Whats taking self serve kiosks so long to take hold in fast food restaurants? KioskMarketplace.com, which follows the kiosk industry, addressed this question in a recent article. Its a valid question, given that self serve kiosks have been available for several years now and many observers predicted they would be in all the fast food restaurants by now.Automatic Merchandiser has followed the evolving self serve kiosk industry over the years. One reason we have followed it is that kiosks have the ability to make retail formats more competitive to vending. Another reason is that many of the kiosks offer cashless payment. If consumers embrace kiosks, they will be more likely to embrace cashless vending.Self-serve kiosks have become prevalent in supermarkets, airports and casinos, but in not restaurants.A key reason, according to chain restaurant officials interviewed by KioskMarketplace.com, is the kiosk can detract from the personal interaction that is important to restaurants. Refreshment service providers can certainly understand this.But the jury is still out. Restaurateurs note that self serve kiosks are well received by those customers who are comfortable with them. And in some situations, the kiosks complement the servers and allow the establishment to serve more customers.I can relate. When my local supermarket introduced self checkout scanners a few years ago, I shied away from them. Learning to use it struck me as a chore that I wasnt up to. Then one evening, I noticed the self checkout line was empty while the manned checkout lines were long. Hey, Im not so dumb, I told myself. I trotted over to the self checkout counter and began following the prompts. It was easier than I expected.All it took was using it once, and I was sold. Now I use it every time, and I consider it a godsend.Todays buying audience consists of a mix of consumers with varying degrees of comfort with self serve technology. Converting customers to self checkout will take time.Kiosks have also proven useful merchandising tools; they upsell customers and advertise specials.The bottom line is that technology creates new opportunities. Understanding these opportunities takes trial and error.Does any of this sound familiar?