Three years ago, the co-founders of KateMedia traveled to the United States. They were so inspired by Ziosk and Presto pay-at-table terminals, which were very popular in such well-known restaurant chains as Olive Garden and Denny’s. So they decided to create their own device.
This is how the Kate Tablet came into this world.
The Kate Tablet is the first and the only payment terminal for the restaurant and hotel business in Europe and the CIS. Visitors can browse through the menu, make orders and payments, and in addition enjoy the great entertainment with one click only.
Now we can hold our Kate device in the hands, and proudly tell our customers about its unique and most convenient functionality, forgetting a huge amount of work in recent years! After all, everything was created from scratch, starting with hardware and ending with software. Which, by the way, is continuously improved and updated. Then we had a series of long, complex, and very expensive certifications, without which the launch of the Kate system would have been impossible.
We have undergone all the necessary certifications and received the following documents: EMV L1, L2, PCI PTS, Common.SECC. That means that the Kate Tablet device supports all types of transactions: Contact and Contactless, including VISA and Mastercard.
- We integrated successfully with the MIR payment system and Russian Standard Bank, one of the first acquiring partners. In the near future, we plan to introduce Contactless Payment System, because this will become a mandatory rule on the Russian market, and in addition, it will help to reduce the cost of the acquisition commission for our clients.
- The Kate Tablet is also fully integrated with the following POS systems: iiko, r-keeper, UnTill, Hypersoft, and Expert Solution.
- We have partnered with gaming companies to provide more than 30 games in our entertainment module.
- And we signed free testing agreements with the first restaurants.
So we made everything possible to be sure that Kate’s terminals finally get on the stage and live up to their trust.
The official launch of the Kate Tablet system in Russia!
At the beginning of 2020, we had great plans for the launch. But life is moving on, and sometimes it makes unexpected changes.
At first, the world went crazy because of the Covid-19 pandemic and pushed back all the deadlines. Restaurants were forced to close, and employees of many partner companies were either quarantined or fired. But then Coronavirus played the other way and made the Kate terminals almost perfect for the restaurant business under the new conditions. Kate Tablet:
- leads to cost savings in terms of staffing
- reduces communication with waiters
- reduces the number of cash payments
As a result of negotiations, we met friendly guys from Black Star Burger, who not only agreed to test Kate devices in their restaurant but were also very helpful throughout the pre-launch phase.
The first restaurant, where 20 devices were installed, was Black Star Burger, which is located at Novy Arbat, 15, Moscow.
By happy fortune, the day of the Kate system launch coincided with the birthday of the Black Star Burger restaurant. So the owners of the chain, Timati and Yuri Levitas managed to visit the restaurant and also personally tested Kate Tablets.
Features of Black Star Burger Restaurant (BSB) automation.
The process was as follows:
- Our internal server was first installed in the BSB server room. This server receives and sends commands to r-keeper from our tablets, synchronizes the menu, and gives order numbers. This server is also used to communicate with our development office. So we can remotely update the information on the tablets, look at the logs, the events that happen on them, and quickly solve problems if they appear. In fact, the server is a kind of mediator and the main actor in the integration process with the POS of the restaurant. The installation of the server allowed us to put the Kate devices into service the very next day.
- Waiters place the Kate terminals every morning and remove them in the evening. There is also a charging station (our own development) for charging batteries in the restaurant, which allows charging devices right at the place. Unlike casual dining restaurants, which have a separate terminal at each table, Black Star Burger and other fast-food restaurants can place Kate Tablets anywhere. It is worth mentioning that there is a system that protects our devices from theft. The Kate Tablet terminals are PCI PTS-proof.
- In the BSB restaurant, each order accepted at the cash desk is assigned a sequence number in the following format: A-00, C-15, etc. To avoid confusion and separate orders made by the Kate terminals, a special “@” symbol was introduced. For example, the number looks like @-07.
- In the first days we faced the following peculiarities: the evening Z-report from r-keeper did not provide information on the number of orders made through the Kate terminals. They were grouped in the same category as the ordinary non-cash payments. After a discussion, the developers of r-keeper offered to link our payments to a separate “currency”. Now there is a separate category in a report, which is called KateMedia.
- The next step was the development of a solution for stop positions and their exclusion from the main menu. When adding any position to the Kate Cart, the server sends instantly a request to r-keeper. If a r-keeper response indicates that the dish is unavailable, the tablet activates the menu synchronization on a specific device. After that, the missing position disappears from the menu.
- The Kate system (like any other payment terminal) has an option to cancel transactions. In case of cancellation, r-keeper receives up-to-date information about the number of payments made to complete an evening Z-report.
It is also worth noting that the Kate devices are a completely safe solution in COVID conditions:
- The Kate Tablet has a flat and splash-proof screen which is very easy to clean and disinfect unlike push-button and rubber ones.
- Each device will show a pop-up window where you can find information that your table and device are disinfected and ready for use.
Since the quarantine measures are not expected to be eased in the near future, the service staff at Black Star Burger continues to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the devices and disinfects them several times a day.
How can you increase the revenue of a fast-food restaurant by 10% in 2 weeks?
- The key objective of the Kate terminals is to increase the restaurant’s revenue by increasing the number of orders. This is especially true during peak hours when the speed of order processing is crucial for a customer by choosing a restaurant. The results of the test period showed that the Kate system allows you to accept the maximum number of orders during the busiest hours, which, in turn, leads to an increase in the profit of the restaurant.
- For example, in the first days after the official Kate launch, the number of orders increased significantly and no longer fit on the delivery screen. The company Carbis, which represents r-keeper services and is a reliable partner of our project, helped us with this issue. Therefore, the area on the screen was expanded to make it easier for guests to view and track their orders.
- Kate terminals allowed us to partially reduce the load from the cash register of the restaurant and accept a larger number of orders per unit of time at the same time.
- The increase in the number of orders was from 8 to 11% on weekends, and from 24 to 72% on weekdays.
As a result, the total revenue of the Black Star Burger restaurant on Arbat increased by 10-38% in the first two weeks of testing, depending on the day of the week.
It should be mentioned that at first, we faced some limitations, which prevented us from using the full potential of the Kate Tablets.
After installing the Kate terminals, the number of orders increased dramatically. This led to an additional load on the kitchen, which was not ready for such volumes. Therefore, they decided to send cashiers to help with order processing and assembling during peak hours. Now the restaurant has changed the processes, and the speed of order issuing has increased significantly.
Moreover, an extra flow of people was so great over the weekend that the restaurant administration had to reduce for a while the number of the Kate terminals used. This, in turn, allowed the kitchen to cope with current orders but excluded additional profit for the restaurant. After that, the restaurant management decided to increase the number of staff in the kitchen during peak hours to cope with the increased number of orders.
We are currently working to remove those limitations, most of which have already been removed. The Black Star Burger team quickly adapted to new performance measures (number of orders and revenue growth) and helped us to improve our system.
There were some more positive changes during this period:
- Our team has installed an automated day-end closing system on all devices in the restaurant. At the moment this solution is unique because it is not available at usual payment terminals.
- We work on adding a new interface to offer our guests extra dishes (for example, French fries, sauces, a variety of burger patties, etc.)
- We are also going to add an option “Takeaway” or “Dine-in“.
- We also consider the introduction of analytics, marketing tools, and customer loyalty.
We would like to express our gratitude to Black Star Burger for such a great opportunity to implement the ambitious idea and present our product to the world.
Kate Media Team