Re: Restaurants' Switch To Tablets Is Trouble
You're certainly right to point out that this is a double-edged sword, Dave. Companies sink a huge amount of money into these services up-front, and then end up not making a return on it immediately and therefore not being able to keep up on the maintenance and upgrades. They add all kinds of unnecessary bells and whistles (like the games on these Chili's kiosks), while missing seemingly obvious problems (bad handling of restricted items IE liquor... didn't they know they sold these items all along?) Like you say, it's a little puzzling what simple lessons we can't seem to learn in ten years.
Some of these can be solved by better practices, and some of them seem to be the price of doing business with self-service. Either way, companies should factor them into their budgets and plans before diving in headfirst, not after. If it costs you $1,000 to set up a self-service station, you can't think of that as a flat cost - you have to factor in the costs of service, repair, upgrades, and more. You have to account for the possibility of needing to replace it sooner than you expect - and if you need to justify that cost, do it with the longterm ROI you earn day in and day out, not the money it's going to save you by terminating employees on day 1.