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The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens

Paul_Hepperla Paul Hepperla | Vice President, Solutions Integration – Foodservice

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

 

Join us our next E360 Webinar, “The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens” on Tuesday, December 11 at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST.

The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens

It seems everywhere you turn and across multiple industries, companies are touting the promise that the internet of Things (IoT) will digitally transform their operations. The restaurant sector is no exception. In recent years, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and restaurant retailers have spent considerable time and effort figuring out how to leverage the power of connectivity in commercial kitchens.

While it’s relatively easy to conceptualize how the internet of things (IoT) could improve operational efficiencies and provide business value, bringing these ideas to fruition has proved more difficult. Too often, we see retailers make the jump to connecting assets without first having a clear idea of what problem they’re trying to solve, or how connectivity will fundamentally change the way their business operates. Then, once everything is connected, they’re left wondering: “What’s next?”

Our next E360 Webinar will examine why this is the case, and focus on how foodservice OEMs and retailers can work together to tap the seemingly limitless potential of IoT. My presentation, “The Risks and Rewards of Connecting Commercial Kitchens” will focus on these key points:

  • The importance of defining the scope and purpose of your connected project
  • An examination of the far-reaching and dramatic impacts to your business
  • Real-world examples of successful and failed connectivity projects
  • Evaluating business models that involve service contracts, recurring revenue or monetization

Another common problem with connected kitchen projects is underestimating the complexities inherent with these new business models. For example, a connected maintenance offering might require somewhat sophisticated coordination of not only OEM and end user roles, but also the inclusion of an authorized service provider. Frankly, these are the types of business relationships and interactions that are often overlooked when companies rush to exploit the power of IoT before thinking through the implications.

The webinar will look at these challenges from both OEM and retail perspectives. For an OEM, it’s critically important to understand their customers’ business needs before launching a connected initiative. Similarly, retailers need to realize that without involving and engaging their OEM partners in their connected kitchen strategy, they’re not likely to achieve the maximum potential of their IoT solution.

So, if you’re thinking about entering into a connected kitchen project or IoT business model in the restaurant sector, register now to gain a better understanding of the risks and rewards of connectivity.

Incorporating Freshness Into the Discount Retail Mix

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Our work with a leading discount retailer helped them boost energy savings, facility efficiency and more. Read the full article here.

Incorporating Freshness into the discount retail mix

As is the case throughout most of our industry, discount-oriented retailers are adapting to rapidly evolving and dynamic consumer preferences. To become more competitive, some operators are introducing fresh food options and produce. But adding food to the retail mix also potentially creates a new set of challenges for retailers related to food quality, safety and preservation.

One leading discount retailer with thousands of stores across the U.S. is helping drive the fresh food trend by facing these challenges head-on. Building upon a period of strong growth, this operator has plans for further expansion into the food retail space that includes:

  • Annual remodels in nearly 10 percent of its stores to improve shopping environments
  • Increasing the number of stores with fresh food and perishable offerings
  • Remodeling and updating refrigeration capabilities of nearly 30 percent of its stores
  • Offering more produce in food-equipped stores
  • Increasing the number of stores featuring more groceries than dry goods

With a national network of store sizes ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet, the operator’s next step was to put a plan in place that addressed new refrigeration requirements and ways to optimize operations across their enterprise. This approach would call not only for a more proactive approach to help ensure food freshness, quality and safety, but also automate the management of HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems for maximum reliability and energy efficiency.

Emerson, in conjunction with partner OEMs, proposed a plan that introduced a combination of reliable compression technologies, advanced facility controls and remote monitoring capabilities through ProAct™ software, Alarm Management and Resolution services.

The results? Through significant upgrades to their existing refrigeration system and the addition of robust facility management capabilities, the retailer exceeded its desired goals:

  • Setting temperatures back during non-shopping hours delivered 30 percent savings over manual (or non-controlled) methods
  • Monitoring of refrigerated case temperatures kept perishables within optimal ranges and preserved food safety
  • Facility management controls and ProAct software helped prioritize critical issues and allowed the limited staff (typically around eight to 10 employees per day) to focus more on customer service matters and improve the shopping experience

This is just a glimpse into what Emerson products and solutions can do for your operations. As the industry incorporates more fresh food offerings, we’ll continue to develop ways in which our customers can optimize their facilities and ensure food quality and safety. For more information, read the full article here.

Connecting the Commercial Kitchen

Paul_Hepperla Paul Hepperla | Vice President, Solutions Integration – Foodservice

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Internet of Things (IoT) and connected kitchen capabilities are transforming the modern commercial kitchens of restaurant operators. Read the full article to learn more.

Connecting the commercial Kitchen

The abilities to consistently prepare and deliver safe, fresh and high-quality products to customers are at the core of modern restaurant and convenience store operations. To help them meet this promise, many operators are introducing IoT technologies to connect the equipment used in the preparation of their constantly evolving menu items. It’s a concept we refer to as the connected kitchen.

The connected kitchen gives foodservice operators the ability to transform common kitchen equipment into smart devices that communicate with each other and leverage the power of cloud services to improve operational efficiencies. In doing so, the connected kitchen potentially addresses a variety of challenges at key points throughout the foodservice supply chain:

  • Store managers and service technicians — automate the monitoring and reporting of equipment statuses; receive maintenance alerts for diagnostics and fast issue resolution
  • Foodservice operators — establish centralized control of their store network, including visibility to not only kitchen equipment, but also HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems
  • Corporate analysts — track trending consumer behaviors for targeted marketing initiatives
  • Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) — gain access to performance analytics for research, development and product improvement purposes

From temperatures to cook times, energy consumption to consumer foot traffic, product hold times to refrigerated door openings, the range of information available grows every day. This data comes from communicating equipment, sensors, controls and local gateways and is then transferred to the cloud (or another data repository) for remote access.

But turning this abundance of data into useful, actionable and secure information for each potential end user is the key to a successful IoT implementation. For example, a store manager has completely different priorities than an OEM. Where the store manager needs quick access to equipment and system status in an easy-to-interpret interface, the OEM may be gathering deep equipment performance data to inform the engineering and design processes.

It’s a common misperception that IoT and connected kitchens are implemented as cookie-cutter solutions. In reality, they are driven by a variety of factors, including: operational priorities; information technology (IT) infrastructures and preferences; security considerations; and preferred equipment provider capabilities.

While still relatively new in terms of widespread adoption, there are many examples of connected kitchens delivering measurable improvements, but even small degrees of connectivity can yield significant benefits. One leading restaurant chain connected their ovens to push recipes across an 800-store network via an automated process that helped save $100,000 annually. Another operator installed equipment monitoring capabilities in nearly 100 ice machines located around the globe, transforming their reactive maintenance model to a proactive and preventative approach.

Third party providers like Emerson have the deep domain experience to serve as neutral collectors of information, helping OEMs preserve data security while creating intuitive user interfaces for restaurant operators. For more information regarding IoT and connected kitchen solutions, read the full article here.

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