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Faster, Fresher and Safer Food Made Simpler

By Arti Loftus
October 03, 2019

With a new recipe that combines business analytics, operational performance metrics and connected sensors, Unified Office announced it has rolled out a solution supporting over 100 Domino’s Pizza franchisees across the US, enabling them to serve up their pies while assisting them with food safety initiatives.

The solution combines various components of Unified Office’s Total Connect Now business        communications platform to meet food safety requirements and is being used by hundreds of other quick serve and fast casual restaurants in addition to Domino’s.

While the Food Safety Technology market is experience modest growth, it is a large market estimated to reach $24 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8% between now and then, according to a recent research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Beyond avoiding fines for food safety violations, restaurant companies are increasingly aware of the risks associated with not paying attention to this area, including reputational damage, illustrated by the Chipotle case when multiple, widespread food safety outbreaks occurred across many states. Chipotle’s sales plummeted, and it took months and even years to reassure the public that it was safe to eat there again.

Chipotle had to change the way it operated, and spent tens of millions sanitizing impacted restaurants, examining their food sources, and training employees.

This and other examples have driven awareness at the “top of the food chain” inside restaurant chains and franchises, as more executive leaders are demonstrating a stronger commitment to food safety, often with a zero-tolerance policy.

What makes the Unified Office solution valuable is the ability to track, measure and automate an array of important requirements, including refrigeration temperature logging and alerting, equipment cleaning and servicing and more. 

“With Unified Office we can spend more time running our business and training and coaching employees and less time worrying about our phone services going down or our temperatures going up,” said Augusto Garcia, Owner of Domino’s Franchise, Springfield Pie. “If any indicator goes out of my pre-set ranges, I get a notification so I can stay in charge of our operation from anywhere in the world. We have also increased our revenue using Unified Office’s Total Connect Now service with its Food Safety Offering. The service is very easy to use, and reliable and Unified Office’s execution has been flawless. It has given us a great return on our investment.”

“Food safety is a major hot button issue in the restaurant industry right now,” said Ray Pasquale, Founder & CEO of Unified Office. “Millions are being spent each year on everything from germ detection AI technologies to automated food kiosks, IoT sensors, and robot chefs. We saw a way to meet this need with a combination of our existing services which we customized for the restaurant industry. We incorporated our IoT platform into our industry leading business communications platform, the result of which is not only increased food safety compliance and visibility but also increased revenues as a result of never missing a call particularly at times of peak demand.  In today’s impatient, post Amazon real-time world, lost revenues can occur when customers get busy signals, are put on hold, or worst yet, sent to voicemail.”

Unified Office’s Food Safety Platform  incorporates its Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite offering to monitor refrigeration, fan exhaust emissions, prep table temperatures, door sensors, and other components that are crucial not only to maintain food safety compliance but also to monitor and alert on temperature variations that might result in food inventory waste.

The service monitors and analyzes IoT data from components such as air conditioners, refrigeration equipment, make tables, stove exhaust vents, heaters, security and video systems, safe doors and other devices. This information can also be made available to an HVAC contractor for them to proactively respond to potential failures before they occur.

For example, temperature range(s) can be configured using the Unified Office Operations Management Portal so that when the temperature goes above or below a certain level, alerts are sent to management and others as configured by the managers or team members.

This core offering typically includes the following services on top of the platform:

  • Visual Performance Suite, advanced business analytics to monitor their operations including the performance of customer service reps and IoT devices linked to refrigerators and make tables, etc.
  • Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite, an Internet of Things service layer designed initially to help improve food safety compliance for its restaurant customers by managing and monitoring the IoT sensors placed on refrigerators, make tables, ovens, lights and air conditioning units, etc.

It all comes together with their Operations Management Portal, which configures services and tracks store performance.

The Food Safety Service Platform also enables restaurant managers to upload videos to play periodically for employees on screens to remind them to perform specified safety procedures such as washing hands and/or checking make table temperatures.

This same screen displays analytics in real-time showing staff performance in answering calls and providing customer service.

A portion of this screen can also be dedicated to IoT analytics that monitors different elements of their infrastructure including freezers, refrigerators, and make tables.

We’ll be sharing more about the Domino’s Pizza experience in a future feature.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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