A cashless dining experience at Strang Hall is about more than efficiency, said Jason Roberts. It’s part of the Overland Park chef collective’s engrained tech framework.
“It allows us to shut down the place super fast at the end of the day,” explained Roberts, Strang Hall CIO and principal at Edison Factory, the startup builder founded by serial entrepreneur Tim Barton.
Opened in December, Strang Hall’s decision to go cashless first aims to craft a seamless experience for guests of the food hall — which functions as more of an incubator for restauranteurs.
Click here to read more about the chef collective concept behind Strang Hall — which is expected to open a second location inside the Lightwell building later this year.
“You just push one button on our point-of-sale [system] and the restaurant shuts down; you’re ready for the next day,” he added, noting focus on creating an overall tech framework for Strang Hall was just as intentional as curating its eight-kitchen chef collective.
“We focused — across the whole place — on efficiency and employing technology to drive down costs. We want people to come in here and feel a real sense of value,” he added, further explaining the emerging Overland Park hot spot’s approach to efficient labor and enhanced customer experiences.
Featuring fast-casual dining infused with upscale charm, Strang Hall treats guests to a wide menu of chef-curated and locally sourced brunch, lunch, and dinner options — many of which are also driven by the food hall’s tech backbone, Roberts said.
“[This data can] pull together all those disparate parts that a typical restaurant wouldn’t be able to do,” he said. “We can now pull out all that data from a variety of sources, put it all together in one place and just use data to make good decisions on, ‘Should that item be changed? Should it be removed? What can we do to sell more?’”
As the restaurant embraces its cashless character, allowing guests to pay with major credit cards or by loading round numbers of cash onto disposable cards at the food hall’s bar (the only cash drawer in the facility) — Strang Hall views itself as something of a trendsetter, Roberts noted.
“I’ve seen a couple of prominent [restaurants] in Kansas City that have tried [to go cashless] and I think one difference is we were able to centralize the cash in one place,” he said of strides in innovation made by the company.
“[Use of cash] is 10 percent and falling and almost all of those people have a backup method. So I think we’ll see it decline more and more. Certainly the economics of not having to do all the processing and taking all the risk and insurance of dealing with massive amounts of cash makes it a pretty smart choice.”
Steering clear of cash has also been an unexpected ally in the fight against COVID-19 and protection from theft, Roberts noted.
“We eliminated all the errors of counting change,” he said. ‘Probably one in 1,000 people makes a comment about it, but almost everyone has a card that could pull out.”
Cash accounted for less than one percent of Strang Hall’s transactions in February, he added.