How Catering & Restaurant Company Enhanced Operational Efficiency Using IoT Sensors
Restaurants, catering companies, and other food service providers are under pressure to reduce costs while offering great food and customer service. One way to achieve this is by using IoT sensors to improve efficiency.
Ospelt Catering, a high-end catering and restaurant company in Liechtenstein, operates multiple restaurants, a deli, a café, a wine cellar, and event venues. They encountered significant issues with their refrigeration systems. Implementing our IoT sensor solution has dramatically improved their efficiency and reporting capabilities in just six months.
Ospelt Catering specializes in high-quality, locally produced, homemade food for company canteens and events. They cater to about 50 restaurants and hotels across Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Originating as a butcher shop in Vaduz nearly 130 years ago, Ospelt Catering now boasts 180 full-time employees and 130 temporary staff, taking pride in their heritage and customer service.
Challenges In Food Production
Ospelt Catering's operations depend heavily on numerous fridges and freezers to maintain food freshness, crucial for both product quality and compliance with health regulations.
Key challenges in their food production process included:
1. Administrative Tasks: Managing and monitoring food production, supply, and storage involves stringent compliance with numerous regulations. Manual tasks, such as checking thermometers and recording temperatures, consumed significant time and diverted staff from more critical tasks.
2. Equipment Maintenance: A major incident occurred at the end of 2020 when a central freezer unit failed unnoticed, leading to a substantial loss of approximately 50,000 CHF in goods.
Using IoT Sensors to Remotely Monitor Refrigeration
To address these challenges, Ospelt Catering adopted a sensor solution from Disruptive Technologies. They installed wireless temperature sensors in 175 cooling units across their 15 locations.
Each location is equipped with a Cloud Connector, transmitting sensor data to the cloud. They utilize DT Studio for data access, which offers:
- Real-time dashboard visualizations of sensor data
- Customizable alerts and notifications
- Easy sensor management and user access controls
- Integration capabilities with other systems
Key Sensor Features for Ospelt Catering
- Installation: Simple and quick installation process, manageable by non-technical staff.
- Design: Compact and wireless, the sensors easily fit into various spaces without hindrance.
- Cloud Connectivity: Secure and reliable data transfer to the cloud for constant monitoring.
- Accuracy and Longevity: Compliant with the EN12830 European Standard and designed for a long operational life in challenging environments.
Benefits for Ospelt Catering
The benefits of deploying the DT temperature sensor solution are real and tangible to Ospelt Catering. They help solve the original business challenges of:
Legal Compliance: Automated, frequent, and accurate data collection replaced manual checks, enhancing compliance and reducing human error.
Customer focus: Automated data collection allows staff to concentrate more on customer service.
The estimated time saved in manual labor that can be used for other activities is:
- One visit per thermometer per week (175) total = 175 readings x 52 weeks = 9100 data points per year
- One minute to view temperature, record, and update the recording table = 152 hours per year, or approximately 5,200 euros in salaries.
- Other saved time derived from the consolidation of data and reporting.
Data Accuracy:Vastly increased data points, all recorded automatically, provide a comprehensive overview of equipment performance.
Maintenance Efficiency: Quicker detection of equipment issues and improved energy efficiency through data-driven decisions.
Food Quality Improvement: Adjustments to defrosting schedules and other operational parameters have enhanced food quality.
By using the temperature sensors from Disruptive Technologies, we no longer have to carry out and file our temperature records by hand on a daily/weekly basis. With currently 15 companies and around 175 cooling devices, this is a cost factor that will amortize the acquisition costs in the first 6 months.
Philipp Moosburger, Head Chef at Ospelt Catering
Ospelt Catering plans to expand their use of sensors to new locations and equipment, and explore their use in other production areas, like monitoring humidity in meat aging processes.
Compliance with stringent food manufacturing and storage regulations is critical. After a significant loss due to equipment failure, Ospelt Catering's decision to implement DT temperature sensors has automated and enhanced their monitoring processes, leading to more efficient, accurate, and compliant operations.