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Gabbit offers free phone service to St. Louis restaurants and bars amid COVID concerns

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When the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., Gabbit, the top-rated phone service provider for small and mid-sized business, knew it had to help out some way.


“We had received a lot of calls from customers asking if they could defer payments, reduce their services or suspend their service entirely due to the COVID-19,” said Harry Orchard of Gabbit. 


Recognizing their customers were trying everything they could think of to trim costs, Gabbit wanted to do more.  


“I didn’t like the idea of deferring the bills because that would only add to the burden of reopening, and reducing service in order to cut the bill also seemed like it wouldn’t do enough,” Orchard said. “I want them to be able to use their phones. Free service seemed like the best solution and a way that we could help our customers who are in a tough spot.”  


Orlando’s Event Centers has already benefited from Gabbit’s generous offer.


“They have been a customer of ours since we were a much smaller company and, as you can imagine, there aren’t a lot of weddings or other private events taking place right now,” Orchard said. “They wanted to suspend service at one of their locations to trim the bill, but that only cut their cost by 30%. Instead, we cut the bill to zero. I know they’ll recover, and we’ll work together for a long time to come.” 


Gabbit is extending an offer to new customers as well, waiving all setup and service costs (including porting phone numbers into their network) through Aug. 1.


 “There is no accruing cost, either,” he said. “After Aug. 1, we’ll bill our standard low monthly rates. We also have plans that include phones, so the customer won’t have to buy new equipment. Free means free.” 


With COVID-related restrictions in place, restaurants are communicating with their customers by phone more than they have in years.


“Many of them have web ordering or offer delivery through services like Grubhub, but all of them use their phone lines to take carryout orders,” Orchard explained. “With the current regulations, the ones that are running the most efficient carryout operations are weathering the storm better, and that requires a flexible phone system. We want them to get through this and come back strong. If giving away phone service helps even a little bit, then I feel we’ve done our part.” 


Gabbit offers more than 70 cloud-based features that traditional phone service providers can’t touch, and can also scale up or down the number of phone lines needed instantly. 


“A great example of a useful feature is our call queue,” Orchard said. “Because of the spike in carryout orders, a bunch of our customers have increased the number of phones they have and are using their front-of-house staff like call center operators. They can more efficiently handle the call volume and take customer orders without placing people on long holds or losing business because the caller got a busy signal. Some locations are even seeing revenue growth.” 


In addition to community outreach, Gabbit also saves their customers quite a bit of money.


“Like Ken Schwartz, a lawyer in Clayton said, ‘With Gabbit, our bill is down 50%, and they deliver all of the functionality and professionalism of a robust phone system without the complexity and high maintenance costs we experienced with our prior vendor,’” Orchard said. “Whether it’s Lion’s Choice, Little Caesars, Wasabi or Pastaria, we are in this to give them white-glove service at the lowest cost in the industry, and free service during the pandemic fits right in with our mission.”