With rapid decline in cost of sensors and meters, restaurant automation business cases have become attractive. However, restaurant operators find it difficult to decide how they can adopt technology balancing quick wins while retaining modularity so that their systems can be expanded in future.
Further with increased automation, there is also more data to deal with. For example, with 200 restaurants, the number of data points that build up is close to 10 million per day. This requires capabilities such as software platforms, rules engines and analytics models to handle such a large quantum of data and continuously generate value out of it.
The Controlled-Intelligent-Integrated-Agile (CIIA) framework makes it easy for a restaurant operator to understand his current maturity level and build a path of technology adoption. The framework helps an operator reach the agile state where convergence of data helps drive cross-functional efficiencies, improving guest experience while expanding bottom line. This paper explains the added value that the CIIA model can create for restaurants.
What is in, What is not
Restaurant operators worldwide are investing in customer facing and Front of House (FOH) technologies including wireless payments, iPad menus as well as social media marketing.
There are equally big opportunities in Back of House (BOH) that can lead to higher profitability and guest satisfaction. BOH, which is typically the passive infrastructure of restaurants including HVAC units, lighting, ovens, fryers, refrigeration units, that traditionally have been managed and operated like distinct and disjointed pieces of hardware. This transformation can help reduce energy costs and improve equipment reliability, aiding restaurants to better plan for both CAPEX and OPEX
However, the question remains where to begin. Our experience of pilots & projects across restaurant chains shows that the typical cost of connecting BOH equipment ranges from $4000 to $15000 per restaurant. For an operator with 200 restaurants, this translates to an investment of $800,000 to $3.0 million. This is not a small amount considering the competitive investment needs for remodels, menu enhancements and marketing.
The industry needs a framework or a roadmap to help better understand how they can plan the investments that enable quick wins while enabling a multi-year transformation journey.
Introducing CIIA – for More Efficient Operations
The CIIA Model envisages 4 stages of a restaurant’s maturity to manage its BOH assets and leverages the resultant data to drive efficiencies. The model provides a step-by-step method for a multi-year transformation journey and a mechanism to deal with the electrical, temperature, mechanical and operational data. The key characteristics of the four-step model are:
- Number of equipment that are monitored and controlled
- Quantum of data logged
- Analytics capability required to mine data for intelligence that drives efficiencies
- Typical investments required and the respective ROI
- Energy savings potential and overall operational savings potential