Improving 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: great atmosphere together with great products, and friendly service in a space that is functional, comfortable and easy to access for the casual visitors as well as 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 and design furniture

UK was estimated to have around 24 000 coffee shops around the country in 2018 and this number 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 on a daily basis, which contributes just under £10 billion a year to the UK economy.

Such an oversaturated market creates a number of challenges to shopkeepers: great coffee is simply 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 important.

Improving Food Safety in Café
Photo by Samuel Seemi

Rethinking business through IoT

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 various other store functions from the cloud, such as order delivery and shop security systems. Connected devices can simplify and completely change the way shopkeeper operates his/her shop.

Pagers are a great example of rethinking business through device-based solutions. These wireless devices typically operate on short distance 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 ability to react to many types of situations efficiently.

Smart spaces with beacon sensors

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 with 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 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 as well as fresh or frozen foods are especially vulnerable to equipment failures and situations, where cabinet doors and windows might get left open for unnecessarily long periods of time. Coffee shops that rely on foods must take precautions to keep food safety under control.

Tracking shop occupancy could also help to place staff where they are needed for taking orders and serving customers. Larger restaurant spaces can be designed and fine-tuned according to the collected data. Improved efficiency frees staff 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 and can perform an impressive range of functions from tracking temperature and humidity to alerting movement and vibration as well as 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 has the ability to collect, visualise and send this data to an external gateway for further processing.

All of the above use cases are simple examples, where coffee shops could benefit from using smart 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 business as well as full industrial use. Open-source also means open possibilities for businesses operating in catering and food safety, 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

Conclusion

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

Would you like to have one?

Ruuvi is an easy way to measure environment at your home, hobbies or business. Order now and get hooked with measuring!

RuuviTag – Wireless Temperature Sensor (4-in-1)

RuuviTag – Wireless Temperature Sensor (4-in-1)

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RuuviTag is a Bluetooth sensor that sends temperature, relative air humidity, air pressure and motion information directly to your mobile phone. Read more