The magic behind the order screens of fast food restaurants
Or why buying should be easy
Hey everyone. Welcome back.
I have a confession to make. I indulged in the terrible pleasures of a fast food burger last week. I feel incredibly ashamed of my actions.
But in my defence, not all is lost. I noticed a neat psychological effect caused by the order screens.
This happened in Prague, Czechia. Here I was at 9 PM with a belly roaring so loud it would scare lions away looking at the food court options. You had the typical McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, along with some other not-so-well-known restaurants.
Instinctively, I leaned towards the well-known brands. But why? After all, there were far more delicious options like Chinese, Thai, Indian, and even Kebabs (is there anything better than eating a late-night kebab? It's the taste of heavens, I tell you).
I'm a massive hater of fast food, but still, I went for a Royal Deluxe from Mr. Mc. And that got me thinking - why?
Well, one thing that's pretty well known is the power of the brand. Wherever you go, you know what to expect from a McDonald's burger or a Starbucks coffee. It's a worldwide brand, you know the options, and you know how to order. That's why you see tourists flocking to those places in every European tourism hotspot.
But I think there's something else. These order screens also play a role when you're abroad.
I don’t understand Czech, but I do understand numbers
As you can imagine, my knowledge of Czech is limited to the bare essentials: hello, thank you, and a few swear words. Ordering anything is usually a stressful experience. But these order screens save me. I need zero human interaction to get food - I place my order on a screen, and then I look at the numbers to see when it's ready.
I suspect this has a big impact for tourists and more. It's just so much easier when you're tired and don't want to interact with anyone.
There's a lesson here. What can we do to reduce the friction for our buyers? I'm not talking only about UI and checkouts - I'm talking about psychological friction. What can we do to make the purchase feel easy?
Thank you for reading. And don’t forget to eat healthy.
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