RFID Brings Temperature Visibility to Pizza Chain

Domino's franchise Mar Pizza is deploying a ZigBee-based IoT system from Unified Office to gain real-time and historic temperature data, as well as other sensor information, at its restaurants across three states.
By Claire Swedberg

When it comes to health inspectors, the technology provides them with a record of temperature measurements as a confirmation that temperatures at a specific restaurant have been captured and recorded, and that they remain within safe perimeters. The value of such a feature, Pasquale says, is difficult to measure. "The cost of a health inspector saying 'You're out of compliance' is enormous," he states—not only in terms of fines, but also with regard to publicity if that information reaches the public.

According to Pasquale, the company selected ZigBee technology—based on the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol—for its solution because of the technology's reliability. "We take a very cautious, very careful approach," he says, to developing and deploying the system. The company is intent upon ensuring the technology is effective, as well as testing the system before its full commercial launch.

United Office plans to begin selling the solution commercially by the second quarter of this year. Although initial adopters are restaurants, Pasquale says, food service is just one industry that could benefit from the technology. He cites hotels, for instance, that may want to track both temperature and humidity levels at their facilities.

With the system Mar Pizza is now deploying, Scheiper reports, "We would like real-time alerts, historical data [and] at-a-glance status of multiple locations." The solution will also allow for configurable thresholds and multifaceted alerts—such as several sensors detecting temperatures out of range, the time-enabling of alerts when a store is closed and graphically displayed data.

In the long run, Scheiper says, installing a large number of sensors per location, including active power control and HVAC control, may benefit the company further. "We would envision stores [franchises] using this technology to ensure that their internal processes are good enough," he states, "so there's never a health board issue, to predict equipment issues that could lead to health issues, and to save energy."

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