App, kiosk integration boosts choice for Colorado customers - CulinArt Group

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App, kiosk integration boosts choice for Colorado customers

January 15, 2021, GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO- Dining services at one of CulinArt’s newest accounts features innovative uses of technology that reflect unique needs brought on by the 2020 pandemic and pave the way for future openings to occur under similar conditions. The Plaza Bistro opened on Nov 2 with modified service to support a limited population of about 125. Offerings include a grill for breakfast and lunch, Quik Pik salads and sandwiches, packaged snacks, and beverages. Concepts and stations will be added as population grows toward full occupancy of 1,200 this year.

“The unit is the first in my region to be 100% cashier-less,” says Area Vice President John Drexel, who oversees accounts in eastern states including Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, plus Colorado. Instead of at registers, customers pay for meals via one of two methods: the Eatify app, which allows them to peruse menu offerings, place orders, and make payment on a cellphone; or one of two Nextep kiosks, which were installed a month after opening. The Eatify app and the Nextep kiosks offer associates the ability to customize selections such as type of bread, cheese, toppings or sauce they would like on a Crispy Chicken Sandwich (one example). Eatify also allows customers to use their phone to select and pay for any bar-coded items via its Scan-and-pay module. “Scan-and-pay is helpful in a scenario whereby I ordered my burger and fries at the kiosk but forgot to select a beverage and bag of chips,” says Ali Bernardi, VP Marketing and Brand Strategy.  “While I’m waiting for my burger, I can grab my bar-coded extras and checkout right on my phone.” Customers can also return to the kiosk to order these items if they prefer, she adds.

Each application has a database of menu items, prices, portion sizes, and other details, and integrating them requires a coupling of the two databases, according to Paul Calice, director of digital strategy, B&I, for Compass Digital Labs. The availability of the app and the kiosks gives customers a fair amount of choice that traditional payment systems cannot match, including mobile ordering with contactless pick-up, in-store ordering via kiosk with contactless pick-up, or individual scan-and-pay functionality.

According to Tony Frisch, CulinArt food service director, most customers use Eatify to place their orders. “That is what we had available when we opened initially,” Frisch says. “They are starting to warm up to the Nextep kiosks now—maybe about 10% usage and 5% on Eatify’s Scan and Pay. I would expect these percentages to ‘roller coaster’ quite dramatically once there are more people allowed on site.”

Just how much the scales tip toward either technology remains to be seen. “Folks seem to prefer being able to come into the café, pick up their order, and walk out,” Frisch explains, “without having to stand around in the café for more than a few minutes.” The limited variety of concepts may play a role in influencing that behavior, as well as the fact that “everything else is a scannable impulse or grab-and-go item,” he adds, especially bottled beverages.

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  • February 4, 2021
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What our clients are saying

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“I just wanted to touch base as another school year draws to end. I cannot thank you enough for how smoothly this year went. Chef Felix [Herrera] and his staff made it seamless in a year with lots of wrinkles.    ”

“I wanted to recognize the individuals at the Valley Forge Site Café who have been supporting us throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have been onsite at least a few days every week since June 2020 and I noticed that the team continued to provide quality and timely service for breakfast and lunch.  They effectively packaged the food to maintain CDC guidelines. Thank you!  ”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“Dear Chef Anthony: Hi! It’s the kids from Room 223 [and their teacher, Mrs. Smith]. We thank you for providing us with such great snacks and lunches! We know how hard you and your staff work. We have been talking as a class and we came up with some of our favorite snacks. We really love the brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Scooby snacks. The soft pretzel bits are really good, too. Thank you again! ”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“I just wanted to express my thanks and give two thumbs up for the updates to our lunch menu. My selections have been quite tasty—corned beef Reuben, jambalaya—and I appreciate that, too! I am looking forward to trying some new items in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

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