Jeremy Julian

Three Restaurant Technology Trends: Week 1 – The Internet of Things

January 13, 2016

Welcome to the first installment of a three-week series where we’ll discuss three restaurant technology trends that have the potential to really benefit your business. Today we’ll dive into the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it can help your business save money and be more efficient.

So what exactly is the Internet of Things?

Imagine that the equipment in your business isn’t just a collection of cold, hard machines with exoskeletons of polished metal, limbs of plastic, and guts of wire. Imagine that the electronics, sensors, software and network connectivity nestled inside your equipment is a latent neuro-center full of information just waiting to be tapped for the greater good of the whole?

What if the machines woke up and started talking to each other – and to you?

Simply put, IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet and/or to each other, enabling objects (“things”) to collect and exchange data… and to pass that data on to you.

How does this apply to the restaurant industry? The kitchen has become one of the new frontiers for technological advances. IoT has applications for refrigeration, lighting, fryers and most, if not all, new commercial kitchen equipment.

To put the technological capabilities into perspective, a manager can remotely monitor ovens and other cooking equipment so that cooking efficiency is optimized and consistent product quality is maintained. Sensors embedded into each piece of equipment wirelessly send data to the cloud, where it is analyzed and can then generate alerts and recommendations which are transmitted to computers and mobile devices.

The value of the IoT for restaurants is in effectively using the large amounts of data gathered by sensors to respond quickly to potential problems and issues in real time. Responses could include:

  • Automatically adjusting settings
  • Sending alerts about potential malfunction or maintenance needs
  • Turning off a piece of equipment that is not needed
  • Ordering replacement parts or supplies automatically

Additionally, the IoT can check energy usage and temperatures of HVAC equipment and obtain real-time notice of problems. By monitoring performance through advanced analytics and access to internal HVAC diagnostics, the IoT can reduce maintenance costs and help avoid system failures. And since food safety and product quality require constant vigilance, the IoT is a great vehicle for ensuring that these key factors are being addressed at all times.

The promise with the IoT is that it can empower restaurateurs to slash operating and maintenance costs and help avoid equipment failure – all proactively, and in real time.

We hope this explanation about the IoT has you just as excited as we are about its capabilities and potential. If you have a story how the IoT has impacted your business, we would love to hear about it in the comments.

Thank you for reading and join us next week as we continue our series and dive into big data. See you next time!

Need to pass the time before our next post? Call on Custom Business Solutions for all your restaurant technological needs.

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