Image credit: Wachter/What is the Restaurant of the Future?
Quick serve restaurants (QSRs) are accelerating their adoption of IoT technologies in back-office and customer-interfacing systems to improve operations, meet changing market demands, and boost the bottom line. While integrated inventory systems and mobile ordering apps present a more obvious path to increased profits, some QSRs are deploying IoT-based solutions to reduce operational costs.
Smart lighting and building management systems fall into this category, and now IoT technologies are being used to monitor maintenance and mitigate legal claims, particularly those from slip-and-fall injuries. Falls are one of the leading causes of preventable accidents in the US. The average restaurant has four claims per year, which cost an average of $45,600 annually. That tallies up quickly: a QSR has to sell about 3,000 meals to cover the cost of just one of those claims.
The Mop for the Future
Wachter, a systems integrator based in Lenexa, Kansas, is sweeping in with a tech-based solution to help retailers contain those costs. Wachter developed a smart mop, which includes a small sensor that records maintenance information when used. It can share that data with a back-office system that tracks the retailer’s occupancy rates and transaction rates to create a cleaning schedule in real-time for QSRs. The system can even tie into local weather or special events that might increase store traffic, and it will adapt the cleaning schedule on the fly.
“We decided that IoT in a mop could be used to meet compliance issues, such as schedules and cleanliness, without the business having to hire an extra person,” explains Matt Tyler, Director of Emerging technology, Internet of Things, at Wachter, in our recent webinar. “We can dynamically change mopping schedules just based on the weather outside. So there’s a lot of intelligence even in a mop now.”
Tyler adds that the buying center for the smart mop isn’t facilities, it is the legal teams looking to avoid erroneous slip and fall claims.”It’s just amazing what edge AI can do, and who is buying it, and how simple it can really be,” Tyler says.
Historically, store owners facing a slip-and-fall claim have had a hard time proving the facility is adequately maintained. With the smart mop solution, owners can generate a maintenance report that details the cleaning schedule and identifies any adjustments. Used with security images or surveillance data, the smart mop can help QSR owners mitigate claims.
A Partnership of IoT Experts
Wachter uses Intel® IoT and Edge technologies to develop custom solutions for its clients. Recently named one of Intel’s Channel Partners of the Year, Wachter benefits from the connections and solutions available through the Intel ecosystem. Using Intel’s computer vision technologies, Wachter builds systems that integrate point-of-sale and smart building systems with security and analytics. By connecting back-office, customer-facing, and operational data, Wachter can show its QSR clients where and how to improve efficiencies and increase profits.
Image credit: The Channel Company/Intel webinar
The system integrator’s familiarity with retail environments lead it to explore unconventional ways to reduce operational costs. The smart mop automated cleaning solution ups the ante on cleaning and provides retailers with real-time analytics that can reduce financial losses.
- Hear about the Wachter smart mop project and learn more about edge computing in the IoT Solution Integrator webinar, “Accelerate Innovation with AI at the IoT Edge.”
- Learn more about Wachter, an Intel Gold Partner.
- See the 30 partners that were recognized as Intel US 2021 Channel Partners of the Year for accelerating innovation.
- Watch the Wachter video, “What is the Restaurant of the Future?”