Texas State University Dining and management company Chartwells Higher Ed took self-checkout to the next level with a new artificial intelligence-powered touchless system from vendor Mashgin when the machines went online in the Paws N Go Market and the LBJ Marketplace during the spring semester’s first week of classes. The system is considered touchless because there are no barcodes to scan or items to weigh, so each transaction is expected to be four times faster than with the previous system.
“The time saving is significant when guests purchase more than two items,” says Whitney Villareal, Chartwells director of marketing and guest experience at Texas State. “The Mashgin 3D camera can read all items on the tray at the same time instead of scanning or ringing up an item one at a time at a regular point of sale. The speed and convenience encourage customers to spend more. It also encourages them to come back more frequently.”
The units also help Texas State Dining overcome some of the staffing issues they’ve been dealing with since the start of the academic year as the Mashgins in each location, along with the other point of sale, reduces customer line congestion and improves guest satisfaction, Villareal adds.
“We will continue to have regular cashiers available to assist guests who are paying with cash or meal equivalency,” she explains. “Additional help will be reassigned to product stocking and merchandizing.”
Villareal notes that the Mashgin units have been widely used by Compass Group’s Sports & Entertainment Sector (Chartwells is a unit of Compass Group) and more could be added for sporting events at Texas State, relieving even more staffing stress during busy athletic events.
“We’re not having to worry about no-shows or tardiness, and our existing cashiers also feel relieved by the additional support they get from Mashgin,” she says.