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IoT for Restaurant Refrigeration with Fathym IoT Ensemble

May 26, 2021 by Kim Loomis, Product Owner @ Fathym

Keeping a restaurant up and going and profitable has been really difficult with the pandemic. Restaurants have been in various states of being closed, then opened partially or only open for take-out or delivery. Most restaurants have an average profit margin somewhere around 6% at optimal times. During the pandemic, margins took a severe hit, to the point where some restaurants had to shutter their doors. To keep that margin up, restaurants must closely monitor their cost of goods (food and beverage inventories), labor (salaried and hourly employees plus other labor expenses) and overhead (controllable expenses like marketing and promotions and fixed operating expenses such as rent and utilities).

Worried Business Owners

One very important focus of a restaurant is the food and beverage inventories. Restaurants change out inventories frequently over the course of a month — sometimes once or twice a week. Prices are kept lower by using different suppliers. Ordering lead times and delivery times vary across suppliers. Restaurants strive to keep the freshest food on-hand and doing so requires focused management and proper equipment. Mismanaging supplier channels or having a problem with the equipment that properly handles and preserves food can prove disastrous, leaving a restaurant scrambling to make up precious lost inventory.

A simple way to increase margin and peace of mind regarding the safety and security of food inventories is to upgrade restaurant technology. This does not have to be complicated or expensive — again, trying to keep costs low and results high. Preventive measures to keep the stores of food at optimal operations can save a restaurant a lot of money and retain goodwill. Lack of quality food inventory can mean days of downtime, lost revenue, lost wages for employees, ruined inventory and lost customer following. Technology can certainly help here.

Walkin Refrigerator

For foods requiring cold storage, refrigeration or freezing, a restaurant can employ a simple and cost-effective temperature sensor like the High Precision TMP117. With the sensor in place, the restaurant can be notified if the refrigeration were to go outside of expected ranges. This can save a restaurant owner a lot of “wallet-aches”, during equipment failures, on hot days when electrical brown outs happen, or bad weather days when the power lines are adversely affected.

Temperature Sensor

This tutorial takes you step-by-step through configuring the Arduino ESP32 Board with High Precision TMP117 Temperature Sensor from scratch, connecting it to IoT Ensemble, and then streaming the data to a dashboard and email/text alerts. This small proactive investment in technology can save you a lot of pain in the event of a problem. If you have any questions along the way, drop us a line at and we will be happy to help.

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