Moe’s Kiosk-Only Restaurant is Optimized for Off-Prem

Franchisee Mike Geiger's newest Moe's includes four self-ordering kiosks and other features that optimize the location for off-premises.

As more customers are seeking out contactless ordering options in the wake of COVID-19, Moe’s Southwest Grill has opened a restaurant that has kiosk-only ordering in Pittsburgh. 

Mike Geiger, who previously worked in tech sales, has been a franchisee since 2005 and now has 11 Moe’s in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pa. 

“When it comes to technology, I’ve always been willing to be one of the first franchisees to do things,” he says.

Kiosk Ordering

Earlier this month, Geiger and his team applied some of its lessons learned and expanded its use of tech at its newest location in the Oakland neighborhood near University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.

“We knew operationally what we could expect volume-wise,” he says. “The solve – was how to operate and execute a high volume of orders?” The (partial) answer: a kiosk ordering system and not a traditional service line. Geiger says the kiosk-only concept is perfect for its clientele, mostly tech-savvy students who prefer to text vs. talk. 

“They’re not interacting with us in the first place,” he says. 

The four Nextep kiosks  powered with the Revel Systems’ POS are separated with plexiglass, and floor stickers mark appropriate social distancing guidelines.  An ambassador is on hand (and armed with sanitizer) to help customers navigate the kiosk ordering experience. Customers can pay using their university cards, credit cards, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay and cash. 

Orders are integrated seamlessly – and go to the KDS to the service line. 

Moe's off-premises optimization includes kiosks, a second make line, and curbside or counter pickup.

Off-Premises In Demand

Like other restaurant operators, Geiger has seen an increasing demand for off-premises orders and has adapted his business accordingly.  He has seen online ordering and third-party delivery orders, which he added last year, soar. Geiger remodeled a Moe’s location about two miles away, in the Market Square area, with off-prem in mind.

“We knew what our guests needs were. The first thing is to know your audience. We knew what our to-go operation could look like,” he says.

The Market Square remodel included adding a second make line, a separate entrance for online and third-party delivery orders, a Coke Freestyle machine and a salsa bar. Online ordering has increased 350% since the location reopened in March. “This location went from worst to first,” says Geiger.  “We learned how to run this kind of ghost kitchen line that adds to operational efficiencies.”

“This location went from worst to first. We learned how to run this kind of ghost kitchen line that adds to operational efficiencies.”

Whether ordering online, in app or at the kiosk, Moe’s strives to create a consistent and frictionless guest experience. The fast casual brand rolled out an updated mobile app earlier this month. New features include a revamped loyalty program, improved and personalized ordering, and improved payment options including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Guests can quickly reorder from their recent history or from their favorites.The app includes enhanced pick-up and delivery options. Customers can select their pick-up option: station or curbside.