It’s just in three locations, but Deshotel said the results are staggering. Not only did hospitality scores from its customer surveys go up, but so did sales.
“It’s all about the experience of the guest,” Deshotel told CNBC. “Of course, greater financial returns are great, but that wasn’t the thought process when getting [Kallpod]. It was always about continuing to provide a remarkable experience.”
The Wallisville location is the chain’s second-busiest Chick-fil-A, out of more than 2,200 locations. Deshotel said its revenue rose 500 percent after installing the Kallpod, because it gave diners an easier way to place a second order. About 4,000 customers walk through the door of this restaurant every day and it garners $10 million per year in revenue, Deshotel said.
Initially, Deshotel’s two restaurants had employees walking around with iPads to take second orders and averaging $30 to $45 a day in extra sales. After adding Kallpod to the tables, the restaurants averaged an extra $200 to $350 per day in second orders.
This additional revenue more than paid for the extra labor Deshotel added to each shift to cover the new service. He said the majority of orders were for inexpensive items like ice cream or milkshakes.
“We wanted to create a platform that did two very simple things,” Steven Barrow Barlow, chief operating officer at Kallpod, told CNBC. “Firstly, technology that reinforced the human element of the service experience. Simply, something that increases human interaction and doesn’t remove the human … secondly, guest-facing technology that aesthetically looked good and doesn’t bring down the experience.”
Currently, the first generation of these devices run on radio waves, but the second generation will be wifi-based, he said.
“When we launched [Kallpod], I presumed this would be a tool that bar and grill, full-service casual diners would embrace first and the fastest, but kind of surprisingly it was embraced more quickly by higher positioned hotels,” Barlow said.
The company currently has products in more than 600 venues including hotels, luxury boxes in stadiums and amphitheaters, as well as restaurants.
While Chick-fil-A restaurants are individually-owned and there is no plan to add Kallpod to all of the company’s locations, Deshotel said that there is already interest among other owners to bring the technology to more stores.