How IoT Solutions for Restaurants Helps Boost your Business

By Ronak Patel   |   16 October, 2019
How IoT Solutions for Restaurants Helps Boost your Business

Typically, restaurant success may be all about the amazing and mouth-watering food. But, modern restaurants need more than just providing delicious food. Consumers of today are looking for more comfort, ease of the process and cost-effective services. That is possible when you are either equipped with efficient man power or innovative technology.

Let’s admit, manpower will not and will never be sufficient enough to fulfill the needs of today’s consumers. You are not going to the employee such as a huge number of staff to win over the situation, but technology can. Yes, a simple smart technological instrument can do this, efficiently and cost-effectively. IoT is the new and increasing face to the restaurant, helping the restaurant owners carry out plenty of tasks, fight competitive challenges, save costs and provide desired services to customers.

 

According to Rail Media, 73% of restaurant operators have agreed that technology provides them a competitive advantage and helps increase profitability.

 

So, in this article, we will be discussing the challenges that today’s restaurants are facing and how technology, especially the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping them curb the arising situation efficiently.

Food Safety

Challenge 1

Being a restaurant owner you need to follow the food safety regulation, each country has its own food safety law. You need to take proactive action, not reactive. All measures have to put in place to ensure that food remains fresh and healthy. At the same time, you need to ensure that no food goes waste and you bear no loses due to the food contamination issue.

Food-Safety

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

Not only that, there are stringent guidelines by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its food safety management system called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Every restaurant owner has to comply with the regulation set by the FDA authority. IoT can play a magic role here by making the F&B industry easily follow it. Internet of Things (IoT) providing flexible solutions to the companies and help them comply with food safety regulations. Utilizing different kinds of monitoring sensors like humidity and temperature sensors can ensure that products are kept in a suitable environment.

The real-time temperature tracking sensors maintain active cold chain management and will help restaurants closely monitor the food safety status in real-time. It will help staff take quick action if anything goes beyond the regulation.

Recall Prevention:

Besides helping you in the food supply chain, it can also help you recall prevention. Many restaurants, earlier and even today throw away contaminated food or due to the food recall. IoT can save you by detecting pathogens in food. There are combination biosensors including environmental sensors, which can raise a red flag when any problem in the food detected. Apart from this, it can help you track down the hours, the food was in transit or food accidentally got ripped open. Your employee, if they don’t wash their hands properly, it can create a recall issue. IoT sensors can track down if your employees wash their hands properly.

Most importantly, tracking down the origin of contaminated food is very important and you need to take quick action before it makes it out to the other grocery products in the store. The RFID tag in the products will help to identify the contaminated food and help staff to take quick action.

Temperature Monitoring for Restaurants

Challenge 2

Apart from food safety regulation, it is the concern for the restaurant of today. It is not just about complying with the regulations but about saving internal cost which most of the restaurants have to suffer for many reasons. The challenges are many such as the freezer failure can not just violate the food safety regulation, but also affect revenue, and damage brand reputation (when the tainted food causes illness).

 

According to the research conducted by Claro Enterprise Solutions, ” a typical employees spend more than 1.5 hours a day monitoring freezer, refrigerator, fryer, hot buffet, and storage area temperatures. At an average loaded hourly labor rate of $14.50, multiplied by 365, that works out to approximately $8.5K annually.”

 

It is a huge amount for a small business that is already facing challenges due to thin-margin on sales. They cannot just rely on a human to monitor temperatures, it’s not effective at all. While temperature monitoring is time-sensitive and requires 24/7/365 vigilance, the human can overlook intermittent failures.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

Once you implement the IoT-enabled device to monitor the temperature, it keeps track of every single movement of the freezer and reports to you immediately. You can track the condition of the given freezer in real-time and even take steps remotely. In case, if any unwanted situation arises, and your freezer stops working, you have two hours to either change the item from the freezer or get it repaired.

Streamlined logistics

Challenge 3

What is enough; what is lacking, what is on the way and what has already arrived, these are a bit complicated to manage by human beings. Even you cannot leave it entirely on human intelligence as it can lead to some serious issue. It’s is a challenge to keep the right information about logistics. Delivering the products for food to consumers at their doorstep requires a fantastic delivery management system in place.

Streamlined logistics

Restaurant IoT solutions:

IoT brings great help to the food and beverage logistics industry, just like it does to any other industries in their operations. Right from letting them track the inventory in real-time, to automate the shipments based on the request, requirement or predictions for replenishment. The RFID (Radio-frequency identification) transmitters along with GPS help in effective monitoring in the distribution chain.

Reduce Internal Thefts

Challenge 4

 

As a comparison, each year the University of Florida conducts a survey regarding various areas of theft and loss in the restaurant and food sector. Their recent survey results of 2010, reports over $36 billion (dollars) lost due to theft and error in the United States alone

 

Internal thefts such as your employee may be stealing pilferage things that go unnoticed most of the time. These are very common, but it will affect small and medium-sized restaurants. Your employee may be stealing from cash registers, items from the storerooms, and other kitchen supplies.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

When you have IoT enabled smart camera put in place, which can be operated remotely, it will track down every movement and inform real-time. The camera install above the POS can detect and unwanted behavior of staff and alert you immediately. Besides, contact sensors installed on the door of the storage room will alarm you if someone tries to open it during off-hours. It can be the best way to control an inventor using IoT-enabled smart sensors.

Coherent records

Challenge 5

Maintaining coherent records becomes compulsory for the restaurants having more than $1 million in revenue each year. Such restaurant owners have to preserve at least two years of food safety records on file. Apart from this, the restaurants have to keep on hand 12 months of transportation and training records which will require a lot of manpower to maintain it on paper. Still, human error cannot be denied at all.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

When you adopt or move towards a cloud-based portal with sensors which will automatically stream into the online data. That will not only cut costs but also save you from making any human error.

Transparent Supply Chains

Challenge 6

Maintaining transparency has been an increasing issue. Today’s consumers are health conscious and they like to know every single detail about the products they want to buy. You cannot provide them unless you have smart equipment in place. If you are not able to provide such information to your consumer, it might create a trust issue between business and consumers.

Transparent Supply Chains

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

IoT can make the entire things convenient and effective. Implementing traceability and transparency help consumer track every single detail of the products he/she is willing to purchase. The consumer can learn how the product was made, the ingredients in it, manufacturing date, packaging date and how safely it was brought to the store to sell. It will directly or indirectly help customers make a wise buying decision. As a result, it increases the confidence and trust of your brand or store.

Efficient Operations

Challenge 7

Operational efficiency is pretty integral to every industry, a challenge as well to maintain it. The restaurant industry is also facing the challenge to enhance the operation efficiently. A restaurant has even more challenges to face as compared to other industries. There are plenty of things like accepting the order, order delivery and so much more.

Efficient Operations

Remote Kitchen Management

Challenge 8

The biggest challenge that today’s restaurant industry is facing how fast they can help the customers get the purposes served. More than that, managing a kitchen is one of the significant parts of being productive.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

The simple solutions that IoT brings that help them with Smart Kitchen are the solutions that help by automating the process. Take, for example, IoT helps a kitchen head turn on the oven remotely. Besides, it can help kitchen staff, switch on/off the refrigerator, and many others.

Energy Savings/Cost Saving

Challenge 9

There are plenty of appliances used by restaurants that consume a large portion of electricity. Most of the older appliances consume more power than the newer ones. More than that, the unexpected and uninformed breakdown causes a huge issue and can lead to greater loss.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

Implementing IoT enabled devices such as Energy Management Solution (EMS) can help restaurants track things intelligently and collect data of power consumption.

Energy-Saving-and-Cost-Efficient

 

According to a survey conducted by American West Restaurant Group, “Pizza hut expects to reduce as much as 18% in average monthly energy usage which will save $2 million between 2018 to 2022, all because of IoT”.

 

Apart from this, IoT can tell what products such as the kitchen appliances need to repair and what needs to be replaced -much before it creates an issue. It will save you from damaging the product and process. IoT devices will alert for everything right in time.

 

According to the ReFED report, U.S. restaurants generate 11.4 million tons of food waste which causes $25 billion loss each year. For small and medium restaurants, a single overnight walk-in failure could cost thousands of dollars in product loss. IoT implementation can eliminate this “cost of doing business” translates into serious dollars saved each year.

 

Actionable Insights and Data

Challenge 10

Making database business decision is equally important to provide delightful customer experience. For that, you need data and things.

Restaurant IoT solutions:

IoT is not just about providing intelligent machines and excellent customer experience. It has plenty of other things to offer. It can help you with smart data, which is everything available in the cyberspace. Providing satisfied eatery needs, the industry needs to make data-based business decisions, earning brand reputations, implementing perfect marketing strategies, and successfully target customers. The device -Internet of Things device which has plenty of things to offer will help in making a smart decision and the potential of IoT is continuously evolving.

Sales Opportunities

Challenge 11

In though and rigorous competitive restaurant industry, you need to think a step ahead, right before your rival can. But, it’s not possible unless you are equipped with smart devices.

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

All you need to connect your kitchen to the IoT network, you are going to get the increased and inexhaustible sales opportunities. Brands and leading restaurants industries are integrating the smart IoT devices to the restaurant and get all the benefits it has to offer. With IoT devices, you can initiate a loyalty program and let your customers win coupons and discounts vouchers. It will not only compel them to visit you again but think about the collected and detailed profile. You will easily know your customers’ behavior, what they like to eat and then they like to visit the restaurants.

Customer Experience

Challenge 12

In your case, the customer is the king, and why not as you do everything just to please them. Achieving the satisfaction of customers is one of the major challenges that today’s restaurant industry is facing. You cannot win them only based on providing them tasty and delicious food. There are plenty of things which you need to achieve to please them. On-time food delivery, helping them with easy ordering and making payment facilities and others are equally significant.

Customer Experience

Restaurant IoT Solutions:

When implemented IoT enabled devices, the restaurant can receive an order before and can even delivery before the expected delivery time. It will help gourmand satisfy his delicacies. Users don’t need to wait on the table to get the food served. He can do his task until the restaurant delivers the food to the doorstep. Besides, even if the customers want to dine out, RFID will help the customers place an order without visiting to counter and even make a payment right from their table.

Restaurant Solutions
Final Words

The Internet of Things has been for a long time, though the potential of it remains untouched to the industry leaders for a long time. Even today, you will find many restaurants are ignoring the potentials of IoT. However, in the coming years, the IoT will the king and not the only restaurant, but all the industries will need to adopt it. It is better to equip your business right in advance. It’s not that you are investing in it, but you will start getting benefits as soon as you implement it. You can grab more information about the importance of the Internet of Things to your industry, how to implement it and what benefits you will get by contacting an IT Company. You will get given complete information about the technology, its requirements and everything you need to know about it.

Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client's success is company's success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client's business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.

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