Organic juice QSR joins self-order kiosk bandwagon

Clean Juice installed its first kiosk to provide faster ordering, faster service and a way to address the labor shortage.

Organic juice QSR joins self-order kiosk bandwagonA guest orders using the new self-serve kiosk at Clean Juice.

Clean Juice, a QSR franchisor specializing in USDA certified organic juices, smoothies and food, isn’t letting the technology revolution pass it by.

Launched in 2015 in Huntersville, North Carolina, the company recently introduced its 1,200-square-foot remodeled flagship store at the Birkdale Landing shopping plaza, featuring a self-order kiosk, a digital menu board, a glass window for viewing the “juiceristas” at work with cold press machines and a double-sided pick-up refrigerator.

Dave Cuff sees self-service as a way to improve the guest experience and operating efficiency.

With 13 corporate stores, 94 franchise locations and 66 franchise stores in development across 28 states, the company offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies, wraps, açai bowls, toasts and salad bowls, and is introducing sandwiches. Most products are around $10.

“Our goal is to be able to have guests come in and get out quick,” Dave Cuff, chief development officer at Clean Juice, said in a phone interview. “There’s a perceived value when it comes to technology.”

Multiple benefits

Self-order kiosk benefits, according to Cuff, include faster ordering and faster service, as well as a way to address the labor shortage that nearly all restaurants are facing.

“If we can figure out a model where we can have less labor cost for our franchise partners, then that will turn around and ultimately increase their profitability,” he said.

Guests quickly learn that technology enhances not only the speed of service, but product freshness.

“You can click on the button that says ‘fresh juice,’ and you can order your juice,” Cuff said. “The ticket will go right to the ‘juiceristas’ who are making the product.” The guest then goes to the pickup area after placing their order at the kiosk and waits to hear their name called.

“As guests are using the kiosk to order their product, they can look literally straight ahead of them and see the cold press machine and they can watch the juices being made,” he said. The 5-foot tall cold press machines are always preparing and bottling juices that are ready to be picked up by guests.

“The main benefit of the cold-pressed juice is that they last longer,” Cuff said. “The nutrients will stay in those for several days versus if you use a centrifugal juicer and the juice is made right in front of you (which is also an option). If you don’t consume that within about an hour or so, the majority of the nutrient turns into sugar.”

Guests can use loyalty rewards when ordering at the kiosk, and pay using credit cards and mobile wallet payments, but not cash.

The self-order kiosk allows guests to view the entire menu and order using a credit card or mobile wallet.

“You see a lot of new restaurants, Shake Shack, Panera Bread, a lot of different companies going towards this model,” Cuff said.

At present, there is one self-order kiosk and one cash register. Guests can also order from an app or the company website.

In addition to the kiosk, the company also installed its first kitchen display system.

Monitoring progress

During the pilot test, the company is monitoring the kiosks’ speed of service.

“Our goal is to track how quickly guests come in and out,” Cuff said.

During the grand opening, the flagship store served around 350 guests and did not have any major issues serving them. Many guests used the kiosk and there were very few questions on how to use it.

“What that tells me is the kiosk hardware and software is working,” Cuff said. “I’m sure it was a very high percentage of people who actually used that (kiosk).”

Tapping the POS provider

Clean Juice opted to work with its POS vendor, Toast, for its self-order kiosk.

“Because Toast had a self-serving kiosk model, it just made sense,” Cuff said. “If we had tried to work in a different provider at this time, there would be a lot of different integration conversations that we would have to have had internally.”

Cuff was impressed by the ease of the kiosk installation.

“We didn’t run into a lot of actual challenges in getting it live and active,” he said.

He said it is too soon to determine how the kiosk will impact store labor, but to date, there has not been any change in the amount of labor needed.

“Our thought process is to make sure that we have enough people on staff to either teach guests how to go through it, or if people want to use the traditional way that we have enough staff to handle that,” he said.

In time, he expects the kiosk will decrease the amount of staff needed.

Based on the grand opening at the flagship store, Cuff thinks the company will move forward introducing the kiosk to all stores.

“We have a handful of franchise partners who are interested in testing this type of model,” he said. “I could see transitioning to the majority of the Clean Juice stores to all have a self serving kiosk.”

Cuff did not wish to reveal financial information about the technology.

Photos courtesy of Clean Juice.

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