Increasingly, owners and managers of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and small-box stores are incorporating sensors in their locations to optimize heating and cooling systems, reducing costs and emissions while keeping staff and patrons comfortable inside.
What they may not realize is that the data from these sensors may also pay big dividends for their business in areas beyond energy monitoring and control down the road.
These small, low-cost energy management sensors measure a range of variables, including space temperatures, outdoor weather and relative humidity, occupancy levels, HVAC unit efficiency, the velocity and disbursement of air moving throughout the space, and more.
Asset management solutions like mCloud's AssetCare then analyze this sensor data with AI tools to adjust indoor temperature settings in real-time for optimum comfort and to reduce energy bills up to 20% or more from day one.
However, mCloud also welcomes sharing this energy sensor data with its customers so they might gain further insights and potential revenue from their business.
As we become fully immersed in the age of the connected business, how can sensor data provide additional business value?
Customer Traffic Flow
With occupancy sensor data, a store owner can determine how many people entered the store versus how many actually purchased items, while a QSR owner can see how much food was purchased per customer who enters the door. Analyzing this data could result in better promotions and in-store marketing to ensure a higher ratio of customers purchasing items. This data could also identify bottlenecks in customer checkout that can lead to new solutions, such as creating a separate line for GrubHub and UberEats pick-ups. It may also help owners better understand peak traffic hours and when to schedule additional staff to better serve and retain customers.
Data from energy management sensors can also provide insights that are instrumental in any renovation of a restaurant or store. Occupancy sensors data can show traffic trends over time, enabling interior building designers to analyze customer behavior and space usage patterns. This can ensure a renovated commercial space is optimized to serve customers and sales, reducing what’s known as “human collisions” per hour per square meter.
CO2 sensors used to measure occupancy rates can also be utilized to monitor indoor air quality. Increasingly, patrons and staff are expressing interest in a safe and healthy indoor environment. Sensors can identify certain gases that can then be adjusted with outdoor air dampers to maintain air quality at optimum levels.
Equipment Monitoring and Maintenance
Other types of sensors are now being added by restaurants and store owners that closely monitor HVAC systems and other equipment, including refrigerators, ovens, lighting and more, to ensure things are always running efficiently. These sensors can alert owners to pending failures so equipment won’t be down during the peak traffic times.
Higher Resale Value
All this sensor data combined with security monitoring data can be part of the sale of a business as well, demonstrating customer traffic, equipment quality, low crime rates and other favorable real-world factors to increase a location’s value to a buyer.
So, think of the installation of energy management sensors as only the beginning in enhancing your business operations and profits. It’s likely that leveraging sensor data will become standard practice for most successful businesses in the not-too-distant future.
Interested in learning more about how AssetCare is helping our customers get energy smart? Contact us today.