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Improving Cafe Food Safety with Simple IoT-solutions

Improving Food Safety in Bakery
Photo by Robert Bye

Coffee shops are all about creating a positive customer experience: a great atmosphere with excellent products and friendly service in a functional, comfortable, and easy to access for casual visitors and more demanding customers.

An already functional space can be enhanced even further by using sensor technology. RuuviTag is an impressively flexible Bluetooth sensor that can take customer experience to a whole new level.

More than just coffee, design furniture and free wifi.

The UK was estimated to have around 24 000 coffee shops in 2018, which is expected to rise. A report found total estimated employment supported by coffee-related activities of 210,325 jobs in 2017, including direct, indirect and induced impacts. On average, 95 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK daily, which contributes just under £10 billion a year to the UK economy.

Such an oversaturated market creates several challenges to shopkeepers: great coffee is not enough to keep the visitors coming in and hopefully returning. Various aspects, such as the social environment, service (personnel, technology), atmosphere (design, temperature, music, etc.), product assortment (quality, uniqueness, variety), price (promotions, loyalty programs), branding, and previous customer experiences become more and more critical.

Improving Food Safety in Café
Photo by Samuel Seemi

Rethinking business through IoT and food safety.

Modern storefronts rely increasingly on digital connectivity: it enables flexible payments and orders management, customer table calls, Wi-Fi guest access and much more. Many shops also manage other store functions from the cloud, such as order delivery and shop security systems. Connected devices can simplify and completely change the way a shopkeeper operates his/her shop.

Pagers are a great example of rethinking business through device-based solutions. These wireless devices typically operate short distances and alert customers to pick up their orders when ready — freeing shop personnel for other duties. Sensor devices, on the other hand, could transform the whole shop into an intelligently operated space with the ability to react to many types of situations efficiently.

Smart spaces with beacon sensor technology.

Let’s step into a vibrant, lively coffee shop. When we make an imaginary tour around the shop, we observe several use cases for monitoring beacon sensors.

Setting the right temperature is one of the most important and possibly one of the least obvious ways to create a comfortable shop experience. Air conditioners can create drafty spots where customers feel uncomfortable. Open doors and windows may bring in noise as well as unwanted odours from the street. Some shops with access to a garden or terrace may struggle to keep the temperature and noise within acceptable levels while wasting a lot of electricity through open doors and windows.

Improving food safety in display cases with the RuuviTag

Shops with display fridges and cold storage systems used to store cakes and sandwiches and fresh or frozen foods are especially vulnerable to equipment failures and situations where cabinet doors and windows might be left open unnecessarily for long periods. Coffee shops that rely on foods must take precautions to keep food safety under control.

Tracking shop occupancy could also help place staff where they are needed to take orders and serve customers. Larger restaurant spaces can be designed and fine-tuned according to the collected data. Improved efficiency frees the team to perform other duties and to give customers the best service possible.

Modern coffee shops have a lot of equipment that may require monitoring, too. Coffee grinders, washing machines and other mechanical kitchen tools that are repetitively used are all subject to wear and tear. Some equipment meltdowns could be avoided through monitoring that enables proactive maintenance.

A counter at a coffeehouse where RuuviTags can be deployed
A counter at a coffeehouse where RuuviTags can be deployed

This versatile Bluetooth sensor device can be installed effortlessly. It can perform an impressive range of functions, from tracking temperature and humidity to alerting movement and vibration and distance. All of this functionality is offered straight out of the box via a free Ruuvi Station mobile app, which shows nearby tag data in real-time and can collect, visualise and send this data to an external gateway for further processing.

The above use cases are simple examples where coffee shops could benefit from using intelligent sensor beacon technology, such as the RuuviTag.

Ruuvi Station app can also be configured to trigger alerts right on your mobile device. RuuviTag beacon can be used as a part of an existing sensor network or as a simple sensor solution that expands to your needs.

RuuviTag is an open-source device, which can adapt to small businesses as well as full industrial use. Open-source also means open possibilities for catering and food safety companies, where connected smart devices can be used to offer flexible solutions for a wide range of use cases.

A RuuviTag leaning against some plants
Photo by Sara Kuusivuo


RuuviTag Bluetooth sensor beacon is a versatile device that can adapt to monitor and alert shopkeepers about his/her surroundings in various ways.

Watch our visual presentation about how RuuviTag fits in a cafe from this YouTube video!

Does your Cafe need convenient environment monitoring?

Ruuvi is an easy way to measure environment at your home, hobbies or business. Just place a RuuviTag in the vitrine of your cafe and you have a food temperature monitoring set up! Order now and get hooked with measuring!

I need a fast and reliable tool to measure humidity and temperature, is the Ruuvi sensor the right one for me?

Thousands of happy customers can not lie; our Ruuvi sensors help them by monitoring their environment daily. In cafes, at construction sites or in their home.

What about the app?

Our app is modern, versatile, easy to install and will provide useful data within seconds. Regular updates ensure the long life of our products.

Click here to go to measurement use cases.

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