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[Interview] How the Samsung Kiosk Is Improving Customer Experiences at Tim Ho Wan in Seoul

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During the lunchtime rush, restaurants are often packed, making it hard to find a place to quickly pick up a delicious meal. However, customers are discovering a convenient new option in the Seoul branch of Tim Ho Wan, a famous Hong Kong-based dim sum chain, after the restaurant introduced a Samsung Kiosk that enables faster ordering and shorter wait times.




Recent changes to social dynamics have shifted consumer preferences towards takeout meals, with customers now often opting to pick their food up from the restaurant and take it away.


To keep up with demand, the Samseong-dong branch of Tim Ho Wan in Seoul recently installed a Samsung Kiosk that creates a more convenient takeout experience. So, how do the manager, chef, and regulars at this branch of Tim Ho Wan rate the Samsung Kiosk? Samsung Newsroom visited the restaurant to find out.



[Upgrading for Customers] Takeout or Dine-in? Samsung Kiosk Streamlines Customer Experiences



The kiosk at the Samseong-dong branch of Tim Ho Wan is located to the right of the counter, making it easy for customers to spot it upon entering. The kiosk’s placement also leads to more efficient use of space, as it causes dine-in and takeout customers to enter different parts of the restaurant. It only takes a minute or two for customers to select, order, and pay for their meals, all without assistance from a waiter or clerk. The orders are then instantly transferred to the kitchen, further reducing wait time.


Following the introduction of the kiosk, customers who were previously reluctant to visit the restaurant due to long wait times started stopping by more often. One customer said “I went to the Tim Ho Wan in Samseong-dong frequently when it first opened, but I stopped coming for a while because it was always too busy. However, I started coming again after the kiosk was installed because the takeout ordering process became so convenient and made the long waiting times a thing of the past.”




Other customers have been enjoying the kiosk too, with an international couple sighted placing an order on the kiosk. The Samsung Kiosk offers English and Korean language options on its main screen, allowing international customers to easily navigate the menu and other options. Chuckling, the couple said, “Thanks to the kiosk’s English option, we were able to choose our meal without asking the waiter for help.”



[Upgrading for Chefs] From Streamlining Order Processing to Allowing Better Inventory Management

With the kiosk sending orders directly to the kitchen, restaurant workers can now process orders at a much faster pace too. Before the kiosk was installed, customers had to take a menu and then relay their order to a waiter, who entered it into the POS system. Now this time-consuming step is eliminated, allowing chefs to save as much as two to three minutes per order. The restaurant’s chef, Cheol Woong Kang, spoke to the significance of this, saying, “You may not think two to three minutes is much time, but during peak times, when the number of orders we receive drastically increases, the time the kiosk saves is invaluable.”




Another advantage of having the kiosk is that the solution collects takeout order data separately from dine-in order data. By using the kiosk, Tim Ho Wan in Samseong-dong is able to identify which menu items have a high takeout order rate and utilize this data to prepare ingredients and manage inventory. Chef Kang (pictured above) said “At first, we prepared a large quantity of the ingredients needed to make our signature steamed BBQ pork buns, assuming they would be ordered the most. But after analyzing the data collected by the kiosk, we realized that our most popular dim sum offerings (shrimp, shrimp and pork and spinach and shrimp-flavored) were demonstrating higher-than-expected takeout order rates.”




As the kiosk enables separation of dine-in and takeout order data, the team at the restaurant was also able to manage sales more efficiently. Previously, restaurants had struggled to identify why certain dishes were being ordered for takeout at certain times of the day, as well as what was causing changes in sales volumes. Chef Kang noted that, “According to our sales data analysis, when it came to takeout orders, customers preferred dim sum over noodles or fried food. Thus, we pay special attention to preserving their taste and freshness as much as possible when packaging these dishes.”



[Upgrading for Managers] A Broad Range of Benefits, Including a Reliable After-Sales Service

With more customers preferring takeout, restaurants are increasingly required to handle both dine-in and to-go orders at the same time these days. Many restaurants are thus turning to kiosks to allow them to provide the best possible service, even when they have limited resources available.




Famous for its renowned quality and value, Tim Ho Wan in Samseong-dong is often crowded at mealtimes. The restaurant thus introduced the kiosk to both improve employee efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. The results were impressive. Cashiers no longer had to balance taking orders and processing payments, and the restaurant became less crowded with dine-in and takeout customers visiting different areas of the premises.


Branch manager Mr. Je Hyeon Cho (pictured above) related that “Initially, handing over the menu and explaining the ordering process to customers were important parts of our service. But the installation of the kiosk has now dispensed with that part of the process altogether. Now, peak times have become much easier to handle, and we can focus more on attending to our dine-in customers’ needs. Plus, our takeout customers are satisfied too, as the kiosk allows them to proceed straight from ordering to paying without waiting.”


At the end of the day, these kiosks are still machines. Users are therefore required to maintain them and respond quickly if they experience errors. One of the advantages of the Samsung Kiosk is that errors can be resolved in real-time via remote control, ultimately minimizing disruptions. Mr. Cho noted that “Once, there was a time when the screen froze as a customer inserted a card into the kiosk to make the payment. But, on this occasion, the call center was able to solve the problem immediately via remote support. Knowing there is a reliable after-sales service there to back you up really makes you feel secure when running a restaurant like this one.”




It has been seven months since Tim Ho Wan in Samseong-dong installed the Samsung Kiosk, and the staff is loving the convenient ordering, smart data management and efficient space utilization that it provides. Mr. Cho wasn’t shy when speaking about how the future looks with the Samsung Kiosk, relating that, “In the future, when we develop seasonal offerings and new core dishes, we look forward to actively advertising them by displaying them at the top of the kiosk’s main screen.”

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