Recently my family ate at a restaurant we hadn’t been in for months and months. As soon as we were seated at our table, we noticed a computer-like kiosk with a flashing screen. Turns out this computer is on every table, and it is called a “Ziosk.”
A Ziosk is on every table not only in the location I visited, but on every table owned by this particular restaurant chain. The truth is that this restaurant chain is just one of several restaurant chains that have Ziosks in their locations. There are several reasons why stores would use Ziosks.
First, because the Ziosks are linked to the table at which they are found, customers who are seated can immediately place a drink or appetizer order -- even before they have been greeted by a server. According to an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Ziosks have actually been proven to increase the “starter sales” by an average of 20 percent!
Ziosks are also money-makers at tables because we are all so “technology-driven” and seeking an entertainment source almost constantly. In fact, Ziosks began as a way for families to play games and such while waiting for their meals to arrive. They have expanded during the last few years and now are used not only for entertainment but for ordering as well.
So what does a Ziosk have to do with your savings? Well, one of the best ways for me to teach you about saving is to tell you specifically what I do. And in this case, I let a Ziosk get the best of me!
Another spending point the Bloomberg BusinessWeek article dealt with was tipping. The article pointed out that a Ziosk begins its tip suggestion at 20 percent. While the Ziosk will allow a customer to increase or decrease the tip, I would urge you to be careful and fully examine the screen before pressing anything.
In fact, on that Friday night I tipped a good deal more than I would normally have tipped. I tried pressing “cancel” or “back” so that I could take a step back in this online checkout process -- but to no avail. Once a customer has added the tip to the check, there is no going back.
One of the other points the Bloomberg article made about ordering through the Ziosk at your table is that dessert sales have increased in the restaurants where these Ziosks are used. In fact, dessert sales have increased 30 percent overall throughout restaurants where desserts are offered. At Chili’s, where I was eating, the molten chocolate cake and its other desserts are selling at an increased rate of 20 percent.
In fact, my kids, having watched the dessert pictures rotate over and over on our Ziosk as well as those around our table, began discussing how they could split the cost of a dessert between themselves. In the end, we did not purchase a dessert -- keeping to our regular spending habits.
I did use a Ziosk to scan my phone; I had received a free appetizer coupon in my email, and the Ziosk has a QR Code Reader. The Ziosk was a new experience for our family. I am seriously technologically challenged, so my advice to you is to be careful when using the Ziosk.
Don’t change your eating habits just because the pictures on the screen make those desserts look so wonderful. If you’re concerned about the bottom line, avoid the games that are pay-to-play. You probably already have games on your phone that will keep the kids entertained! Better yet, take the Ziosk, turn it toward the wall, and enjoy some technological down-time until you are ready to check out!