Order up! Learn how Concentrix Catalyst is redefining “fast food” with emerging tech

With newer technology making inroads in every sector, developers and engineers are quietly redefining and elevating everyday experiences for users. Here’s how a series of tech changes at a major food retailer ensured seamless order delivery.

Do food and technology go together? No one believed this in the early 90s. But thanks to modern technology, we now have progressed in how we produce food and how restaurants work.

Restaurants’ success is generally determined by the quality and variety of the food they serve. However, it is not just about good food anymore. Customers look at comfort, safety, hygiene, reduced effort, and cost-effectiveness while ordering food. And this has been made possible with the use of innovative technology. Modern-day technology plays a vital role in creating sustainable platforms that help businesses apply data-driven operations. Modern devices like IoT can help restaurants comply with safety and hygiene regulations, maintain temperatures, track inventory, save energy, and manage kitchen appliances remotely.

Today, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry faces many challenges such as adhering to food regulations, keeping track of logistics, winning sales opportunities, solving appliance operational issues, and maintaining conservation costs. In addition, there are times when restaurants cannot cope with on-time food delivery, ease of placing the order or simplifying payment methods.

Concentrix Catalyst, the experience design and engineering team of Concentrix, built an intelligent gateway platform using the Azure IoT Edge managed service. The team used a single edge gateway function to integrate multi-vendor kitchen devices. With this IoT service, they’re not only able to centrally collect data from multiple devices, vendors, and locales, but they can also analyze the quality, volume, reliability, and utility of the data collected to assess the perception of the store. This helps store owners to explore business experiences.

During the design of this solution, the Catalyst team encountered numerous challenges, beginning with choice of device (Raspberry Pi/Intel NUC/SFF Desktop) for a cost-effective edge-gateway that consumes little power. They then needed to build device-agnostic software that can talk to any equipment using the field protocol (MQTT/RS485/USB/RS232/I2C etc.) and standard cloud connectors that regularly compile and send kitchen data to cloud IoT Platform services.

For resilience in the edge platform, the team embedded a Rules Engine enabling changes and operation in offline mode or intermittent mode. In addition, they have used many cloud services such as Azure Edge Logging and Monitoring, Azure Log Analytics workspace, and custom Azure Function Apps. Catalyst also developed custom modules using Azure Key Vault to safeguard cryptographic keys. Using the Ansible configuration management tool, they set up gateway devices on a massive scale with a single click.

Using Cloud, DevOps, and IoT-based technology will ramp up the project and help advance business. This outcome-based consumption model enables fast-food businesses to provide a better customer experience, improve efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and ensure higher margins by proactively managing day-to-day operations with business analytics. It will also guarantee a more streamlined kitchen performance by embracing digital edge. This is just one example of how the combination of human-centered design, powerful data, and strong tech can accelerate CX transformation at scale. Taking advantage of strong cloud strategies and technologies, Concentrix Catalyst is expanding its tech talent. If this kind of technology and work fascinates you, consider joining the coding challengefor career opportunities at Concentrix.

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