Top 4 Benefits of Using IoT Remote Monitoring Systems
The foodservice industry is one of the most challenging businesses to manage—let alone profit from. From managing utilities down to the fine print of health and safety compliance, it seems like there’s no end to all the things you need to keep track of.
So when it comes to monitoring your perishable inventory, you can already almost feel your hair tearing itself off your head.
The temperature-sensitive nature of food makes it prone to drastic changes. From small compromises in quality and flavor all the way to life-threatening foodborne hazards. It takes the most vigilant eyes to ensure quality and safety standards are met.
Streamline your monitoring process with IoT technology
This is where IoT (Internet-of-Things) remote monitoring comes into play.
The right IoT remote monitoring devices are designed to measure the temperature and humidity levels across all your cold storage spaces and alert you at the first sign of anomalous readings. This level of vigilance ensures you take proactive measures to prevent inventory loss from spoilage.
That’s the general benefit of using IoT remote monitoring devices. If that’s not enough to get you to invest in such devices for your restaurant, then let’s dive into the real benefits IoT Remote Monitoring devices can give your business—featuring some satisfied operators.
1. Easy and streamlined evaluation of equipment performance
K-K Restaurants Inc. operates several Taco Bell franchises throughout the American Midwest. As their operation expanded over the years, they accumulated various refrigeration equipment to outfit their stores. However, this was a gradual process. Meaning that all their equipment was a mix of both brand-new and decades-old units.
You can already imagine that evaluating equipment performance with such varying age gaps from one another presents a huge challenge—-unless you use smart monitoring devices.
K-K uses IoT remote monitoring devices to monitor cold storage conditions across their locations. This helped them determine which sites needed to lessen electricity consumption and conduct preventive equipment maintenance.
With 24/7 data collection and real-time notifications across all restaurants, their management can identify which units perform better than others based on the occurrence and length of temperature excursions.
Based on the information gathered by the monitoring devices, management can prompt their team to perform much-needed preventative maintenance protocols such as cleaning gaskets and compressors.
Operators may also schedule routine check-ups from qualified maintenance personnel to improve their equipment. In these routine maintenance checks, personnel can preemptively fix the issues that would’ve otherwise led to downtime, such as swapping out faulty components and containing chemical leakage.
One of the worst-case scenarios for your restaurant is losing your perishable inventory from equipment breakdowns. On average, foodservice businesses lose 28-35% of their income annually from pre-consumer food waste.
And that’s not including the added operating cost of downtime while maintenance fixes your unit. An effective IoT system can significantly reduce the impact of these equipment failures. In turn, this saves you a great deal of avoidable expenses.
2. Maintaining high and consistent food quality
Foggy Mountain Pasta relies on the benefits of real-time humidity notifications provided by IoT monitoring systems. Foggy Mountain’s owner, Gabriel Key, says that he appreciates the automation-focused functionalities for humidity data logging.
His installed remote monitoring devices helped him make real-time decisions that improved his product and helped him achieve notable cost savings. For owner Gabriel, IoT solutions have been a game-changer.
“Having the ability to either control or monitor variables just makes a huge difference in what our final product will be like for the people who buy our pasta.” —Gabriel Key
Foggy Mountain Pasta operates out of a cloud kitchen or shared commissary. One challenge of operating a cloud kitchen model is the unpredictable changes in humidity from staff actions such as constantly opening doors or boiling water.
For Gabriel, having reliable humidity monitoring technology is like having a detailed weather report in your pocket. The device alert tells him exactly what the environmental conditions within the kitchen are at that moment.
In turn, he can shift his production to adapt to the current temperature and humidity levels of the kitchen.
Take their flour, for example. Using extremely high-quality flour milled at very low temperatures means the product must maintain these low temperatures in storage to prevent a decrease in quality.
“If our freezers fluctuate in temperature, that swing can and will affect our flour. It might cause spoilage or cause it to develop flavors we didn’t expect. You don’t want moisture to accumulate within the container. For us, using humidity sensors allows us to maintain consistency and quality at all times.” —Gabriel Key
3. Constant inventory protection
Dutch Bro’s coffee is the go-to drive-through java hut for commuters in the western United States. However, it’s not just hot coffee that they sell. Dutch Bro’s also sells cold beverages to help get through the heatwaves that ravage the West every summer.
While Dutch Bro’s frozen drinks are a welcome reprieve from extreme weather, that same weather presents unique problems for their operations. Thanks to IoT remote monitoring devices, Dutch Bros is experiencing the advantages of vigilant up-to-date data collection. Using that gathered information to influence their decision-making—ultimately saving them money.
“Once it gets up to about 115° to 120°, our refrigeration and HVAC equipment starts to fail; that’s just thermodynamics.” —Drew Rees; Director of Facilities at Dutch Bros. Coffee
When this happens, Dutch Bro’s staff face a test of their decision making: to slow down production by moving dairy to offsite locations… or lose their inventory to spoilage. Drew estimates the price tag of loss events ranges from $800-$1500 each time their equipment fails.
Since investing in automation using IoT remote monitoring systems in their locations, Drew has managed to mitigate loss events due to equipment failure.
In one recent episode in Arizona, Drew received an alert of a sharp temperature spike in one of their walk-in fridges. Upon receiving a second alert, Drew promptly called a maintenance worker who went onsite and fixed their equipment within two hours.
This swift action prevented a massive loss event, proving to Drew the value of using IoT remote monitoring systems.
“You can’t have people who are focused on your customers and product having to monitor your equipment on an hourly basis. IoT remote monitoring devices have shown their value. We’ve gotten our ROI very quickly on that.” —Drew Rees
4. Identifying training gaps and ensuring food safety
Going back to K-K Restaurants Inc., they also rely on IoT remote monitoring devices to identify when their staff doesn’t follow correct closing protocols at the end of their shifts.
They found that because you can’t always have supervisors on-site at all times, essential procedures may fall by the wayside. Remote monitoring devices provide their team with a powerful vigilant solution.
Their company regulatory policies state that cold rails should be shut off after service to reduce the use of critical and expensive utilities, such as electricity. Reducing expensive utility bills is crucial in realizing noticeable cost savings and promoting sustainability. No time is this more important than now, with the rising price of inventory and labor.
K-K also uses remote monitoring devices to ensure the safety of the items in their front-of-house reach-in coolers. Items stored in these locations are especially at risk of spoilage from the warm ambient air that leaks from doors left ajar or from coolers with damaged gaskets.
Ensuring they store items in these spaces at safe operating temperatures can protect their customers from foodborne illness and their businesses from health code violations.
By using IoT technology, K-K receives real-time temperature data from their dashboard, so management can identify if staff follow proper protocols at night. If their staff doesn’t follow these nightly protocols, management can set up appropriate training to correct the problem before it drives up their bills.
So, what’s a great IoT remote monitoring device to start with?
What all these satisfied operators have in common is that they use Therma° IoT remote monitoring technology.
Yes, they’re all our satisfied clients who are now enjoying smaller energy bills, lesser expenses from inventory loss, and overall a quick ROI.
So, if you’re looking for accurate and efficient optimization, you’ll need smart monitoring technology—try Therma° Monitoring.