Research Outline

Self-service Restaurant Trends


Gain an understanding of the in restaurant self-service menu market, with a focus on trends related to key players in the restaurant ordering software space, specifically third party service providers that offer apps or platforms to replace traditional server ordering systems, with a focus on understanding the maturity of the players involved, as well as key product offering details and funding in this space.

Early Findings



  • Accuracy of order is the biggest driver of self-service food ordering, as customers increasingly expect to be able to customize details of their orders.
  • 72% of customers surveyed are more comfortable customizing their orders in front of a screen.
  • It's also however notes that consumers may never prefer a totally human-less customer service experience and suggested successful restaurants will be those that best integrate the technology with real human interactions in a balanced way.
  • While self-service is preferred, user-friendly options that offer a staff member on hand to seamlessly handle ordering errors and to take orders from those unfamiliar with the technology are preferable.
  • Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Panera, McDonalds and Sonic Drive-In have all established self-ordering services successfully.
  • Self-service offers a more automated and consistent way of upselling, and self-service platforms are expected to incorporate predictive abilities in order to better do so in the future.