New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

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Super S
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New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by Super S » July 31st, 2018, 5:24 pm

I was in a Costco in Vancouver, WA today, and noticed a new stand with what appeared to be two registers sitting next to the food court. Up on further inspection I saw that they were not registers, but ordering kiosks for the food court. They are using monitors which are no bigger than those used on the IBM registers at their return counters, and look like they are credit/debit only. I did not see a single person using these, but they may not have been operational yet.

Not really sure I see the benefit here. Sure, the lines can be long at times but they move pretty quickly. I could maybe see a cleanliness concern from handling money and food back and forth, but often one person runs the register while others get the food.

I haven't stopped at the food court since the Polish dogs were discontinued though, and if they go to forced kiosk ordering like McDonald's is attempting, I won't be using the food court any more.

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by Jeff » July 31st, 2018, 6:53 pm

The new Costco in Monterey Park has it. Its somewhat faster than waiting in line.

You order at the kiosk, then you get a receipt. There are 4 windows at my store, 2 for Kiosk Pick up and 2 for those who don't do this. You still wait in line, the only difference is that your order is already paid for. You give them your receipt and they get the order for you. A little bit faster than the general lines, but seen the lines go 20 deep sometimes for all 4 lines, and it seems they still go faster.

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by babs » July 31st, 2018, 8:14 pm

My guess is that the plan is to eventually get rid of the cashiers in the food court. For 1.50 hot dogs and a simple menu, you just don't need a cashier. They have these at the Beaverton, OR location as well.

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/new ... tests.html

storewanderer
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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by storewanderer » July 31st, 2018, 11:02 pm

babs wrote:
July 31st, 2018, 8:14 pm
My guess is that the plan is to eventually get rid of the cashiers in the food court. For 1.50 hot dogs and a simple menu, you just don't need a cashier. They have these at the Beaverton, OR location as well.

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/new ... tests.html
For quite a while they did not even accept cards at the snack bar, it was cash only. It is interesting they have let it swing to this direction almost like they are pushing cashless on the food court (which is actually a very good idea for sanitation purposes in their small work space).

Super S
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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by Super S » August 1st, 2018, 8:44 am

storewanderer wrote:
July 31st, 2018, 11:02 pm
babs wrote:
July 31st, 2018, 8:14 pm
My guess is that the plan is to eventually get rid of the cashiers in the food court. For 1.50 hot dogs and a simple menu, you just don't need a cashier. They have these at the Beaverton, OR location as well.

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/new ... tests.html
For quite a while they did not even accept cards at the snack bar, it was cash only. It is interesting they have let it swing to this direction almost like they are pushing cashless on the food court (which is actually a very good idea for sanitation purposes in their small work space).
I have to wonder though what kind of fees are charged on those $1.50 transactions. I personally would rather pay cash instead of having to break out my debit card a second time, but we have a new generation of people who do not ever carry cash and insist on using cards for EVERYTHING. I am a bit old school in that I limit credit/debit card use to larger transactions.

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by mbz321 » August 1st, 2018, 10:04 am

Super S wrote:
August 1st, 2018, 8:44 am

I have to wonder though what kind of fees are charged on those $1.50 transactions. I personally would rather pay cash instead of having to break out my debit card a second time, but we have a new generation of people who do not ever carry cash and insist on using cards for EVERYTHING. I am a bit old school in that I limit credit/debit card use to larger transactions.

Costco negotiated super low transaction fees, to the point of it costs them almost nothing. That was the big reason why they switched over to Visa from Amex.

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by Brian Lutz » August 1st, 2018, 10:33 am

I know transaction fees on small transactions have been a big hassle for some businesses. A few years ago I recall various 7-Eleven locations in the area urging people to contact their elected officials in support of limits on card transaction fees on small purchases. I'm not sure what ever came out of it, but it sounds like they were getting hit pretty hard at the time. I also recall that in a couple of places the cashiers seemed to urge paying with cash when possible, but I never had one refuse a debit card transaction (although I' m sure it happens.)

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by babs » August 2nd, 2018, 1:35 pm

Was just at the Tigard, OR Costco that now has them.
Ordered at the kiosk, took 30 seconds to touch the item on the screen, insert my credit card and get the receipt. Walked by about 10 people in line. My stuff was waiting at the window when I got there.

This is the way things should be. I love it!

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by storewanderer » August 2nd, 2018, 9:07 pm

babs wrote:
August 2nd, 2018, 1:35 pm
Was just at the Tigard, OR Costco that now has them.
Ordered at the kiosk, took 30 seconds to touch the item on the screen, insert my credit card and get the receipt. Walked by about 10 people in line. My stuff was waiting at the window when I got there.

This is the way things should be. I love it!
If only it were always this simple. No "for here or to go." No "customization of items." Few items on the menu. The kiosks are perfect for this type of operation.

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Re: New ordering kiosks at Costco food courts

Post by Brian Lutz » August 3rd, 2018, 9:08 am

Given the fact that the registers are by far the biggest bottleneck in the operation I can see this helping out immensely. I suspect it also allows a lot more flexibility to tinker with the menu, as they've been inclined to do lately (the biggest change being the removal of the Polish Sausage, which has resulted in some backlash.) Usually the Issaquah WA Costco (being right across the street from their corporate headquarters) is used as a bit of a testing ground for new concepts that they're trying, so every once in a while you can go there and see things you might not find elsewhere. For a while this store had a Krispy Kreme style donut machine, although that was removed around the time an actual Krispy Kreme opened in Issaquah. I recall the store had self checkouts years ago, long before they appeared in any other Costco (those didn't last long rhough.) So far I haven't seen kiosks in any of the Costcos here, but it's been a while since I've been to one;.

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