After 11 years in the NFL, retired veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch opened a coffee shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, never imagining his first post-football entrepreneurial venture would lead to the invention of an innovative new point of service tool that is becoming a game-changer for restaurants and drive through businesses across the country.
Tulloch opened his first Circle House Coffee shop in the Flagler Village area of Ft. Lauderdale in 2018. Business was booming at the brick-and-mortar café, especially at the drive-thru, as the first coffee shop in the area to offer drive-up service, until the pandemic hit in 2020.
Born from necessity and innovation during a global pandemic, the former pro football player created the “Tully Arm,” a safe, patented, no-touch point of purchase system that makes staff and customers feel at ease when visiting the drive-thru or walk-up window at his restaurant.
“Like so many restaurant and food service businesses at the height of the pandemic, I was ultra-focused on how I could not only keep the business open and running but find ways to keep employees and customers safe at the same time,” says Stephen Tulloch, Founder and CEO of the Tully Arm and Circle House Coffee. “The Tully Arm accomplished those goals and so much more for my business, from enhanced customer service to employee retention and morale, to a stronger bottom line.”
The Tully Arm helps keep employees and customers safe, minimizes the spread of contagious diseases, speeds up service times, and gives customers peace of mind, knowing their credit card or debit card is safely in their own possession at all times.
Unlike systems typically found inside of businesses, the Tully Arm system is mounted outside, with a metal-jointed arm that swings out to cars in the drive-thru, providing a no-touch payment system with its own automatic hand sanitizing station. The system also processes contactless payments such as Apple Pay and offers a tip function that allows staff to collect additional gratuity.
Tulloch said the Tully Arm was a game-changer for his business during the pandemic, and the invention has become an essential part of his daily business operations today.
“When you free up your staff from having to handle transactions, it gives them more time to prepare coffee drinks and food, which increases speed and overall service for customers,” says Tulloch. “The excellent customer service brings in more tips, which in turn boosts morale, employee retention and job satisfaction, and has even helped us attract employees at a time when nearly every restaurant has become chronically understaffed.”
Tulloch has seen a 35 percent decrease in labor costs, a 140 percent increase in employee tips, and has had zero percent fraud or chargebacks since installing the Tully Arm at his Circle House Coffee Shop. His patented Tully Arm is now available for drive-thru, food trucks and walk-up businesses nationwide.