Surveillance flourishes with an Outback Steakhouse franchise - GO Tech Daily
The Outback pilot is still at an early stage, but Suri sees wide potential in Presto Vision. The software has the potential to detect things such as when a guest,#39;s drink is nearly empty, he says as an example, and asks servers to offer them a refill.
But even without those great features, Presto Vision is probably already capable of producing lucrative data for the restaurant industry. This information can not only be used to stimulate sales, but also to make life more difficult for employees. Researchers have found that workplace surveillance can have negative effects on employees, such as increased stress and lower work satisfaction.
Alexandra Mateescu, researcher at the Social Social Instabilities in Labor Futures initiative of the non-profit research institute Data ,amp; Society, wonders whether Presto Vision and similar technology could ultimately reduce the number of employees or change the planning patterns. For example, if the software finds that servers in a particular restaurant have enough time to visit their tables often, senior people may decide to reduce the number of people working on certain shifts to try to reduce labor costs. ,quot;This [technology] might automate the discretionary power of restaurant management to make decisions,,quot; says Mateescu.
Other fast food chains have developed their own monitoring solutions in-house.
There is also the question of what happens to the information collected that Presto Vision and other similar tools collect. Even if the underlying video ,amp; # 39; s are deleted, the data remains. In franchise restaurants such as Outback, it can be sucked up by parent organizations and used in the future to make business decisions. In a press release, Presto argued that its software could be used to provide ,quot;remote, direct visual access at multiple locations and a high-level overview of performance statistics and notable events in different brands for large restaurant chains.,quot;
,quot;These are legally separate companies, they have no supervision or responsibility for working conditions or wages,,quot; said Brian Callaci, an economist and researcher at Data ,amp; Society who studied franchising. But technology such as Presto Vision would enable them to ,quot;monitor and control activities presumably at legally independent companies.,quot; Jones, from Evergreen Restaurant Group, did not immediately return a request for comment about whether and how the data collected by Presto Vision would be shared within his organization, or with Bloomin ,amp; # 39; Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse.
Presto Vision is also the newest in the range of monitoring tools from the parent company, designed to optimize the chain restaurant industry. Together with its competitor Ziosk, Presto makes electronic tablets stationed at tables in restaurants such as Chili ,amp; # 39; s, Olive Garden and Applebee ,amp; # 39; s all over the country. Customers use the devices not only to order food, but also to assess the performance of their waiters and waitresses. A Buzzfeed News survey found that employees with lower scores have received fewer services and tables and may even have faced termination - despite customer reviews that often reflect aspects of the experience that servers cannot control, such as food quality.
Other fast food chains have developed their own monitoring solutions in-house. Dominos, for example, recently started rolling out his ,quot;DOM Pizza Checker,quot; in stores in Australia and New Zealand, which monitors employees as they assemble cakes via an AI-equipped overhead camera. If the device detects a badly made pizza, it warns employees that it must be recreated. In a presentation to the shareholders, Domino,#39;s executives suggested that the technology could be used to quantify bonuses and to identify stores that are ,quot;among their peers.,quot;
Suri states that Presto Vision ,quot;should be able to help managers create better processes to do better work in general.,quot; He compares working in restaurants with sports. Without monitoring tools such as those offered by Presto, managers must ,quot;coach based on the score - they don,#39;t know what actually happened on a play-by-play basis.,quot; In other words, restaurant managers today are still largely forced to take employees on their word, and at least give them a baseline level of autonomy. At least until technology makes that even superfluous.
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