September 13, 2018

A tasty RFID and NFC application: KAHLA makes tableware smart

For caterers and food service providers, RFID and NFC equipped tableware can achieve cost savings through optimized processes, and at the same time improve customer loyalty and positively impact our environment – if transponders are made dishwasher-safe. This is exactly what Kahla does with Smartrac’s inlays.

Kahla is a German porcelain manufacturer dedicated to innovation and fulfilling specific customer demands. In its quest to support “Gastronomy 4.0,” the company has developed its patented Magic Grip silicone application, which seals NFC inlays from Smartrac and fixes them to the porcelain surface on the bottom of cups, plates or bowls. This sealing protects the inlays against the moisture the tableware is exposed to in commercial dishwashers.

RFID and NFC save time and money
Equipped with RFID inlays sealed in Magic Grip, every tableware item becomes smart, opening completely new possibilities for the restaurant sector, the food service industry, catering, cafés and bakeries. Rental companies and caterers can now have their RFID-enabled porcelain automatically checked in and checked out at the warehouse. The cumbersome task of counting individual articles is no longer required, since a tablet or smartphone app documents the current inventory. "RFID and NFC can save time and money", explains Sheila Rietscher, Director Brand & Strategy at Kahla/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH. "Professional hosts can optimize their logistics processes and automate internal processes. And NFC can make the customer experience more individual, informative and entertaining. Marketing experts know the positive impact on brand loyalty when customers are engaged through multimedia and multi-sensorial experiences. We are extremely happy to collaborate with Smartrac by inspiring potential customers from all kinds of industries."

“Making products smart by enabling them with RFID and NFC technology offers endless possibilities for the sake of businesses, consumers and the environment – that is what Kahla’s example confirms, and we are so proud to be part of it.” — Thorsten Braas, Director Sales DACH at Smartrac.

Smart porcelain @ work: Accurate taring and cash-free payment
The smart tableware allows autonomous weighing and cash-free payment. Unlike conventional tared porcelain, Kahla RFID does not have a weight range. The weight is stored and scanned on each article with great accuracy to the nearest gram. This benefits for example the cafeteria operator who sells several thousand meals a day, because he avoids financial losses due to tare ranges. If a plate “knows” what it weighs and which food it holds, cafeteria guests can weigh and pay for their meals without the need for a cashier. Cups, plates and bowls with transponders can communicate with vending machines that dispense coffee, soup and other food. The drink control menu will not need to be touched if the cup has already communicated that it is a cappuccino cup.

Engaging the customer and helping save the planet with smart, reusable coffee cups
Since “coffee to go” went through the roof, cities all over the world are drowning in discarded paper cups. Attempts to lure customers to use more eco-friendly, reusable cups have not had too much success until now. If reusable cups are not considered attractive enough by customers, the problem may be a step closer to a solution, as tapping a smartphone on the bottom of a Magic Grip cup can provide coffee aficionados with worthwhile customer experiences. Bakeries and coffee house chains could link dynamic content to their NFC-enabled cups – for instance, a video about the coffee cultivation area. This would add an emotional connection to the taste experience: while customers are enjoying their coffee, they can see images of the coffee plantation on their smartphones.

In general, the NFC-enabled cup could establish an additional, enhanced communication channel between the coffee house or bakery chain and its customer by delivering exclusive digital content, in the real world, at the tap of a phone. The smart cup can also store cash balances, loyalty points, preferences and information about allergies. On top of that, the coffee connoisseur can check the chain’s app to see the special offers of the day before he enters the shop and refills his cup. At the counter, he can collect loyalty points via the transponder. Each Kahla RFID solution is custom-made to suit the specific needs of the client and is implemented in close collaboration with the client and with experts in RFID, programming and design.

Smart products, endless possibilities
“Making products smart by enabling them with RFID and NFC technology offers endless possibilities for the sake of businesses, consumers and the environment – that is what Kahla’s example confirms, and we are so proud to be part of it.”, said Thorsten Braas, Director Sales DACH at Smartrac.

For further information on Kahla and its products and solutions, please visit the Kahla homepage or Kahla’s RFID site (German only) and get in touch via Email: vho@kahlaporzellan.com.

Kahla: Porcelain for the senses
The brand Kahla stands for multifunctional porcelain "Made in Germany", which has received over 100 prestigious design awards. Based in Kahla in Thuringia, the family-owned enterprise, which employs around 300 people, exports its products for private homes, the restaurant sector and advertising clients to 60 countries in the world. Its innovative product design is guided by the demands and lifestyle habits of today’s society. The brand owes its international reputation and its business success to its courage in embracing innovation – from unconventional design concepts, through the sustainability strategy "Kahla pro Eco", to the use of ever more progressive technologies – such as the Bullseye and Circus NFC inlays now provided by Smartrac.


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