Quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants have been embracing self-service kiosks over the last five years, and the pace has been gaining momentum. Given the progress that convenience dining has made with self-service technology, we'd like to recognize a pioneer that has led the charge in this space–Panera Bread.
In 2016, Panera Bread implemented Lilitab kiosks in its restaurants as part of its Panera 2.0 initiative. In addition to kiosks, technology components included mobile and online ordering applications. Overall, Panera 2.0 is an investment in integrated end-to-end customer-facing technologies that go beyond a basic mobile-payment system or digital-ordering process.
The stated objectives of this Panera 2.0 initiative are a reduction in wait times, improved order accuracy, and minimized or eliminated customer crowding. In essence, kiosks are at the center of the company's digital evolution, which freed counter-based cashiers to become interactive customer service representatives.