Since its inception in 1946, Chick-fil-A has gone above and beyond when it comes to customer service. Simple things like saying “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome” or carrying each tray of food over to the guests’ table instead of making them go up to the counter have cemented the brand’s position as a leader in the quick service space. To build on its exceptional customer service, Chick-fil-A recently partnered with Kallpod across three Houston restaurants, including the second highest in the system in terms of both revenue and foot traffic, to enhance service and facilitate tableside ordering. Since the partnership, the busiest location has already seen a 500 percent increase in revenues from additional ordering at the table.
Chick-fil-A Houston’s Wallisville Road location can not only claim the second busiest Chick-fil-A globally from a revenue standpoint but has also been a technology innovator and leader across the 2,200-unit restaurant chain. Devin Deshotel, Chief Operations Officer at the Wallisville & Uvalde locations recently implemented the restaurant’s newest technology – Kallpod, a small device that sits atop a dining table and provides the customer an opportunity to summon service staff directly through the push of a button. Whether to simply get the server’s attention, order something else on the menu or request the manager, service staff is immediately notified on their smart watch when a specific customer pushes a button. Since installing the device at the Houston restaurants, Kallpod has become a core part of the day-to-day operations.
“Kallpod has become part of our core messaging when a customer places an order at the counter. We always make sure that the guest knows if they need anything, ‘we are just a button away,’” says Deshotel. “Implementing Kallpod’s technology into our locations has allowed us to add incremental revenue and to raise the bar even higher when it comes to our already outstanding customer service.”
Before implementing the Kallpod technology, Deshotel’s locations were averaging $30 to $45 per day from guests’ ordering a second time at the table. Now, just three months later, the locations are averaging between $200 to $350 dollars per day on these second orders.
“Most quick-service operators have built their service model around the premise that the customer is in and out,” adds Kallpod COO Steven Barrow Barlow. “Chick-fil-A has built a service culture that has challenged that premise and an operational model that yields dramatically higher guest satisfaction scores and much higher sales volumes than its peers. By applying our Kallpod solution, Chick-fil-A is able to further enhance its service advantage, become more efficient and increase revenues by providing a second order occasion with higher sales per square foot and store traffic capacity.”
Before partnering with Kallpod, Deshotel’s Chick-fil-A location would designate a server to walk the dining room and check in on guests every five minutes to make sure they didn’t need anything post their initial order at the counter. Now, two servers wear the smart watches every shift and are able to prioritize their attention towards that repeat purchase while utilizing a mobile POS.
“Before we introduced Kallpod, you would hear guests say they were interested in trying a cone but didn’t want to order it with their first order placed at the counter,” says Deshotel. “Now, I often hear guests say that they are going to place their first order and will order the cone at the table. There is a tremendous opportunity for those incremental orders that were not taking place before we implemented Kallpod.”
Kallpod has been embraced by restaurants, hotels and amphitheaters across North America for providing an easy-to-use solution to elevate customer service. In fact, Joseph DeCola, franchise owner of the Chick-fil-A Houston locations that Deshotel manages, first stumbled across Kallpod while on his honeymoon at the Four Seasons Maui, which applies Kallpod across two different F&B areas at the hotel. DeCola recognized the service enhancement he experienced while there and thought the Kallpod technology could be an effective service, labor and revenue tool for his restaurants as well.
“At Chick-fil-A our model is centered around being attentive to the customer and letting them know that we are here for them for any need they have,” says Deshotel. “We are never going to reduce the level of service our guests receive with technology. In fact, that’s the opposite of what we are trying to do. We are making sure the customer has the best experience possible and the server has a clear path to make this happen.”