Drawbacks: not without problems
Although promising in many ways, self-service POS systems can have several disadvantages.
They aren’t good for all customers: People can have various disabilities (e.g. learning disabilities, visual impairments) preventing them from using a touchscreen kiosk they’re totally unfamiliar with. You should always offer an alternative way to order and pay when someone is struggling with it.
Technical problems might arise: Technology is not failproof. You can experience software crashing, hardware faults or bottlenecks in the system. Staff needs to attend to such issues, possibly call technical support or order a replacement kiosk. It definitely requires a backup till to serve customers.
You lose the ‘human touch’ of friendly, personal service: The more screens we use to navigate daily life, the less we connect with other human beings. This negatively affects those already isolated from others, while others just benefit mentally from a little pick-me-up chat.
The cost can be high: Many self-service tills are expensive upfront, typically several hundreds of pounds. To avoid this, you can get away with renting one on a contract of up to 18 months, in which case you’re committed to a monthly fee starting at £50 for a simple kiosk solution.
More equipment, more electronic waste: If you have a till anyway, do you want to acquire an additional touchscreen computer that can’t be adapted for any other uses when it’s no longer needed? Each new computer comes at an environmental cost, including the electricity it consumes, manufacturing, transport and disposal.