Modules, Connectivity, Platforms

R9 Technology: Nestlé® Toll House® Café by Chip® Concept Keeps Products Fresh with IoT

Human-based reporting of refrigeration practices isn’t how the cookie has to crumble.

Food Spoilage is unacceptable; for our Franchisees, for Crest Foods, Inc., franchisor of Nestle Toll House Café by Chip concept, and most importantly, for our customers. We see IoT as the way to prevent this.

Ziad Dalal, President and CEO of Crest Food, Inc.

There’s no sense in crying over spilt milk; but there’s a whole lot of sense in crying over melted ice cream.

Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip is a 150-location concept delivering more than just another bakery experience. The chain serves up the ultimate dessert experience through unrivaled service, superior performance, and a positive impact in the community. One of the most important requirements of achieving superior performance is providing consumers with a positive eating experience, which can only happen when food quality is properly maintained.

Consumers’ desires to eat out won’t be slowing anytime soon; the only way for brands to successfully grow their businesses is by turning to technology to maintain critical food quality standards.

Product Quality Control Center

Crest Foods, Inc., the Franchisor of the Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip concept, is testing R9 Technology’s refrigeration solution at The Star location in Frisco, TX, with plans to expand system testing to an additional 7 locations in the Dallas market. “This is a great opportunity for us to see our solution in a quick service restaurant environment. Crest Foods has been instrumental in helping us refine the system” said John Tauch, President of R9 Technology.

This is a great opportunity for us to see our solution in a quick service restaurant environment. Crest Foods has been instrumental in helping us refine the system.

John Tauch, President of R9 Technology

At the heart of R9’s custom cold-chain monitoring solution is their compact cellular IoT Gateway, the Picogate.

The solution is a deceptively simple wireless sensor to cloud refrigeration monitoring solution. After all, the secret to a truly great IoT deployment is usually simplicity; either in technology implementation or the user experience. R9 Technology’s solutions accomplish both. The operator can place a combination of wired and wireless sensor technologies in strategic places to monitor the operation of the refrigeration units that reside both in the front and back of house. Optional sensors can also be added to the solution allowing customers to create a “Perfect Fit” solution.

The choice to transmit data to the cloud via cellular as opposed to WiFi technology truly simplifies the implementation of the solution. No more messy Wi-Fi connectivity issues to deal with when setting up the solution. Gone are the days of troubleshooting your Wi-Fi network every time the power goes out, or the router has issues.

Sensors transfer data over a sub 1Ghz local wireless network to the Picogate, where it aggregates the data and transmits it to the cloud via the cellular network. R9’s Picogate was designed around Telit’s LE866A1-NA cellular module. The compact cellular module is perfect for low-power, low cost and small form factor platforms. The system utilizes Telit’s IoT Connectivity for cellular connectivity.

Additionally Telit’s deviceWISE IoT Platform serves as the backbone for data routing and cellular health monitoring. Once the monitored data has been routed through Telit’s deviceWISE IoT Platform it is then transferred to R9 Technology’s user-friendly cloud-based dashboard.

This allows Crest Foods, Inc. and Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchise Partners to monitor the network of connected refrigeration units with ease.

Taking an international concept to the frontline of the world’s retail spaces to serve fresh-baked cookies and hand-scooped ice cream is a balance of risk and reward.

Done right, you leverage brand power to enter the rapidly growing quick service restaurant industry. Done wrong, you become fodder for the world’s newspaper headlines.

Undoubtedly, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisor Crest Foods Inc. is doing it right.

Effectively, the Franchisor is now testing a cloud-based mission control center that is ultimately capable of monitoring the thousands of refrigeration units that make up their franchisees’ operations.

Human-based monitoring of cold-storage units is susceptible to error. How frequent are temperatures taken? Who will monitor the temperature at night? Who calibrates the equipment?

With R9’s cold chain monitoring solution, if a freezer loses power over night, the manager is notified immediately, so rectifying actions can be taken. If Crest Foods faces questions about its food quality standards, it has access to auditable records provided by R9 Technology proving the safe operation of their food storage.

All in all, Crest Foods, Inc. uses IoT to drive confidence in its concept in the eyes of both consumers and suppliers; ensuring a healthy and growing business for years to come.

About Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip

Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip is a premiere dessert and bakery café offering customers an unrivaled experience through the use of fine ingredients, indulgent creations, distinct flavor profiles and the rich tradition of the very best Nestlé® brands.

Crest Foods Inc., franchisor of Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip, based in Richardson, Texas, is a premiere restaurant franchisor company.

The company currently franchises over 150 bakery cafés in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Middle East. The versatile concept has kiosk, in-line mall and street café locations. The first café opened in 2000. Nestlé® Toll House® Café by Chip® has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500.”

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About R9 Technology, Inc.

R9 Technology, Inc. is a Dallas-based design firm specializing in IoT solutions for refrigeration monitoring, quality record creation and failure notification.

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