COLUMBIA, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fresh Ideas, the food service management company that serves universities, schools and businesses in the Midwest, is expanding the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to three locations following a six-month pilot of the program.
Fresh Ideas is expanding the use of Altierre’s IoT platform to three university locations in the Midwest.
The IoT platform, from Altierre, is empowering Fresh Ideas to convert manual processes to automated updates of meal menus, detailed ingredient descriptions, food allergy warnings, vegan and vegetarian highlights, and other key factors.
“It is not just electronic shelf label signage. Everyone has that. What is unique about Altierre is the wireless functionality, the ability to place signage in high or low temperature areas, and the level of informational detail we can provide for our customers,” said Bob Love, Chief Technology Officer, Fresh Ideas.
“We chose Altierre because of the unique way they help us showcase our food. Our chefs can pre-schedule detailed signage 20 days ahead of time. They can also change an item and the signage instantly,” Love said. “No one else in the marketplace is doing this.”
Fresh Ideas conducted a pilot at Drury University using Altierre’s IoT system to update close to 50 signs for every meal. This month, the company is rolling out the system to two additional universities and one large business.
The positive impact on the environment and overall sustainability is also important. Fresh Ideas partners with organizations that value green efforts.
By going with Altierre and an IoT solution, Fresh Ideas is showing that they care about the same issues as their customers. “It is the right thing to do,” Love stated.
There are also labor benefits, as associates can now focus more time on customer-facing activities versus changing signage.
“What we needed was a solution easy enough for a non-technical person to use,” Love said.
“Our system makes it easy to schedule and update signage anywhere, anytime. Altierre’s IoT technology is the only solution that operates seamlessly regardless of temperature, humidity, line-of-sight issues and other frequencies or channels in use. Those issues hinder other companies,” said Rob Crane, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Altierre.
One of the most crucial benefits of the system is enhanced accuracy and precision in listing all ingredients, especially allergens, which are a growing problem for all food service companies and restaurants.
“Years ago you could get away with simply naming a menu item. Customers expect more in this day and age. Now you need to spell out nutritional information and highlight all allergens. We have to be extremely careful,” Love said. “Some of our customers carry Epipens. That is how sensitive people are to allergens. Altierre’s product has helped us ensure that we flag and highlight any menu item that might pose issues.”
Altierre’s technology is capable of enabling future IoT capabilities that Love envisions rolling out, including tracking how many people pass by an item without trying it, leveraging dynamic pricing to offer targeted promotions on special categories or by time of day, and replacing older signage with larger screens tied in to Altierre’s technology platform.
“We are pleased with the results from our pilot program at Drury University and excited to utilize this technology in three other locations with Altierre as our IoT partner,” Love said.
About Fresh Ideas:
Fresh Ideas is a food service management company with more than 35 university, K-12 and business clients in the Midwest. The company’s mission is to improve the dining experience resulting in high customer satisfaction. Fresh Ideas uses technology, innovative culinary ideas and their love of food to deliver fresh food, variety and creative dining concepts to our clients.