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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.

Connectivity Is on the Menu

Today, many c-stores offer an ever-changing menu of fresh food offerings. The variety of these healthy choices makes hungry customers happier, but creates complications for the c-store chain.Read the full article here.

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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.

C-Store Technology Gets Convenient with the Internet of Things

I recently wrote an article for Convenience Store Decisions discussing how convenience stores can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected technology to improve operations.

Just as the Internet has revolutionized the everyday lives of consumers, IoT is transforming operational performance for convenience stores. Convenience store retailers grow more agile with the use of IoT because they can access and analyze data insights to improve operations.

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As convenience store retailers expand their foodservice offerings to increase revenue, store environments are becoming more complex. By integrating all facility systems under one platform, retailers can optimize store operations, reduce energy consumption, lower equipment downtime and decrease maintenance costs.

The move toward IoT and more intelligent, connected stores can be beneficial to convenience store retailers in these three ways:

  1. Equipment control and monitoring
    Utilizing connected facility technology, a convenience store operator can remotely monitor critical equipment across an entire chain of stores. This performance data enables improved equipment, maintenance and energy efficiency. Retailers receive real-time alerts of potential problems that can help reduce maintenance costs and avoid equipment failure.
  1. Efficient, accurate equipment updates
    By connecting equipment with the latest facility management technology, convenience stores can remotely upgrade their systems with the latest software, even in the case of legacy equipment.
  1. Safeguarding fresh foods
    Connected store equipment can provide real-time temperature monitoring and other important data to maintain food safety and quality, which is becoming more critical with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Intelligent connected facility technologies are already installed in many retail environments – using building controls for lighting and HVACR, in the back of the house and within the foodservice areas. Integrating the data from all facility systems through IoT enables stores to improve operational efficiency and enhance equipment performance.

You can read the full article online here.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.


Paul Hepperla
Vice President, North American Solution Sales
Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions

Equipment Investments for Increased Customer Engagement

I was recently featured in an article for the Grocery Headquarters 2016 Equipment, Design and Operations Handbook. Below are some highlights around in-store equipment investments.

Grocery Headquarters EDO Handbook 2016_cover

We know that the demands of today’s consumers are increasing while their time is decreasing. Food retailers are addressing this trend by focusing their efforts on fresh, specialty and convenient offerings – which has prompted a need to think about the impact on store-level equipment.

In this Grocery Headquarters article, the editor discusses the criticality of the “fourth wall of retailing” – a term coined by the theater industry about the separation between the audience and stage. Grocers are aiming to break down the wall with consumers by focusing on their senses. They want to create “a more interactive, community-centric shopping experience.”

More supermarket consumer engagement is happening in perimeter departments, especially where fresh foods are on display. Safe, efficient equipment is needed and downtime is not an option.

We’ve seen that when retailers use a “cost-focused” mindset to procure equipment at lower prices, it may not last. Grocers should use a lifecycle approach in reviewing equipment to retain its value and achieve better operating levels. With attention on maintenance and upkeep, equipment performance will be extended and staff training costs can be reduced.

To read more about how grocers are investing in equipment and lighting to better engage with shoppers, read the full article here (subscription required).

 For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

Paul Hepperla
Director, New Solutions Development & Enterprise Product Management
Emerson Climate Technologies

 

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