What can energy data reveal about behavior at restaurants?

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FrappeBy now, we all know that remotely accessed energy, temperature, and other data can reveal deep insight in to equipment performance. Today, I want to explore a few outside-the-box ways that equipment-level energy data, provided by an internet connected Energy Management System like SiteSage, was used to gain insight into human performance: specifically restaurant-level employees and vendors.

Thinking beyond energy savings, is there anything in your facility that should be turned on (or off), plugged in, left on (or off), cleaned, serviced, de-powered, etc. at specific times for marketing purposes, maintaining a pleasant and uniform guest experience, or facility maintenance? Of course there is! Read on for some specific examples from SiteSage users.

Note: if you want to learn more about how SiteSage can root out energy savings specifically, check out this post.

If you are like me, you appreciate a late night snack every now and again. Fortunately, restaurants of all types keep hours just to satisfy that very need. You can imagine one of our quick-serve burger customers’ surprise when they looked at the energy data for their dining room lights and found them consistently turning off before the end of official business hours. That will certainly send potential customers down the road to the next restaurant.

Shake machine reveals early shutdown

With a little practice, you can pick out patterns in energy usage that indicate how equipment is being used. In this chart, the data shows the shake machine getting cleaned starting a little before 8pm and turning off completely right at 11pm, but this restaurant actually closes at 11:30pm!

Turning the lights off early might be an extreme example, but how about an issue close to my heart: late night milkshakes. Restaurants want a uniform, enjoyable experience throughout their business day. One of our quick-serve sandwich customers was using energy data for their shake machine to confirm machines were being properly de-powered for cleaning each night. Looking at the data, they did find a few instances where cleaning did not occur properly, but even more concerning was the shake machine was often being turned off before the end of the business day; no late night shakes for those customers! Empowered with this new data, the customer went so far as to set-up an alert that would be sent to the District Manager if the shake machine was turned off early.

Night cleaning crew

Looking at this energy data for the Front of House lights at a full service restaurant, you can clearly see when the cleaning crew had the lights on and was working.

Our final example is from even later at night, the wee hours when business is closed, employees have gone home, but your cleaning crew is hard at work. Or so you think. One of our full service restaurant customers was charged by the hour by an overnight third-party cleaning crew who mopped floors, vacuumed, and did other clean-up duties. The customer was investigating ways to better manage their lighting costs and was reviewing energy data from their sales area lights when they discovered the lights were going on at odd hours of the night when the cleaning crew entered the facility. The crew did turn the lights back off when they were done, which was good for energy savings, but also served as a time stamp. Unfortunately for the crew, the hours they billed for far exceeded how long the energy data from the lights indicated they were actually on site.

As you can see, it’s a messy world out there and data can reveal opportunities to clean it up, cut waste, and deliver to the standards your brand expects. I don’t want to emphasize poor behavior so much as the unintended benefits of having remote access to circuit-level energy data. It’s clearly impossible to be on site to confirm the behavior of all the people that serve your organization, but without a doubt, remote accessed data about your equipment can reveal how your people are using it.

Want more examples of how SiteSage can save energy while also helping you uphold brand standards and keep an eye on your people?