Growing national franchisee reduces energy and repair costs, creates safer work environments, and eliminates preventable equipment downtime.


No visibility and control over thermostats, lighting, and equipment repairs.


37 Arby’s restaurants across the Midwest.


Robust energy management system with real-time reporting.


Centralized HVAC, lighting, and equipment control with exception reporting.

The Challenge

Heartland Beef was searching for an energy management solution to solve a number of problems. First, the franchisee needed to solve the lack of visibility and control over each of its location’s thermostats. At the time, locally purchased Wi-Fi thermostats were not only performing poorly, but proved difficult to keep operable with constantly changing model numbers and poorly designed control applications. However, controlling the temperature was not the only problem. The lighting timers were equally as difficult to manage and some restaurants were experiencing sign outages during open hours, which proved bad for business. On top of these issues, Heartland Beef was also struggling to reduce unnecessary repair costs and decrease equipment downtime.


“Each year, our use of Open Kitchen becomes more and more valuable as energy costs continue to rise. And the exception-based reporting is like a pair of eyes on all of our equipment, 24-hours a day. Due to the results, we plan to continue and expand our Open Kitchen program as we open and remodel more stores.”

Craig Truelock, Chief Operating Officer

The Solution

Heartland Beef selected Open Kitchen® for many reasons. The turnkey setup and installation make it easy for the growing franchisee. Craig Truelock, chief operating officer at Heartland Beef, also finds it invaluable to be able to quickly access historical equipment-performance data, all in one place. He says the ability to see runtimes and performance reports over a specified period of time is crucial in the franchisee’s quest to proactively repair or replace units in need—before they fail and cause unwanted downtime.


What makes Open Kitchen even more attractive is its ability to provide a safer work environment for Arby’s staff. The platform eliminates the need for any restaurant employee to access a breaker panel thanks to centralized HVAC, lighting, and equipment control. Heartland Beef credits Open Kitchen with delivering other benefits as well, including:


  • Real-time visibility into the age and performance of HVAC units with one asset module
  • Monthly lighting checklists that are leveraged through asset inspections on a mobile app
  • Equipment issues that are recognized and resolved before the restaurant even knows there is a problem
  • Exception-based reporting that acts as a pair of eyes on all equipment, 24-hours per day