Improve the Speed and Efficiency of Fast-Casual Restaurant Device Workflow

LNC-Nov-Casual-Dining-Tech

Believe it or not, dipping skewers of bread into melted cheese was one of the hottest food fads of the 1970s. As a healthy alternative to ice cream, fro-yo shops were all the rage in the 1980s. The 1990s were known for a coffee shop on every corner. By the 2010s, everyone was crazy for cupcakes. But the food trend with the most significant impact on how, what, and where we eat is the one that combines fine dining fare with the speedy service of fast food. Fast-casual dining has quickly emerged as one of the most popular restaurant types because it meets consumer demands of convenience, price, and healthful food options. And it’s not just a passing fancy. Even with the general slowdown due to the pandemic, the fast-casual dining industry has grown at a quicker rate than the rest of the restaurant industry. This segment’s continued success can be partially attributed to the implementation of technology to meet the surge in online ordering, contactless payments, counter service and off-premise dining.

As restaurants adopt new technologies to overcome health and safety challenges and exceed consumers’ expectations, they can benefit immensely from including a mobile device deployment solution in their overall technology plan. A centralized point of secure charging provides a repository for devices, reducing device breakage, theft and loss. The critical oversight of not protecting devices when not in use creates painful hassles for employees and managers alike. Read on about the evolution of digital dining, find out how to save time and money by mapping out your device workflow and discover the top benefits of charging stations for fast-casual dining restaurants. 

Dining Has Gone Digital

The fast-casual model is all about finding innovative ways to improve speed, efficiency and quality through leveraging restaurant technology trends. These days restaurant technology not only supports these three objectives; it also helps restaurants adapt to new safety and hygiene requirements in the wake of COVID-19. Check out these ways that eating establishments are embracing digital devices.

  • Taking orders tableside: servers quickly take orders on iPads or tablets, which connect with an iPad POS system improving turn time and reducing room for error.
  • Drive-through orders: the kitchen has more time to prepare food orders when guests are greeted in line, and their orders are taken with a handheld device. More time means better accuracy and a better customer experience. Just ask Chick-fil-A which ranks best in both order accuracy and customer service.
  • Self-service ordering at a counter or kiosk: prevent the spread of germs through printed menus with iPads that can be disinfected with rapid UV-C technology.
  • Contactless payment: seamless credit card processing with contactless cards is more secure and sanitary than handling cash.
  • Managing reservations and waitlists: staff can work more efficiently and offer guests faster service by using one interface to manage guests.

Learn how mobile devices can be used for more than just taking orders with these best practices for using iPads in the restaurant industry.

Save Time with Workflow Planning

Usage of mobile devices, like iPads, within the hospitality industry is rapidly expanding. 86% of organizations are currently in the research or pilot phase of an iPad management program. Unfortunately, the majority of those fail to consider device security with secure charging stations. The result is restaurant staff wasting valuable time looking for devices, only to find them partially charged or dead.

Imagine opening a restaurant without creating your menu ahead of time. Planning how to charge and store iPads and tablets shouldn’t be an afterthought either. Save a lot of time and money by determining device management workflow before rolling out new technology to your staff.

When a LocknCharge iPad charging station such as a Putnam 8 or 16 Tower is deployed, it eliminates many of the manual workflow processes of checking in and checking out devices and replacing damaged devices.

Watch the video below to learn how the Putnam 16 is helping real-life Fast Casual restaurant owners streamline operations and keep employees satisfaction high.

Here’s how:

Check-in/Check-out

Make sure employees always know where to find a fully-charged device. At the start of each shift, workers retrieve a device from a numbered slot. By assigning a numbered slot to every user, they can take ownership of plugging in their devices. They put their devices back in the slot at the end of the day, where they will be charged and kept secure. All the shift manager is responsible for is unlocking the station in the morning and locking it up at night. With numbered slots, it’s also easy to know which devices are missing with only a quick glance.

Replacement Devices

What happens if a device goes missing, encounters a fatal error, or gets damaged during a shift? With an additional station for “hot spares,” no time is lost getting devices into the hands of workers who need them. Employees can simply swap their broken device for a new one and be on their way with a new device for the day.

putnam-8-restaurants-v2-web

Top 8 Benefits of a Putnam iPad Charging Station for Fast-Casual Restaurants

Choosing the right charging station may not seem like a big deal. Still, small differences between manufacturers and products could make a huge impact on your technology rollout and your ability to manage devices long term. Check out the benefits of a Putnam 8 or 16 Tower over other charging stations, or no station at all.

  1. More cost-effective than a smart locker. In an industry that often operates on razor-thin margins, LocknCharge appreciates that budget is a concern for many restaurants. The Putnam 8 or 16 Tower will keep devices safe, organized and secure at a more economical price than a smart locker.
  2. Get a return on investment within 18 months. Based on LocknCharge data tracking, our customers’ average ROI is 12-18 months.
  3. Prewired with high-quality, MFI-approved lightning cables reduces up-front costs, and you can kiss tangled cords goodbye. The Putnam 16 station is equipped with 16 prewired MFi-approved lightning cables that would otherwise cost up to $20 each if purchased separately. These certified cords are just the right length to connect to stored devices, no more, no less, no mess. It’s virtually impossible to tangle the charging cables, meaning everything stays organized and in place.
  4. Save a significant amount of time spent on broken or stolen cord replacements. The Putnam cables stay in the station and can’t be removed easily. Store managers will no longer have to deal with the stress of taking time away from vital day-to-day activities to replace lost or damaged cables. Keeping employees happy and reducing frustration allows you to retain great talent, saving you considerable cash.
  5. Positively affect your bottom line. The Putnam Tower with an integrated mechanical combination lock secures devices when not in use. So you’ll not only always know where your devices are safely locked away, you’ll lower your per-employee cost by reducing the number of lost or stolen devices.
  6. Save space. We know that physical back-of-house space = $$. The last thing you’re looking for is a big box taking up valuable real estate. Luckily the cabinet footprint of a Putnam is small, and multiple towers can be stacked. Or easily mount a charging station to the wall with an optional wall-mounting kit keeping devices completely out of the way of the hustling employees fulfilling orders.
  7. With one glance, see the charging status is for each device. External color-coded LED lights lets your team know which iPads are ready to go so that they never send someone outside with a half-charged device. It also prevents dreaded plugged-in-without-power mishaps—you see it lit up and know immediately that the power supply is connected and doing its job.
  8. Forget those infrastructure improvements. Eliminate the need to add expensive new electrical outlets or messy power strips. Simply plug your Putnam 8 and 16 charging stations into a normal 110VAC outlet (output wattage: 16 x 5V/2.4A).

Read more about how the Putnam has streamlined an already speedy workflow and saved the cost of replacing cables for Monica and Craig Daniel’s franchised fast-food restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. Then contact us to discuss the challenges of your mobile workflow and find out how we can help!

Learn more about how LocknCharge helps restaurants deploy mobile technology on our dedicated restaurant page. 

Schedule a Live Product Demo

Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

Learn More

Continue Reading

5 Ways to Protect Your School’s Digital Assets and Information Right Now

Data Security in Schools | LocknCharge

Since January of 2016, there have been over 700 cyber incidents reported in K-12 public schools and districts in the United States.[1] One look at the K-12 Cyber Incident Map, and you’ll get an idea of how far-reaching this problem is. It’s not just a U.S. concern either. In the UK, four out of five schools have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident. 

Hackers aren’t looking to find out what grades your students received on their latest spelling tests. As Mary Kavaney, the chief operating officer of the Global Cyber Alliance explains, school environments “have some of the richest personal information on people, including social security numbers, birth dates, and, potentially, medical and financial information.”[2]

How can educators protect digital assets and information in schools? Here are five strategies to increase protection.

1. Secure your devices from physical attacks

Would you believe that the second most popular password is “password?” Its popularity is only surpassed by “123456,” which has been the most common password for five years running. Suffice it to say, these passwords may be easy to remember, but they are not secure. The Texas Computer Education Association recommends these cybersecurity tips for teachers using technology in the classroom. “Frequently change your password throughout the school year, and don’t ever write it down. Always make sure to log out of your computer when you step away from your desk, and avoid letting students use your computer, especially when it’s logged into your account.”[3]

Are you wondering how you’ll ever remember all of those passwords if you can’t keep them on a post-it “hidden” under your keyboard? Password managers help create better passwords and keep track of all of your login information to strengthen online security. Wired calls them the “vegetables of the internet.” Because “We know they’re good for us, but most of us are happier snacking on the password equivalent of junk food.”[4] It’s time to listen to our mothers and eat our veggies!

2. Lock up your devices

Not using your beloved pet’s name for a password is a great first step to securing your school’s digital assets. But we think an even better one is keeping devices out of the wrong hands in the first place. Did you know that 41% of data breaches are due to lost and stolen mobile devices? It’s essential to protect your students and your school by securing devices with both digital security and physical security when not in use. Implementing durable, secure charging stations will protect devices and the data that’s on them. Not to mention decrease costs. As careful as educators try to be with their hardware, 10% of mobile devices break or go missing in the first year of a smart classroom deployment. A centralized point of secure charging helps schools provide a repository for tablets and laptops, reducing breakage and loss. As the use of technology in education increases, the critical oversight of not protecting your devices when not in use can create painful hassles for students, teachers and administrators alike. By using a secure device charging station, you’ll minimize per-student and per-educator device costs.

3. Keep programs up-to-date

“Updates ready to install.” We’ve all seen this message before. Unfortunately, many of us are quick to click the “remind me later” button without giving it another thought. Until, of course, it pops up again later. If you want to prevent malicious attacks by shutting the door malware uses to exploit loopholes, it’s critical to keep your software up to date. Software updates are patches that often fix security holes. Don’t be the one-in-ten users that never installs them.[5] Enabling automatic updates will keep your devices safer without those pesky notifications because your device will automatically install critical updates when they become available. As security specialist David Longenecker writes, “If your car had a factory defect that might leave you stranded on the side of the road, and offered a free fix, you’d take them up on it, right? This is the same thing.”[6]

4. Have an incident response plan

Just as your school has a plan in place in case of a fire, educators need a plan in place in case of a digital emergency such as a security breach. An incident response plan will prepare students and staff if a cybercrime occurs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Prompt response is essential for minimizing the risk of any further data loss and, therefore, plays an important role in mitigating any negative consequences of the breach, including potential harm to affected individuals.”[7] Check the ED’s helpful Data Breach Response Checklist, which illustrates some current industry best practices in data breach response and mitigation applicable to the education community.

5. Educate staff and students

All levels of education benefit from training programs for both faculty and students on cybersecurity. Don’t assume staff members automatically understand how to handle the enormous responsibility of accessing student data. As Tech Edvocate advises, “Staff members need to know how to access information responsibly, know how to use a notification system for breaches, and should understand what to do in case of a breach.”[8] Also, students need instruction on how to manage their digital identities. By teaching students how to manage their personal data, maintain digital privacy and identify data-collection technology used to track them online, they’ll not only be protected at school, “but for the rest of their lives.”[9]

 

With LocknCharge solutions, teachers don’t have to worry about the safety of the devices as they use them to implement a blended learning model and create a 21st-century learning environment. Read how one California district protects its technology investment and keeps devices safe with over one hundred LocknCharge Carrier 40 Carts.


Sources

[1] The K-12 Cyber Incident Map – The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center

[2] Hackers are targeting schools, U.S. Department of Education warns – CNN Business

[3] Four Cyber Security Tips for Teachers – TCEA

[4] The Best Password Managers to Secure Your Digital Life – Wired

[5] Americans and Cybersecurity – Pew Research Center

[6] Back to school cyber tips – CSO

[7] Data Breach Response Checklist – U.S. Department of Education

[8] 9 Steps to Keep Student Data Safe – The Tech Edvocate

[9] 4 Tips to Help Schools with Privacy and Security Compliance – EdTech

Continue Reading

Top Things to Consider When Choosing a Multi Device Charge Station or Cart

shutterstock_1151714162 [Converted]

With hundreds of multi device charge stations on the market, how different can all of these options really be? After all, it’s just a charging station, right?

Choosing the right multi device charge station or cart may not seem like a big deal, but seemingly small differences between manufacturers and products could make a huge impact on your mobile device rollout and your ability to manage devices long term. To help narrow down what benefits and features will best meet your needs, we made a checklist of things to consider when choosing a multi device charge station or cart.

Setup
  Question Applies to:
Question to Consider Charging Station Charging Cart
How long will it take to cable this product? ✔ ✔
Are cables included? ✔ ✔
Are there features that simplify setup? ✔ ✔
Are setup guides or videos available to help get the multi device charge station up and running? ✔ ✔
Is assembly required? ✔ ✔
Ease of Use
  Question Applies to:
Question to Consider Charging Station Charging Cart
How simple is it plug in/unplug devices between each use? ✔ ✔
Are there features that facilitate and speed up hand out and pack up of devices? ✔ ✔
Will product features unique to this station or cart simplify or speed up other areas of my workflow? ✔ ✔
Are slots on this unit numbered? ✔ ✔


Download the full checklist below.

LocknCharge has been providing schools and business with 20 years of high-quality, innovative multi device charge stations and carts. We are a company dedicated to the design, manufacture and functionality of the highest quality security, charging and transport solutions for mobile device deployments. With over a million devices protected in LocknCharge solutions throughout 20+ countries across the globe, we make our customers’ lives easier by developing charging solutions with scalable and modular designs that take workflow into consideration.

Our charging solutions are designed and developed with extreme consideration for the end user. We listen to the needs of our customers and design products to solve pain points specific to their needs. Because of this, our products boast new-to-market features not offered by our competitors: high-quality components, LED lights, ultra mobile designs, a back-end management portal, compact solutions, lifetime warranties and much more. We take great pride in our excellent customer service, always putting the customer first. Our customers are our partners–and by working hand-in-hand, we’re able to provide the best solution for each customer’s unique needs.

Continue Reading

Our Best Charging Stations for Multiple Devices

Here at LocknCharge, we are dedicated to designing and manufacturing the highest quality of multi device charging stations for mobile device deployments. At the end of the day, our mission is to make life easier for schools and organizations implementing mobile device technology. If your school or organization has a number of devices to maintain and charge, you know how difficult it can be to find a charging solution that works–everything can get out of hand very quickly. Cords can get tangled, devices become lost or stolen, a limited number of outlets can lead to a counterintuitive technology plan. With 73% of businesses failing to find a proper charging station for their technology, these problems are more common than you think! Like the Oscars for your tech devices, we’ve rounded up some of our recent innovations to give you our ‘Best Charging Stations for Multiple Devices.’ And the award goes to…

 

1. Joey Carts
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the Joey Cart!

Recently redesigned to better fit our client needs, our Joey Carts are an affordable option for any school or business looking to charge multiple devices. The design of this Cart accommodates both racks and Baskets so you can charge up to 30 or 40 of just about any device with a 17” screen size.  Not only is the cart small and compact in size, but it also takes only minutes to wire the entire Cart. Plus the power strips are now more easily accessible, so you no longer have to wrestle with tangled cords. There’s plenty to love about this cart! Check it out here.

2. FUYL Tower 15
Towering over its competitors, the FUYL Tower 15 takes charging, securing and storing to new heights.

Your devices are an investment–so what is your organization doing to keep them accessible and secure? The FUYL Tower 15 is an Intelligent Asset Management System that charges, stores, secures and manages assets for most mobile devices in 15 individually-lockable compartments. This charging locker has 15 compartments all equipped with a power outlet and a 2.4 amp USB port, so you can charge almost any device, including iPads, tablets, laptops, mobile phones, Chromebooks and more. Learn more about the station here.

3. EVO 40 Cart
Like a transformer, the EVO 40 Cart evolves to exceed all your charging needs.

Secure, efficient and a future-proofed charging for up to 40 devices at once sounds almost too good to be true, right? Our EVO 40 Cart lives up to the task. Not only can this cart accommodate almost any tablet up to 13”, but it also comes with eight Carry Baskets, making deployment even easier! Tilting compartments make access to devices easy for younger kiddos. And with cabling stored in the top compartment, wiring and accessing cables is easier than ever for IT Staff. Explore the EVO 40 Cart here.

4. Revolution 32 Charging Cabinet
Sensational, extraordinary… revolutionary!

This charging cabinet can accommodate 32 devices up to 17 inches, with or without a case while taking up 50% less floor space than a traditional charging cart. For 1:1 classrooms that are tight on space but need to charge, store and secure a greater amount of devices, the Revolution 32 Charging Cabinet is just the ticket. And with ECO Safe Charge Power Management, you can easily charge 32 devices in the same amount of time as just one. Learn more here.

5. Carrier Charging Stations
Carrying you to better charging solutions, one station at a time.

Limited on space? No worries – with our Carrier Charging Stations, you can make any wall or desk a secure charging station for anywhere from 10 to 15 devices. This charging station also comes equipped with Baskets, making deployment of devices up to 15” faster and easier. And for devices up to 17”, swap the Baskets for Racks to easily accommodate larger devices. Still not convinced? The externally accessible power outlet means that you can charge your devices while they’re safely locked, giving you back classroom and work time. Check out the station here.


While these are five great options for your mobile deployment initiative, we have countless more on our website. Follow this link to explore all of our devices.

 

Continue Reading

Portable Charging Station Benefits

Everyone from teachers to retail associates can appreciate the benefits of mobile technology. Portable electronics have found their way into the pockets of employees in all industries, allowing them to stay “connected” even when they’re away from their desk. And while mobile technology is always at our fingertips, these devices are only beneficial if they’re accessible, charged and secure. This is why a mobile charging station is so important.

Introducing the CarryOn

Our CarryOn, the first ultra-mobile charging station of its kind, was developed out of the need to easily transport up to five mobile devices. This portable charging station accommodates all of the charging hardware and cables neatly inside one compact unit. Users simply unplug it from the outlet and go.

The Carry On has been deployed in classrooms and other wwork environments all over the world, helping a diverse set of organizations manage their mobile devices more easily. Here’s a look at how a portable charging station like the LocknCharge CarryOn has improved communication and workflow.

Managing Shared Devices within Organizations

LocknCharge CarryOn Ultra Mobile Charging Station for Nursing Homes and Hospitals

One success story of an organization managing shared devices among employees is Hallmark Care Homes Network. These care facilities utilize an electronic care planning system that allows residents and their families to access resident care history. By putting mobile devices in the hands of caretakers, each resident’s personalized care plan is easily accessed and implemented, greatly improving care. Documentation is electronically entered in real-time, ensuring data accuracy.

When Hallmark Care Homes Network initially invested in mobile devices, the tablets were left to charge on worktops, filing cabinets or the closest windowsill. Sorting through a spaghetti-like pile of cables or finding devices not fully charged properly was counterproductive, and sometimes charging ports were found damaged after being connected too hastily. Because the tablets needed to be shared among many people – the teams within the care homes and visiting professionals alike – tidy storing and charging of the devices quickly became an important priority.

Our CarryOn was placed in every home across their network. Wall-mounts were utilized so that devices had a home base that didn’t eat up valuable floor or counter space. Security of lost or missing devices was considerably increased following the deployment, and the shared fleet of devices has become easier to manage and maintain. Learn more about the case study here.

Connecting Low-Income Schools

LocknCharge CarryOn Ultra Mobile Charging Station for Schools

In schools where resources are limited, sharing mobile devices between students and classrooms allows for greater reach of fewer mobile devices. The main challenge with shared devices is that schools need a way to easily transport, charge and store a small number of devices without wasting valuable class time. Technology must always enable learning rather than hinder it.

The CarryOn has proven to be a reliable solution. Its compact design enables even younger students to securely transport up to five devices and their power supplies in one unit, ensuring that devices aren’t damaged and their power supplies aren’t lost along the way. Plus, a durable carrying handle means the CarryOn can be easily maneuvered without the bulk of other charging carts. Click here to see how Como Primary School in Perth Australia is using the CarryOn to easily distribute devices throughout and between classrooms.

Another positive customer story in education is the Hythe House in the UK. The primary goal of this organization is to ensure that children with difficult in-home situations are provided with a safe and homey environment, as well as specialist intervention to get the child’s education back on track. After the Hythe House implemented a handful of iPads to facilitate personalized education plans, the school discovered that the students didn’t remember to plug in their iPads at the end of the day. After seeing the CarryOn™ unit in an Educational IT magazine, Nicolette Duffy, secretary of the school, recognized the potential of the portable charging station within the school environment.

“The CarryOn™ tablet charging station is neat and tidy. All students have a labeled portal area and now know they only put their iPad in that portal. The iPads can also be safely locked away so that the students do not mess around with them either,” said Duffy.

The CarryOn™ Charging Station offers efficient USB charging, and with up to 2.4 amps of power at each port, you can simultaneously charge five devices in the same amount of time as just one. Schools utilizing the CarryOn are able to breathe easily knowing their valuable technology investments are securely stored and locked in a fewer central locations.

Increasing Learning Outside of the Classroom

After DEFRA (the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) published a 25-year plan named ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment’ in 2018, schools have been increasing education outside the walls of their school. The plan encourages connections between students and their natural environment to enrich learning beyond instruction in the classroom alone.

This shift has given the LocknCharge CarryOn the perfect opportunity to shine. With a rugged design and portable features, educators have been able to safely transport and distribute electronic devices beyond the classroom. Once students are done using the devices, they can return tablets to one central location – the CarryOn portable charging station – to prevent potential damage during transport back to the school. To learn more about the DEFRA study and how the CarryOn can help, click here.

Improving Customer Experience

THRIVE Affordable Vet Care has embraced the use of technology to better provide their customers with high-quality, affordable veterinary care. The clinics use iPads to check in clients, show clients x-rays directly on the mobile device only minutes after an x-ray is taken, process payments inside the room, and provide electronic medical records directly to the customers through email.

Even before implementing the new tablet technology, THRIVE researched and selected the CarryOn portable charging station, rolling out a comprehensive mobile technology program. They needed a way to keep tablets charged and ready for use each morning, and because the footprint of each clinic is relatively small, they needed a compact solution that didn’t take up valuable space in the back of the house.

The CarryOn Ultra-Mobile Charging Station by LocknCharge is a key component of this mobile device initiative. The iPad charging station is durable, secure, compact, easy to move and easy to use. Charging cables stay organized, making it simple to plug in devices each night. A centralized point of charging ensures that employees always know where to find the devices. The CarryOn Charging Station has given THRIVE Vet the confidence to know that their devices will always be charged and ready to use each and every day. All of these factors together have allowed THRIVE Affordable Vet Care to meet and exceed their goals. Learn more about THRIVE’s CarryOn deployment here.

In 2018, Brompton Bicycle, a prominent manufacturer of the iconic folding bike, released their first-ever electric bicycle. Part of their release was that customers could only pay their deposit and register through the Brompton website, which means their team needed to have iPad devices at their fingertips to create a seamless customer experience in their retail stores.

Devices are a critical part of improving customer interaction and creating a best-in-class customer experience at their flagship store, central London. Their goal was to find a solution that would save them time and space, while providing the charging functionality that they need for a busy retail shop. The overall goal was for customers to demo a bike, then use the iPad/Surface to enter information and pay a deposit to ensure that they’ll receive their bike in the first release. You can read more about Brompton Bikes here.

For additional information about the CarryOn, check out our product page.

Continue Reading