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What’s the Next Big Self-Service Innovation?


Queuing is out, self-service is in. Whether they’re grabbing a burger or picking up their groceries, people expect to be able to do it quickly – and for the most part, they want to be able to do it without needing to ask a staff member or wait in a queue.

Fast foodWhat's the Next Big Self-Service Innovation?

McDonald’s helped pave the way for self-service when they introduced their self-order kiosks. Since then, multiple fast-food chains have also installed kiosks allowing customers to go through almost their entire restaurant experience without talking to a real person. While this may seem like a step towards some robot led dystopia, it has actually drastically improved the fast-food experience for many people. A study found that when a Swedish alcohol retailer switched to self-service, the market share of items with difficult-to-pronounce names increased by 8.4%. People with social anxiety, speech impediments, and hearing difficulties can all now enjoy a meal with minimal difficulty.


Unexpected item in the bagging area? Not so much. Gone are the days when trying to use a self-checkout was a battle between you and the world’s most sensitive scales, in fact people now tend to prefer self-checkouts. A 2019 survey showed that 73% of respondents were in favour of using self-service checkouts, this was up 10.6% from the previous year. Self-checkouts are now a quick and efficient way to get your shopping done. The smaller profile and lack of a conveyor belt mean more tills can be fit into the same amount of space. This allows more customers to complete their shop more quickly, allowing you to get out and enjoy the rest of the day. No one wants to spend their weekend stuck in Sainsbury’s!


The introduction of GDPR has forced many offices and schools to rethink their reception areas. Paper sign-in books aren’t just messy, they’re also insecure allowing visitors’ information to be viewed by anyone. Digital sign-in systems, like those offered by VisiPoint, offer an efficient and secure way to check visitors in. An easy to use touch screen and built-in RFID scanners mean a cluttered reception desk can be a thing of the past!

What's the Next Big Self-Service Innovation?

The future

Thanks to rapidly improving technology and developments to artificial intelligence, self-service options are constantly evolving. Amazon has taken self-service to the next level. In 2017 they launched Amazon Go, a physical store in Seattle which a groundbreaking new concept. Just Walk Out Shopping. No checkouts, no self-service kiosks. You simply scan your phone as you enter the store, take what you want, and leave. The technology they use to enable this is similar to the technology being used to develop self-driving cars. As of December 2019, Amazon Go only has 18 stores open across the US, however, they are considering opening as many as 3,000 by 2021. This rapid expansion gives huge potential for further self-service innovation. This same technology could be applied to other retail outlets. Zara has already begun successfully trialling self-checkouts at some of their stores, proving that this type of technology isn’t limited to grocery shopping. We could be looking at a future without queues, where you simply wander into H&M, grab what you want, and walk out again.

The self-service industry is changing daily with innovative new technology transforming how we go about our daily lives. To ensure you remain at the forefront of the self-service revolution, get in touch with LamasaTech today.

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