Customized Tabletop Device Streamlines Communication Between Staff and Customer
Los Angeles, CA (RestaurantNews.com) Kallpod, a custom communication solution that facilitates seamless, real-time engagement between guests, service staff and internal teams, elevates the ways customers are able to interact with servers – with the push of a button. From hotels and restaurants to stadiums and amphitheaters, Kallpod is able to improve service times and heighten customer engagement while driving revenue and labor efficiency. In fact, the company recently crossed the threshold of 500 client partners, including industry leaders like Marriott, HMS Host and Live Nation. As technology becomes synonymous with restaurants and hospitality, Kallpod creates a streamlined experience without removing one important factor: human interaction.
“Kallpod provides operators in the hospitality industry the tools necessary to provide the best customer service to each guest, while elevating the human interaction that people want,” said Gabriel Weisz, CEO of Kallpod, who spent more than a decade in finance before launching the concept with Steven Barrow Barlow, a former Merrill Lynch banker in New York who focused on the restaurant sector. “No matter how far technology advances, people like human interaction in their dining experience, especially in a full-service atmosphere, and that’s a high priority for Kallpod.”
Kallpod allows a guest to quickly summon their server at any time. Each button on the Kallpod unit offers a different function, including requesting the server to come to the table, ordering another round of drinks or getting the check, and the server is notified via a smartwatch. The technology is also utilized between internal teams, such as a line cook alerting a server that an order is up. As wait times for service decrease and guests are in control of the frequency that the server visits their table, Kallpod is able to nearly eliminate complaints that may come after a bad experience.
“Customers consume more, especially impulse items such as beverages and desserts with ordering incidence up over 15 percent on average, simply because the ordering process is more responsive, easier and not only relegated to the moment when the server sporadically approaches the table,” said Barlow, COO of Kallpod. “As we think about the future of the restaurant experience, we believe that enhancing human engagement and efficiently deploying labor will be two primary elements that determine a restaurant’s success. As labor inflation and minimum wage changes continue to pressure operating margins, Kallpod helps ensure operators are efficiently managing labor costs and also generating a healthy and sustainable level of ROI on existing labor.”
Kallpod has quickly been embraced in multi-unit restaurants across North America. Canadian Brewhouse, a rapidly growing casual dining operator in Western Canada, has adapted Kallpod’s easy-to-use solution at all of its 30 locations. Since launching the solution, the restaurant has seen a $211,500 average increase in gross sales and is able to turn over 25 percent more tables at peak dayparts. Kallpod also has an exclusive agreement with HMS Host, an industry leader in travel and dining that utilizes the technology in 60 brands across 150 airport restaurants, a space where time is inherently limited. On average, Kallpod enables diners to receive service within 30 seconds of requesting it.
“Kallpod provides guests the ability to customize their dining and entertainment experience in a way that operators had previously not been able to offer,” Barlow added. “The customer is essentially getting their own ‘butler button’ while the server is provided a 360-degree view of what is going on in both the front and back of house. From being immediately alerted when an order is up to when the check is requested, guests are served faster, the service experience is elevated and service capacity is higher thru increased table turns. In addition, our platform also provides a robust data reporting and analytics dashboard.”
Kallpod’s benefits extend into hotels as well, with industry-leading brands including the entire portfolio of both Marriott and Hilton hotels utilizing the technology. AC Hotels by Marriott, a hotel chain with 40 units and 75 in development, implemented Kallpod’s custom communication solution as a brand standard, thus allowing for front of house staff to help with other hotel tasks instead of hovering around guests. This, paired with competitive menu pricing, allows the hotel chain to optimize operations and remain profitable.
“As we develop our suite of technology offerings, the human element remains top of mind,” said Weisz. “As various technological advancements attempt to remove human interaction completely, we know that the future of technology is more about the customer being in control of the experience, rather than being the only party present. With Kallpod, we’re able to strengthen the interaction in hospitality settings while also providing efficiencies to improve our customers’ bottom lines.”
Gabriel Weisz and Steven Barrow Barlow founded Kallpod in 2014 to fill a gap in communication between hospitality service staff and the customer. Kallpod’s proprietary and customizable platform improves labor costs and increases sales through streamlined, real-time communication between guests, service staff and internal teams. Since launch, Kallpod has partnered with many of the hospitality industry’s leading names including Live Nation, HMS Host, AC Hotels, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Fairmont, MGM, Wynn, and Venetian.
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