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    Food Kiosks Proving A Worthwhile Investment for Thorntons

    SubWorks touch-screen ordering systems offer convenience and a quick return on investment.

    LOUISVILLE, KY.-- Taking inspiration from fellow c-store chain Sheetz Inc., Thorntons Inc. has installed touch-screen ordering systems for its delis and saw its return on investment roll in at 149 percent, reported Kiosk Marketplace.

    Thortons president Graham Baughman said due to difficulties staffing its foodservice stations and poor communication between the staff and hurried customers, "We looked to Sheetz and saw their success over the years in speeding the transaction while reducing labor. So we implemented our version that fit our brand and satisfied our need for speed and simplicity."

    Twelve of the company's 154 locations have sandwich shops and each features three kiosks for ordering. The kiosks featuring an integrated ordering system with the current point of sale were operational within 30 days, which is a relatively short time for the customized PowerPoint-like software, the report said.

    Thorntons estimates that the kiosks will pay for themselves in 245 days, the report stated. The company compares the cost to install the kiosks -- $15,000 -- versus half the cost of an order-point employee for 12 hours. "With such a short payback period, Thorntons is realizing a significant return on its investment. The annual cost savings is $22,338 [per location]," Chris Kramer, Chief Financial Officer, told Kiosk Marketplace.

    The kiosks are built on hardware solutions from NCR Corp. and PosiFlex and run software from Xpedient.

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