New mobile app sends critical performance alerts in real time.

Sponsored by HME Hospitality and Specialty Communications.

At many quick-service restaurants, 60–70 percent of all business occurs at the drive-thru window. This makes it critical to get speed of service right, and failing to provide a good drive-thru experience can significantly impact business.

“When a store has poor service times, it doesn’t take long before customers stop going to that restaurant during those busy time periods,” says Paul Foley, president of HME Hospitality and Specialty Communications. “It’s critical to monitor the drive thru and keep speed of service moving all the time.”

Constant monitoring, however, has traditionally been challenging for restaurant owners and franchisees, who can’t be in every store each day. Even though many drive-thru data services have cloud-based systems that allow leaders to check performance remotely, this usually requires users to log in through a browser. Additionally, users have to sift through lots of data to find the right information, making it a time-consuming process.

HME Now, the new mobile app powered by the HME Drive-Thru Optimization System (dtos), makes it easy for store operators to monitor performance from the convenience of their mobile phones. DTOS tracks valuable data on drive-thru performance, such as speed of service, number of transactions, and more, and syncs this data to the cloud. The app compiles this data and allows users to view it on their phones and receive customized alerts that are triggered by specific drive-thru events in real time.

For example, if a franchisee sets a speed of service goal of two and half minutes during lunch hours, that person receives an alert on his or her phone if the average time is longer than that timeframe. Additionally, these alert thresholds can be targeted to individual store needs. The app’s individualized settings also let users choose the frequency of alerts that best suits their operational goals.

“Perhaps you have a store that is trying to set a new car count record for the lunch daypart,” Foley says. “You can set an alert for that store so you’ll get a notification as soon as they reach their goal. This gives you the opportunity to reward your team right away instead of learning about their achievement from a report and congratulating them later.”

Additionally, because HME Now connects to DTOS, leaders can break down a store’s performance in the app by hour, daypart, or day to make an informed decision on the best actions to take if speed of service falters. For example, when a franchisee receives a speed of service alert, they can view a store’s metrics to analyze their performance and determine if the alert is a temporary slowdown or the result of a larger issue that needs immediate action.

Though this initial release focuses on drive-thru performance, HME is adding new app features that will interact with more of its products. Franchisees will be able to use the app as their main source for all their HME equipment and operational needs.

“We will be enhancing our app over the next 18 months to link other HME products,” Foley says. “This will include audio and timer systems, as well as future services, so you’ll be able to get all the mission critical information you need right from your phone.”

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