Editor's note: This is the fifth story in an eight-part series about the NRA Show.
 
Are you considering deploying self-service machines in the near future? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider attending the 2006 National Restaurant Association's Hotel Motel Show May 20-23. There will be 14 self-service exhibitors at the show.
 
According to an Adusa Inc. study, self-service machines can increase average checks by $2 through digital upselling.
 
"Consumers want the choice of being served or serving themselves," said David Drain, the director of the Self Service and Kiosk Association. "There are a growing number of consumers who prefer self-service and are looking for kiosks and other line-busting solutions to speed up the service and ensure accuracy in the order process."
 
Drain said digital signage is not only a very attractive way of grabbing consumers' attention, it is highly customizable and can be controlled by the manager, operator or entry-level employee.
 
Long Range Systems will be marketing its EZ Card solution at the show. According to the NRA Web site, EZ allows customers to purchase gift cards at any time. Just like Pay-at-the Pump, a customer swipes their credit card, chooses their amount and a card drops to them, ready for use. The integrated printer will even give them a receipt. Customers can purchase new cards, add value to existing cards or just check balances. EZ Card is wall-mounted and installs in less than three hours.
 
Other self-service-related exhibitors include Flytech Technology, Hospitatlity Solutions International, POSitouch and Radient Systems. The show is also presenting a class on self-service technology:
 
Self Service Solutions: Defining the Future Sunday, May 21, 10:00 am - 11:30 AM
Consumer acceptance of self-service devices such as self-service ordering or payment terminals presents restaurant operators with new solutions to drive profits and customer connection. This session will review three self-service deployments and analyze what you can learn from them. Come away with a checklist of practical, real world ideas on how self-service can make your business better—from refining a user interface to choices about payment options and learning to integrate self-service self-service into existing operations. Moderated by David Drain, executive director of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association. Speakers include Paul Barron of Fast Casual Magazine, Bob Fincher from NetWorld Alliance and Chuck Mallory of Radiant Systems.
 
 

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