AmRest Holdings is the largest independent restaurant operator in Central and Eastern Europe. They have a growing international presence and operate major restaurant franchises including Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut and KFC. They approached ribot to ask us to improve the customer experience in 500 KFC restaurants, 220 across Poland that use fresh, local ingredients. They source all of their chicken from nearby, local farms and have fresh deliveries 2 to 3 times per week. Their goal, to serve more customers and shorten queue times through busy periods.
ribot helped concept and redesign the customer experience. The AmRest team and ribot worked together to define an in-store kiosk solution that could be used by customers for ordering across their 500 restaurants. After an 8-month Agile process and internal user sessions, we released a Minimum Viable Product into 2 test restaurants. Initial results are showing that 81% of customers that start an order, continue to complete and pay for the order (Mixpanel). We also gathered in-store qualitative customer interviews from Kiosk usage throughout the process.
We worked with a small group of key stakeholders. At the initial stage of this project, we ran a vision workshop, where we reviewed the existing prototype and customer journey. Together we identified the first part of the customer journey we could improve and the project priorities. The team then ideated together and shortlisted potential solutions. During the process, we travelled frequently to Poland to familiarise with the local restaurants and culture and to test both the hardware and software. The team from AmRest included Digital Technology Manager CEE Maciej Buba, restaurant industry-veteran and Digital Director Danielle Anderson & KFC Digital Manager CEE Maciej Jedrychowski. We also worked with hardware and software partners from M4B and 3E, respectively.
The kiosk experience has been designed to be easy to use and a delightful experience for customers. We needed to design to overcome barriers customers may have in using the service. Research highlighted that some customers may have had previous negative experiences using other kiosks and some older users had reservations around using the technology. Together we mapped a customer journey designed to maximise the positive. We use a design thinking approach, based in behavioural psychology.
The ‘aesthetic-usability’ effect is a psychological condition where users perceive better visual designs to be easier to use. People tend to believe that things that look better, work better, this makes them more tolerant of minor usability issues. We also based the interface on Material Design, most Polish customers use Android and so they are already familiar with this style. We customized in a sensible manner for the kiosk. Familiarity also increases usability. Designing a kiosk interface that was both attractive and functional was the overall goal. We created visually pleasing aesthetics like rounded corners, friendly messages and an easy-to-use interface. We used large product images, allowing people to crave the food whilst interacting with the kiosk.
The previous food menu focussed on product packaging, but user research highlighted that people actually anchor on the product type instead. They are more likely to choose by type for example bucket, burger, side or drink. We used that insight to restructure the menu into an intuitive hierarchy and sorting order. We custom designed the display components for the kiosk. We used the ‘Colonel’ to reinforce the brand. The Colonel performs a conversational element in the UI to guide you through the journey. The Colonel welcomes you, helps you to make a selection and add to the basket. The Colonel continues to appear for all core decisions in the process. The UI also points to the payment terminal to show the user the direction of card input. The order summary is then transitioned into a physically printed receipt. The process also included designing easy to use maintenance screens, to assist staff when replacing receipt paper.
The form factor, sizing and height required us to research ergonomics and determine touchscreen comfort areas. We set up the kiosk hardware in our own studio and connected it to InVision so we could test the custom UI on a daily basis and make changes quickly. We rapidly iterated designs and tested them - allowing us to adjust heights according to average male and female heights. Some of the display components, product cards, animations and transitions were all rooted in Google Material Guidelines. The majority of the KFC customer base in Poland use Android.
When the kiosk is idle it displays a slow-motion video of how the food is prepared and what’s on offer, this is followed by a message from the Colonel prompting users to select takeaway or eat in options. The user can select language options here too.
Light, perspective, clarity and mood were inconsistent across all KFC Poland’s product imagery, we worked alongside Tomek Lacek, Marketing Director KFC (CEE, RU, ES) at AmRest, to give products a fresh, tasty look that worked everywhere the products are displayed to create a seamless feel across the digital channels. We gave creative direction on how we think the images can be improved and created a mood board for future photography shoots. We initially focussed on a specific category and cropped existing images and then created experiments with the later photography.
The kiosk needed to align seamlessly with the other ordering channels, allowing access to a full range of product. Managing the balance between allowing customization options within the kiosk and ordering speed was a key challenge in the project. We created an initial prototype that leaned toward ordering speed. We allowed customers to pick between all product variations of a category in one single step. The first prototype was very efficient, but less descriptive of the different product options. We continued to iterate the prototype until we reached the right balance through testing. Users can easily pick and order a menu item whilst still offering an option to customise.
We accepted that all customers would select via Product Menu-> Product Detail->Product Menu steps. Along the journey, we included optional CTA’s which show the customization options. When creating a ‘Bucket’ the product does require customization, but it doesn’t incur an additional mental model for customers. We have simply changed the ‘detail’ view step to include the customization options available. We also created a special animation to occur during the customization process to make the journey more fun.
The kiosk web app has to interact with physical components like the printer and payment terminal. As they are slow, the UI needed to make them feel faster. The kiosk has a ReactJS web app running in Chrome. The app is offline except for the payment terminal which has its own connections, although the platform was resource constrained, we were able to work alongside the client’s development partners to resolve these issues. We can quickly push updates to the kiosk on a regular basis and update overnight - improving experiences for customers. The design team were based at ribot in the UK, Luxembourg & Mexico and we collaborated with the client team and their hardware and software partners from M4B and 3E in Poland.
The KFC kiosk allows customers to skip queues and get their order more quickly. Early results show that customers are happy to use, complete and pay for their order on the kiosk.
Access to the kiosk ensures shorter lines and allows KFC staff to serve customers more quickly. AmRest is able to continuously test, iterate and improve the kiosk as it is rolled out across all of their restaurants in Poland.
During our ideation process with KFC we collaborated on some great ideas for the iteration of this product, which, led by the Colonel, would deliver an exciting and market leading experience for customers. We’ve recently worked in a cross-functional team together with AmRest, Microsoft, M4B and 3E to quickly build a prototype for the future iteration of the kiosk using machine learning and AR. Watch this space...