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How QSR’s are using Piper Technology – RFIDJournal Article

In Columbus, Ga., John Pezold is a McDonald’s franchisee whose restaurants are part of a 26-store co-op that uses Bluetooth LE beacon technology from Piper to improve operations. Piper provides a proximity-based messaging platform to deliver contextual information to smartphone users.

Casual, fast-casual and quick-serve restaurants adopt wireless technologies to enhance the customer experience, ensure food safety and improve operations.

In Columbus, Ga., John Pezold is a McDonald’s franchisee whose restaurants are part of a 26-store co-op that uses Bluetooth LE beacon technology from Piper to improve operations. Piper provides a proximity-based messaging platform to deliver contextual information to smartphone users.

“Proximity-based messaging was built around the idea of value-based promotions,” says Robert Hanczor, Piper’s founder and CEO. “The early promise was to distribute inexpensive beacons and send coupons or messages to customers while they were in range of a restaurant or store. That still works, but many restaurant and retail customers say they have 1,000 ways to give away free items. What they need is improved operational efficiency, and many are beginning to deploy proximity technology with this objective.”

The co-op originally used Piper’s mobile app with the beacons to provide offers and drive sales, Pezold says, but McDonald’s then came out with its own app that has offers and loyalty components to move sales. “So we utilize Piper for more operational and marketing benefits,” he says. On the marketing front, the stores are part of a proximity network composed of other local retailers, a university, tourism sites and a public safety program that use the Piper app. That enables the franchises to connect with a large user base without having to spend a lot of ad dollars.

McDonald's iBeacon App

McDonald’s uses Piper’s Bluetooth LE beacon technology to improve operations and marketing.

But the greatest benefit from Piper probably is the operational aspect, Pezold says, “in the form of training employees and communicating with them at a more relevant time when they arrive to the store instead of trying to reach them on their personal time.” Piper’s multiplexing beacon technology and web- based dashboard lets Pezold create discrete private groups—one for crew members and managers and another for customers—and send messages to their smartphones.

McDonald's store manager conducting an FSOC training using Piper.

McDonald’s store manager conducting an FSOC training using Piper.

He also uses this technology at his McDonald’s franchises to tie into a training system Piper built for its station observation checklists (SOCs). Managers guide crew members through training steps at each station and catalog their progress. “Piper sends tips to crew members about various stations and also reminds managers to conduct training throughout the day,” Pezold says. “We’ve seen an uptick in SOCs completed each day. We’re also looking to integrate this system into employee rewards with Piper in the future.”

Pezold has three beacons in each restaurant. Recently, he says, there has been “a strong push for recruiting, so we brought the recruiting message back. Managers get notified via text once a customer gets the message and applies. They’re then able to communicate with the prospective employee, and we’ve had a few good hires as a result.”

Piper’s Hanczor says there’s opportunity for beacon technology in fine-dining establishments, which have been experimenting with tablets at tables for menu descriptions and wine recommendations. In this case, he says, the focus for proximity messaging would be more on the guest experience. “Proximity technology can help these restaurants create greater loyalty connections with preferred guests in the form of specialized messages upon arrival, countdown messages for table availability, customized chef’s recommendations and other points of engagement that enhance the experience,” he says.


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