No more waiting at the deli counter!

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”                                                                                – Henry David Thoreau

I have spent too much of my life waiting at the Kroger deli counter.  A fortnight of quiet desperation and longing for my Private Selection Honey Turkey to be sliced at 1.5 thickness. It has always been a dreaded task, especially during peak shopping hours.  A necessary sacrifice of time to get the good stuff. Prepackaged meat never tastes the same.

My wait is over. Kroger’s self-service, touch-screen deli ordering system. Kroger must have taken a took a cue from the queueless – the Fastpass® system that’s made visits to Disney theme parks so much more efficient and enjoyable.

fastpass roger r

Kroger’s process is very similar to getting a place in line at a Disney World ride.  You enter your order in detail, you get a ticket, you come back fifteen minutes later, and wham-bam there it is, sitting in a wicker basket with your number on it. The greatest thing since sliced pastrami.

deli ticket

Kroger Deli Order station 2013-12-05
Cross Sell Cheese2

Kroger has smartly included a cross-selling function. When I ordered turkey, Kroger pitched me some Swiss cheese. I almost took them up on it. Maybe next time. And there will be a next time. This is how I roll now.

On the busy, pre-ice-storm day I was at Kroger, I seemed to be the only one taking advantage of this automated ordering system. Other shoppers stacked themselves two-deep, ignoring the new process and loudly repeating their desires for meat and cheese across the glass case to the deli staff. Good service includes self-service. It takes time for customers to catch on to that.

My order was there on time and Kroger even attached a $1-off coupon.  Who said you can't have "Good, Fast and Cheap" all at the same time?  Oh yeah, I did.

My order was there on time and Kroger even attached a $1-off coupon. Who said you can’t have “Good, Fast and Cheap” all at the same time? Oh yeah, I did.

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2 comments
  1. I wrote this post six months ago. I am sad to report, at least in my observation, that this concept is not catching on. The customers aren’t interested. They don’t care. They don’t get it. I placed an order at my favorite Kroger one day and it was order #800. Two days later I came back, placed another order, and it was #804. A run rate of 2 orders per day. The employees at the deli counter don’t seem to be aware of the kiosk anymore. I now have to take my ticket to the deli counter and show them what I ordered from the kiosk 15 minutes earlier. They’re clueless. I give it another three months before Kroger shuts the thing down. That’s a prediction. By October 1 this deal’s done.

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  2. Well, what do you know? It’s October 3 and the deli kiosk is still alive. I bet the Under and I lost. I still only see the kiosk in one Kroger store in my fair city, and I shop at several different ones, but the little kiosk that could is still hanging in there at the spacious Chenal location.

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