Kate. Restaraunt Tablet | We officially launched in Russia!

    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.

    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:

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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:

    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?

    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.

    For instance:

    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:
    1. 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.
    2. We work on adding a new interface to offer our guests extra dishes (for example, French fries, sauces, a variety of burger patties, etc.)
    3. We are also going to add an option “Takeaway” or “Dine-in“.
    4. 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.

    Stay tuned!

     

    Sincerely,

    Kate Media Team

      Kate. Restaraunt Tablet | Kate Tablet Terminal vs QR Code. Who runs the post Covid world?

      Earlier in 2020, the restaurant business was kind of predictable and no one thought that it would face fundamental changes in the foreseeable future. However, the COVID pandemic came unexpectedly. Social distancing, sanitizing, disinfection, contactless payments became synonymous with a new way of life. In order to revive the industry, various technologies again have appeared on the scene.

       

      Kate Tablet turns out to be even more beneficial in the current circumstances (feel free to check out the previous news in our blog) while the QR code solution has made a comeback and is now a dominant payment force in many parts of the world. More and more restaurants see QR code solution as a viable path toward fast, secure, and, more importantly, safe service.

       

      So what is QR code in terms of the restaurant industry?

       

      Previously, QR codes (quick response codes) have mostly been known as useful access points to information, websites, and personal verification. You may have met them in advertising posters, product labels, event tickets, and even random street corners.

       

      Indeed, QR codes have reserved the right to fulfill the same function. When a QR code is scanned, the horizontal and vertical patterns of the matrix are decoded by the software on your smartphone and converted into a string of characters. Depending on the command of those characters, customers may use contactless experience featuring menu browsing, ordering, and payment all through his mobile phone. The only thing left is to wait for a server to bring you the ordered meal. Pretty simple and easy.

       

      Kate Tablet, on the other hand, acts as a more complex solution. By using Kate – the ultimate pay-at-the-table catering device, visitors can browse through the menu, enjoy the great entertainment Kate has in store, make payments with one tap only, and much more from a business perspective.

       

      Let’s take a look at both of them!

       

      KATE TABLET QR CODE
      Type of restaurants Casual Dining, Fast Casual Fast Casual, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)
      Main functions Order, Play, and Pay Browse, Order and Pay
      Required Hardware Kate Tablet terminal Smartphone or tablet with a built-in camera
      App installation Not required No app to install – a web-based solution
      Security & Certification

      Received all the necessary documentation and completed the following security certification:

      EMV L1, L2, PCI PTS, Common.SECC

      Any data which is transferred via QR codes is encrypted thus making the payment and information exchange foolproof secure
      Integration with POS Fully integrated with POS systems (iiko, r_keeper, UnTill, Hypersoft, Expert Solution, etc.), including reverse data exchange Fully integrated with POS for seamless ordering and payment
      Supported payment method Kate Tablet accepts all the following: Chip and PIN, PayWave and PayPass transactions Supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay in addition to credit cards
      Additional payment options

      Allows restaurant visitors to choose payment methods and tipping amount:

      – Full bill payment option

      – Split by amount of guests

      – Split by bill choice

      – Full tipping control

      Menu (for guests) The flexible and fully integrated menu which is displayed on Kate’s screen Connects guests to an integrated online menu on their smartphones
      Menu (for business) Kate platform allows users to manage the restaurant’s network including but not limited to all menu items. Remote price and description control helps to optimize a restaurant’s workflow very quickly
      Waiter Kate reduces the amount of face2face contact with staff. As a result communication with waiters is limited to serving dishes. Which also leads to cost savings in terms of staffing. There is no need for them in QSR and fast-casual restaurants. Interaction with waiters in table service restaurants is also shortened to serving dishes.
      Entertainment module Thanks to a built-in entertainment module with premium games, cartoons, etc. guests are given an opportunity to enjoy their time while dishes are being made. Kids will also be happy and busy playing educating and fun games while parents enjoy their “me time”.
      Сleanliness and safety Kate devices are splash resistant and the screens can be easily cleaned by any sanitizing agent. There are other benefits including less contact with waiters and less cash flow. Absolutely safe since there is no need to use anything except your own mobile device.
      Data analytics The flexible reporting system allows you to collect all customer feedback (20 fold increase according to our statistics), compare table profits, learn about the money flow, and improve the business in your restaurant. It also optimizes the cost of expenses for classic POS terminals. Allows collecting feedback and reviews from customers.
      Drawbacks Integration with POS and payment providers together with the initial testing phase in a selected restaurant requires some time. However, as soon as it’s done, the solution may be applied for the entire restaurant chain.

      There are some limitations in terms of functionality including the lack of an entertainment module, extended data analytics, and additional payment options.

      Can’t be used without a smartphone and access to the Internet.

      Guest benefits Gives customers a sense of control by browsing and ordering a full menu and providing feedback. Saves time by paying at the table without a waiter. Unique opportunity to play premium games on Kate tablet.  No waiting time, no kiosk, no queue. 
      Business benefits

      Kate Tablet increases the table turn over up to 9 times!

      • up to 30% increase in desert and drink sales
      • up to 30% increase in table turn in peak hours
      • up to 20% increase in waiter profit and tips
      • up to 10% increase in total restaurant profit

      Very convenient and quick with a low adoption barrier.

      Increase in speed of service and overall restaurant profit.

       

      We are living in an era when people are interested in modern technology, as never before. It has now become even more important for restaurants to use new devices and solutions in order to operate under the current circumstances. We have two major players on the market – QR code technology and Kate Tablet terminals. Our goal isn’t to tell you what tech solution is best. Instead, we want to provide a detailed explanation of each solution and compare them in terms of functionality.

       

      Now it’s your turn to choose. In case you decide to go further with Kate solutions, we would be more than happy to make this journey even more exciting for you!

        Kate. Restaraunt Tablet | Casual Dining Market In Europe: What To Expect In 2020

        Good food and friendly service will always be the cornerstone in the foodservice industry, but it’s just not enough anymore. Ask any restaurateur and they’ll tell you the same thing. The industry is changing – and changing fast. Europe has already demonstrated high potential for casual dining as consumers across the region are as fast-paced as those in the US and are seeking out entirely new dining experiences. In this regard, the European casual dining market is expected to be driven by factors such as changes in dining patterns, effortless ordering, the flexibility of fast-casual dining, cultural influence, and the evolution of digital technology.

        The areas of change:

        1) Balancing to be sustainable. Customers want healthier and more eco-friendly options.

        2020 is the year of balance. Consumers are breaking habits, experimenting with new lifestyles and trying new food options in an attempt to live more happily, responsibly and sustainably. From restaurants offering paper straws and the ban on single-use plastics to more sustainable farming, sourcing, and preparation.

        For consumers in 2020, being sustainable requires:

        Due to the onslaught of fad diets, you’ll now see restaurants having to cater to more varied diets. This includes gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and keto options. For example, vegan orders have increased by 330% over the past two years. Data shows that a significantly larger group of customers are more frequently opting-in for a part-time vegan diet, with around half of their food consumption being meat and the other half is plant-based.

        More dairy alternatives are also required. If you walk into any Starbucks or other major coffee shop chain in Europe nowadays, you’ll likely find that they offer, at the very least, almond and soy milk. However, one of the biggest food trends in 2020 to follow is the rise in even more dairy alternatives. In addition to soy and almond milk, you can expect to see more coconut, rice, hemp, and oat milk.

        The demand for healthier and more environmentally conscious eating continues to have a great impact on restaurants. Consumers aren’t avoiding burgers and pizzas, but they are enjoying more salads or plant-based alternatives. Customers today not only want fresh and healthy food – they likewise want to know its background story.

        It is also worth mentioning that consumers are becoming more consistent with ‘healthy body equals healthy mind’ mindset. For many years, we’ve been dabbling with diets in a bid to be healthier and lose a few pounds, but the rise in alcohol-free drinks is largely down to our mindset, rather than weight loss.

        The main idea is to spend money wisely, so that there is no need to spendthrift on payday and then burn holes in the pockets for the rest of the month.

        2) The number of meals per day has changed.

        Traditionally the European casual dining market was segmented by dayparts into lunch, dinner, breakfast, and snacks. The lunch segment has been gradually growing, thanks to office workers. While the dinner segment is the second most developed segment of the European casual dining market. It is a witness to high popularity among customers, especially the family segment.

        However, let’s not forget that the standard for having three meals per day has already set sail. Customers are breaking the custom more than ever before – eating at up to six different meal times. Customers are also ordering more mid-sized portions and snacks to keep fueled throughout the day. For example, in the winter months, snacking increases by 74%.

        3) What about cross-cultural & hyper-regional cuisine?

        Consumers seem to have tried everything “normal” that is out there. This means that, in order to appease boredom with traditional dishes, more restaurants are beginning to offer cross-cultural fusions. It is expected to see lots of unique fusion cuisine in 2020. This includes everything from Mexican and Southeast Asian fusion all the way to French-Scandinavian and even Chinese-Peruvian. Along with fusion cuisine, you can also expect restaurants and chefs to try and spice up consumer boredom by offering hyper-regional cuisine.

        Kids menu will also become more sophisticated. Forget about chicken nuggets and mini pizzas. In 2020, kids will see a complete menu makeover with more choices and range. It’s no secret that nowadays consumers are more exposed to multi-cultural cuisine and just different cultures in general. This means that parents are more interested in exposing their kids to different kinds of food and diets from a much younger age.

        4) Convenience continues to drive purchasing decisions.

        Today’s consumers are time-strapped, tech-savvy and value-conscious. They are accustomed to using technology to simplify their lives and they want their dining solutions to be just as fast, flexible and convenient as the rest of their purchasing decisions. And while convenience is something that has traditionally been associated with fast food, the increasing popularity of KateTablet devices makes it clear that this is a revolutionary trend no restaurant can afford to ignore.

        5) The restaurant industry must adapt to millennials and gen Z.

        Millennials and Generation Z, that is, people currently under 35 years old, will represent six out of ten people on the planet in 2020. Understanding who they are and how they differ from previous generations is absolutely essential to any restaurant that wants to survive in the coming decades.

        The younger generations are hyperconnected and see technology not just as a means to simplify their lives, but as an integral part of their existence. Not only will they use technology to find a restaurant online, but they will also expect to be able to place their order via an app or POS system, arrange delivery through a third-party provider, and pay using their phone. The restaurant they choose will also have a strong social media presence, and they will likely contribute to that presence by rating or uploading pictures and descriptions of their own dining experiences.

        6) Opt for unique, personalized experiences and innovative food.

        In a world largely dominated by digital screens, foodservice is one of the few industries left that can offer unique and memorable real-world experiences. And that is exactly what today’s consumers are looking for in their restaurants. Outstanding staff, innovative food and concepts, DIY options, and a balance between personalized service and technology, will be the factors that make or break restaurants in the future.

        Restaurants today are much more than a place where people eat. Enter the age of “restaurantainment” – restaurants with entertainment venues and concepts that promote a certain theme or lifestyle. A restaurant with KateTablet devices that provide great entertainment experience including unlimited access to the best mobile games, a nightclub that is only open during the day, and a secret-agent-themed restaurant, where you need to know a password to get in, are all examples of ways foodservice operators are catering to consumer demands for unique and customized experiences today.

        7) Innovation in digital services will continue to grow.

        Although restaurants have been historically slow to adopt technologies, the consumers have become largely accustomed to them — to a point where it is even expected that the restaurant will provide them with the luxury convenience that they have gotten used to by now.

        The arrival of digital technology is changing the food industry significantly. It helps to customize orders, gather the customer’s data, and create lucrative rewards and discounts. Prominent vendors have integrated applications that allow customers to make self-order and self-payment via debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, or PayPal. Digital advancements are also bolstering the franchise development model. It helps to improve communication by enabling franchisors to monitor everything in real-time.

        Although 3D-printed food, augmented reality menus and artificially intelligent equipment are still years away from being introduced to restaurants, technology is here to stay, and the potential and benefits that it offers should no longer be ignored. The role of human workers in the restaurant experience will go through a radical transformation over the next 20 years as robotics and automation technology begin to see widespread use. But that doesn’t mean that staff will become obsolete. Instead, digital innovation will allow restaurants to focus more on design, menu planning and – above all – outstanding service. The operators that can use technology to cut margins while enhancing the customer experience will be the ones that thrive in the increasingly competitive food service industry of the future.

        Conclusion:

        Although the biggest change, that the restaurants adopted from the Third Industrial Revolution was the Point of Sale System, the one we’re living in now is going to impact every functional area of foodservice and will change what we eat, where we eat, how we order our food, how we pay for it, and even more.

        Food trends, new ingredients, and ever changing customer dietary wants and needs are reshaping the way restaurants, bars, and even companies will have to operate in the coming years. That’s a pretty important fact, regardless whether you find yourself on the consumer’s or the producer’s side. But, more importantly – no matter what kind of steel-hearted robot we introduce or build, human traits, such as gratitude, generosity, graciousness will continue to be the pillar of the dining industry. That being said, Kate Tablet was born and designed specifically for the following purposes: to serve, enable, nourish, encourage, and enrich others selflessly.