive as well as time-consuming process, which isn’t ideal when dealing with an immediate labor shortage.

The Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR’s technology eliminates that issue by including everything needed to operate right out of the box. The kiosk has a built-in card reader and receipt printer, and even includes integrated NFC technology to accept mobile payments as well as credit cards.

In other words, the kiosks are ready to operate as soon as they’re plugged into the wall.

For smaller restaurants that would like to implement self-service kiosks but may not be able to pay for all the necessary peripherals, the all-in-one kiosk helps drive down costs. Even for restaurants with a larger budget, the simple and flexible setup makes the all-in-one kiosk the best choice for self-service tech.

How Does The Kiosk Optimize Labor?

Let’s say you’re running a small fast-casual restaurant, and you’ve only got three full-time employees on staff: two to work the kitchen and one to take orders and work the register. This small team may suffice when business is slow, but during the lunch or dinner rush, things can get stressful and service might suffer.

By implementing these all-in-one kiosks, restaurant owners can eliminate the need for a cashier. The kiosks can take orders and accept payments without the need for any human help. This frees up your third worker to help out in the kitchen, so orders can be fulfilled faster and more accurately.

When you’re running on a limited staff, every single task has to be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Self-ordering kiosks are the ultimate solution to slow service while putting the customer in control of their dining experience.

Can a Kiosk Do Everything A Cashier Does?

In short, yes.

Just like ordering from a cashier, kiosks allow for full customization when a customer inputs their order. If a customer wants a burger but doesn’t want lettuce or pickles, they can simply choose to remove those ingredients with a quick touch of the screen.

In fact, allowing a customer to input their own order can decrease any miscommunication that might occur with traditional verbal ordering. Whereas a cashier may not hear when the customer asks for no pickle, the kiosk essentially allows the customer to communicate directly with the kitchen — if they mark “no pickle” on the touchscreen, the kitchen will always receive the correct order.

Even if a customer wants a customization that isn’t available on the normal menu, they can simply use the “notes” box at the end of the order to directly type in any additional customization they desire.

Benefits Beyond The Labor Shortage

Even for the few restaurants that aren’t struggling with a shortage of staff, implementing an all-in-one Samsung Kiosk with GRUBBRR’s technology can bring a myriad of positive effects that help their operations stay profitable.

Financial Benefits

Labor optimization is good for any business. Implementing a kiosk to take orders cuts labor costs drastically, and the kiosk will never call in sick or need to schedule a vacation. Kiosks operate quickly and efficiently, all the time, and don’t need to be paid a competitive wage.

Beyond that, kiosks can be used to display videos and advertisements to entice customers to purchase menu items. They also feature built-in upselling, so you can offer upsells to customers during the ordering process and increase ticket sizes by up to 50%, helping keep your profit margins high.

The increased speed and enhanced communication that comes with kiosk ordering will also keep your customers happy, which in turn increases customer loyalty and retention. For any business looking to stay competitive, an all-in-one self-ordering kiosk is a strong tool to have in your arsenal.

Health and Safety Benefits

As the public is aware of the risk of disease transmission now more than ever, self-ordering kiosks are the perfect solution for limiting customer contact with employees and keeping everyone safe.

Employees can deal with dozens or even hundreds of customers per day, and needing to handle customers’ cash and credit cards comes with inherent risks. Letting a machine do this work keeps your employees and customers out of harm’s way.

If you’re worried about customers spreading germs by using the touchscreen on the kiosk, don’t be. Samsung Kiosks powered by GRUBBRR have an anti-microbial coating on the screen, protecting them from 99.9% of bacteria — practically the same effect as using hand sanitizer on the screen (but without damaging it, of course).

Conclusion: Right For Every Restaurant

Amid this unprecedented labor shortage, an all-in-one kiosk from Samsung and GRUBBRR can not only help your restaurant stay afloat, but will also help it thrive and stay competitive well beyond 2021.

The kiosks are designed to fit into any sort of restaurant space, and can be either free-standing or installed on a countertop. Their plug-and-play design makes installation effortless, so there’s practically no reason not to invest in this tech.

Whether this is your restaurant’s first step into automation or part of an ongoing business overhaul, the Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR is a significant step into the future.