Young People’s Perspectives on Self-service Technology and Hospitality: A Mcdonald’s Case Study
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Self-service technology (SST) is a new service delivery method widely used in different fields, including the hospitality industry. The kiosk is one of the most popular self-service technologies in the hospitality industry. The motivations for organisations to implement SST include reduced labour costs, and increased efficiency, productivity and corporate performance (Kuo, Huang, Tseng, & Boger, 2016); however, the motivations, reactions and attitudes of customers towards SST differ widely. Although the relationship between technology and customer satisfaction has attracted increased attention in recent years, no studies have provided a deep insight into young customers’ SST-using experiences and how they view SST in a hospitality context. This study therefore uses a qualitative methodology to explore young people’s SST-using experiences and their perspectives of hospitality in relation to SSTs. In particular, this research explores why young people choose SST as a service method in fast food restaurants (McDonald’s) and how they experience hospitality while using SST in a restaurant. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from young people (18 to 24 years old). Not all the interviewees felt that SST provided hospitable moments; in fact, it was contested. However, the findings suggest that young people prefer SST as it provides them with a level of empowerment when they purchase their fast food. Moreover, some young people in this study felt that they could experience hospitable moments while using a kiosk. Findings are discussed in terms of their contribution to theory and practice.