What are self checkouts and why are they needed now more than ever in the hospitality sector

Modern technology is making it easier for customers to serve themselves. And with such convenience close at hand, customers are feeling happier and more motivated to use self-checkouts.

Self-checkouts are increasing customer engagement, and this means they’re better for your bottom line. In a UK report on self-checkouts, around 58% of food operators said they saw increased revenue as a key benefit of self-checkouts. 

But what exactly are self-checkouts? How do they work to support your business, and why are they needed now more than ever across the hospitality sector?

In this article, we’ll dispel some of the myths that surround this helpful technology. 

What are self checkouts?

Self-checkouts enable customers to pay for goods and services with next-to-no human contact. Or, at least, it’s minimal. They usually operate via touchscreens or other forms of digital interface. 

It’s likely the next time you visit the supermarket that you’ll notice self-checkouts. But for the hospitality industry, they’re enabling customers to make their own choices and selections without any intervention from a sales rep. Payment gets taken through the terminal without the need for cashiers or customer service assistants to help. 

One of the first restaurant chains to introduce self-checkouts was McDonald’s. And, by doing so, they’re allowing customers to make their choices via kiosks before they collect them. Since the pandemic arrived, McDonald’s has shifted their approach to takeaway and table service only. Because of social distancing and the restrictions on queuing, food is now brought to tables.  

Self-checkouts not only enable customers to serve themselves, but they help businesses to fulfil customer orders faster. And when you think about it, this brings a wide range of benefits to any hospitality business.

How are self-checkouts making an impact across the hospitality sector?

Restaurants and fine dining

London-based sushi restaurant Inamo has been pioneering self-ordering checkouts since 2017. Taking self-ordering to a unique level, this innovative restaurant enables customers to order from their tables. That’s right – their tables are touchscreens. And this allows them to order in their own time, before staff bring out their sushi orders. 

Casual and pop-up

Costa Coffee trailed a new self-service kiosk across eight of their outlets in 2019. And since then, 3,500 new terminals have rolled out and arrived in what has become Britain’s No.1 coffee chain. 


In a survey of hotel users, almost 8 out of 10 said they preferred to use self-checkouts and wanted to see more made available to use. 

Ways your business can improve by introducing self-checkouts 

Increased revenue from upselling

Customers get excited when they use this form of kiosk. And this excitement over the technology –plus a better feeling of control—translates into increased order sizes

Staff can focus on table service

A significant benefit of a self-checkout is that staff don’t have to spend their time taking orders from long queues. Instead, the same staff can be working behind-the-scenes to fulfill all the orders that’ll becoming through to the kitchen thick and fast. 

Safer for customers and staff

With the pandemic taking a grip of the world, your business must take the necessary steps to keep everyone safe and socially distanced. Self-checkouts allow customers to remain at a safe distance as they pay at a terminal or wait at their seats. Plus, your teams get to maintain safe levels of distance as they bring orders to tables. 

Fewer errors

Data lies at the heart of all technological interactions. And when a self-checkout is processing orders, its accurate. Humans, on the other hand, can get distracted. And this can often lead to mistakes, errors or miscalculations. So, with more humans free to handle order fulfillments, you’ll notice the difference it saves in money and time. 

Use of self-checkouts is on the rise across all sectors, but particularly in hospitality. And that’s because these tools couldn’t have come at a better time to help keep the customers coming in.

To help hospitality businesses of all sizes, ePOS Hybrid offers a wide range of self-checkout technology. Our ePOS hardware can aid the growth of your hospitality business, regardless of its size.

So why not get in touch to find out more or schedule an online product demo?

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