Restaurants stand to derive considerable benefits from Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and devices. In addition to preventing food spoilage that creates waste, restaurants can leverage IoT to automate manual tasks, drive short- and long-term ROI, and mitigate risk by preventing costly damage to their properties and equipment.
What’s more, employees can gain more free time to focus on other important priorities, like servicing their customers, while food service operators benefit from real-time, actionable data insights that drive enhanced efficiencies and substantial cost savings. That said, devices are critical for successful low-power IoT implementations to enable powerful business improvements through data-backed automation.
Choosing the Right Device
There’s no shortage of IoT devices in the market. However, one size never fits all, and different devices deliver varying degrees of functionality - from monitoring environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and air particulates to tracking the movement of people or objects and monitoring equipment performance.
When choosing which devices to deploy, it’s critical for food service executives to discern between their goals, challenges, and needs for today and the future. While some devices are purpose-built for a single use case, others handle multiple functions to deliver the versatility, reliability, and scalability restaurants require to execute a comprehensive IoT roadmap.
Deploying single-function devices for a specific use case poses limitations that ultimately backfire financially and strategically. On the other hand, multi-sensor devices prove more economical by enabling the scalability to build upon an IoT connectivity foundation and accommodating additional use cases, future-proofing the business.
With the MQflex, a LoRaWAN®- certified multi-sensor device, restaurateurs deliver upon their immediate and long-term enterprise-wide needs. Designed to accommodate dynamic deployment environments with flexible mounting options, a robust environmental rating, and long battery life, the MQflex enables multiple use cases from a single SKU.
It’s no secret that temperatures must be maintained at certain levels to ensure food safety and compliance, since cold and hot storage parameters directly affect how perishables are stored, preserved, and ultimately served to the public for consumption.
Refrigerators and freezers, be they walk-in units or smaller models, require temperature monitoring, which is typically completed manually by employees, who must check units periodically throughout their workday. Often, this process is tedious, time-consuming, and prone to error or falsification, where staff log temperature data by hand, taking time away from customers and other pressing priorities.
With the MQflex, restaurant operators can automate this process. Designed with flexible mounting options in mind, the MQflex can be installed anywhere needed, such as walls, floors, or equipment using adhesive backing, a screw mounting kit, zip ties, or a stainless-steel ball chain. Ideal for metal or refrigerated spaces, it can be affixed to a magnetic mounting bracket for temperature monitoring purposes.
The device ensures temperature data is recorded even during power outages and ensures backlogged data is reported via an intelligent, interconnected, and centralized system, which can be analyzed immediately and furnished for historical audit purposes. Should temperatures fluctuate above or below required levels, the devices will increase their reporting frequency automatically, so operators receive alerts through email, SMS, and API to take immediate remedial action. This ensures that temperature fluctuations due to refrigeration failures or doors remaining ajar are dealt with swiftly without sacrificing battery life.
The MQflex can also be used in warming stations where food is held momentarily before serving and on fryers. By ensuring specific temperature thresholds are met, food service operators avoid costly repercussions associated with food spoilage, while maintaining quality, efficiency, and food safety protocols vital for their bottom line and sustainable success.
Water Damage Prevention
Water from leaking pipes and faucets, clogged drains, and malfunctioning cooling units can cause serious damage to restaurant buildings - halting operations and incurring lofty fiscal consequences. It’s no wonder insurers pay out $2.5 billion annually for water damage claims.
Through spot and zone-level detection, the MQflex mitigates risk and avoids these damages. For example, when leaks are detected, the water leak solution automatically triggers an alert to operators or other third-party systems, such as automatic shutoff valves. When used with MachineQ's Asset Management Solution, the leak's location can be visualized and identified on a floor plan for proactive rather than reactive handling.
Energy Cost Management.
Restaurants consume an extraordinary amount of utility power for lighting, refrigeration, and climate control, to name a few. Controlling energy costs is priority, especially with today’s surging utility costs.
Deploying MQflex devices to automatically monitor refrigeration equipment or climate-controlled spaces helps mitigate unnecessary energy costs. Built with scalability in mind, the MQflex is ideal for quick service restaurant (QSR) chains with hundreds of thousands of locations domestically and internationally. With the MQflex, restaurant operators can ensure continuity of temperature levels throughout dining facilities to promote the comfort of guests, while generating valuable data insights that can be leveraged to better understand and reduce overall energy consumption rates, working towards ESG and sustainability goals, and promote cost savings.
And by monitoring temperatures, the MQflex can identify issues with HVAC equipment, filtration, and ventilation systems needed to maintain air quality. This helps keep equipment running properly, reduces health risks, and again, enhances safety and compliance protocols.
Discover the Benefits of the MQflex
When evaluating device options, the MQflex checks all the boxes required for food service operators to maximize their investment value. The MQflex delivers flexibility, resiliency, and scalability food service environments need for competitiveness, performance, and versatility. With flexible mounting options and replaceable batteries that last up to five years, the MQflex is key for modernizing food service operations and fortifying their top and bottom lines.
A cost-effective alternative to cellular or Wi-Fi-enabled IoT solutions, the enterprise-grade MQflex device empowers users with the ability to turn on multiple use cases over the air – simplifying IoT deployments and delivering measurable ROI.