“Will touchscreen innovation gain a true foothold in the fast food industry, shortening drive-thru waits and making restaurants more efficient?”
I think so. The entire QSR industry appears to be focusing more on the customer experience, since quality of food is ceasing to be a differentiator. In other words, there is only so much you can do there, and eventually parity will be reached. This means that the way the customer interacts will definitely change, and it is my feeling that the self-service kiosk will be one of the two core functions of this. Consider how the apps have changed; now you can order entirely on your phone for pickup, delivery, or dine-in … and you are in control, making it easier to customize your order. The kiosk frees up staff to work on the food, making things faster and more efficient, but also offering a more bespoke (pardon using the term, QSR is hardly considered that, but personalized service SHOULD BE called such) and personalized experience. Especially when you tie in the app based data – you can more readily re-order, the advertising can be targeted to you personally, and your overall experience will be better. Look at the success McDonald’s is having with their kiosk program. It definitely sets a tone for the future.