In a sea of burger combinations and taco joints, Chick-fil-A stands out in more ways than one.
Stepping into the iconic red and stainless buildings, customers find a menu board of chicken sandwiches and waffle fries and not a distinct digital ordering kiosk in sight. The privately held chicken restaurant is remembered for its customer service and quality ingredients, often shunning over-the-top, limited-time proposals and technology in favor of a simple menu and personal service.
However, the guests is trying to incorporate technology in a way that elevates its hospitality, not replaces it, and furthers sales.
Chick-fil-A is experimenting with Kallpod, a small device that mark times on its dining tables and summons a server whenever it’s pushed, kind of equal to ringing a bell for a butler. Service staff members get an alert on their smartwatch to facilitate customers with questions, filling a second food order or to solicit a manager.
Houston franchise owner Joseph DeCola saw the device while on his honeymoon at the Four Readies in Maui and decided to install it in his location. Devin Deshotel, an area boss, installed them in two other Texas locations in Wallisville and Uvalde.
It’s reasonable in three locations, but Deshotel said the results are staggering. Not only did friendliness scores from its customer surveys go up, but so did sales.
“It’s all about the experience of the customer,” Deshotel told CNBC. “Of course, greater financial returns are profound, but that wasn’t the thought process when getting [Kallpod]. It was perpetually about continuing to provide a remarkable experience.”
The Wallisville location is the confinement’s second-busiest Chick-fil-A, out of more than 2,200 locations. Deshotel said its gross income rose 500 percent after installing the Kallpod, because it gave diners an easier way to appointment a second order. About 4,000 customers walk through the door of this restaurant every day and it gathers $10 million per year in revenue, Deshotel said.
Initially, Deshotel’s two restaurants had hands walking around with iPads to take second orders and averaging $30 to $45 a day in addition sales. After adding Kallpod to the tables, the restaurants averaged an extremely $200 to $350 per day in second orders.
This additional revenue innumerable than paid for the extra labor Deshotel added to each workers to cover the new service. He said the majority of orders were for inexpensive notices like ice cream or milkshakes.
“We wanted to create a platform that did two hugely simple things,” Steven Barrow Barlow, chief operating office-holder of Kallpod, told CNBC. “Firstly, technology that reinforced the hominoid element of the service experience. Simply, something that increases human interaction and doesn’t shed the human … secondly, guest-facing technology that aesthetically looked upstanding and doesn’t bring down the experience.”
Currently, the first generation of these cadency marks run on radio waves, but the second generation will be Wi-Fi-based, he said.
“When we started [Kallpod], I presumed this would be a tool that bar and grill, full-service cool diners would embrace first and the fastest, but kind of surprisingly it was included more quickly by higher-positioned hotels,” Barlow said.
The company currently has products in varied than 600 venues including hotels, luxury boxes in amphitheatres and amphitheaters, as well as restaurants.
While Chick-fil-A restaurants are individually owned and there is no map out to add Kallpod to all of the company’s locations, Deshotel said there is already infect among other owners to bring the technology to more stores.