The most memorable thing about Birdcall, the new fast food eatery located in what was Tom’s Home Cookin’, isn’t actually the fried chicken sandwiches. That’s not because they’re sub-par—quite the contrary—but because the restaurant’s innovative use of technology steals the spotlight.
Owners Jean-Philippe Failyau, Peter Newlin, and Rachel Sanford (of Park Burger and Homegrown Tap and Dough) spent months developing a custom POS system for the kiosks that are the hallmark of the Birdcall experience. Walk up to one of the sunny yellow kiosks currently positioned just outside of the front door, swipe your card, and use the tablet-size touch screen to complete your order. Inside the sleek, spare dining room, a massive screen displays your name and current wait time—the average ticket time is just three minutes. When your order is complete, you’ll find it trayed up in a numbered hexagonal cubby.
This mechanized approach allowed Birdcall to reduce the number of staffers—just one person is needed per shift to handle front-of-house operations—as well as to keep prices low. The classic chicken sandwich starts at just $5.75, and there’s no tipping. One can’t help but think about the consequences of outsourcing human jobs to kiosks, but Newlin cites an unexpected trade off: “We’re creating great, more sustainable careers for managers because they can have a lot of growth. The only way we can do this is through technology.”
As for those fried chicken sammies? They may not be quite as cheap as Chick Fil-A’s roughly $3 offerings, but they taste a whole lot better. That’s especially true of the deluxe version, which comes piled with pepper Jack, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and buttermilk-herb mayo. Pair it with fries and a spoonably thick milkshake, and you’ve got a winning chicken dinner.
Birdcall is currently open for dinner but will start lunch and breakfast service soon.
800 E. 26th Ave., 720-361-2976