Every two years, QSR’s Applied Technology Awards recognize the best innovations that improve and enhance the restaurant experience for operators, staff, and customers. The 2010 edition is no different, featuring an influx of digital media, bottom line–enhancing solutions, and eco-friendly programs that define a forward-charging industry and showcase the compelling merger of technology and real-world applications.
The Criteria: Technological innovations having a positive effect on productivity and efficiency.
The Fryer Monitoring system provides data on proper oil handling, fryer utilization, and control. The data can then be used to institute a proper on/off schedule, ensure correct filtration, provide maintenance notices, identify training opportunities, and establish equipment run time—all of which breeds better food quality, proper oil utilization, and longer-lasting fryers.
Consolidated Restaurants, a 10-unit Wendy’s franchisee based in Irvine, California, began using the Remote Fryer Monitoring system in March 2009. CFO Kent Bickell says the system allows operators to know on a day-of basis whether each fryer was filtered properly.
“This leads to a much more consistent frying oil and extends the life of the oil as well,” Bickell says.
GoMobo teamed with 100 Panda Express stores to unveil Order Panda in February 2010. With OLO, Panda Express restaurants can receive prepaid, off-premise orders without adding an extra phone line or Internet connection.
While GoMobo found many restaurants excited by the benefits of off-premise ordering, many remained confused on execution. The OLO, GoMobo Takeout CEO Noah Glass says, spurs takeout sales with an easy-to-use application, can help restaurants establish an e-commerce presence, and enables location-based transactions.
“The OLO device locks on to the register,” Glass says. “It rings and flashes when a customer places an order, so the restaurant crew can have the order ready and waiting when the customer arrives.”
Given the iPhone’s immense popularity, a credit card payment app was only a matter of time.
PAYware Mobile’s card encryption sleeve, which snaps onto the iPhone, transforms the popular gadget into a secure card-acceptance device. For portable outlets (a food cart at the park, for instance) or delivery, PAYware Mobile offers a solution for expanding sales.
“Once you provide card payment in areas where it hasn’t been feasible previously, it opens up a lot of creativity,” VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron says.
Released in December, PAYware Mobile requires iPhone users to obtain VeriFone’s encryption sleeve, the PAYware Mobile app (available on iTunes), a service agreement for VeriFone’s gateway, and a merchant account with a card processor.
A team effort between Jack in the Box, franchisees, and Dedica Design, the LRM website includes information on building sales, competitive intrusion, restaurant reimaging, community involvement, and the Jack in the Box style guide, which allows operators to print stationary, business cards, and banners.
Since the Toolkit’s January 2009 debut, operators such as Atour Eyvazian have taken charge of sales results and local marketing plans as well as streamlined and accelerated their ordering of promotional materials.
“The toolkit has everything an operator needs to promote his business,” says Eyvazian, who oversees 49 Jack in the Box stores in the Houston area. “I make one click and all of my restaurants are taken care of, which saves time and money.”