New NSF program uses Google smart glasses to train restaurant staff
Photograph courtesy of NSF
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include details on the cost of NSF EyeSucceed.
A new training program from public health organization NSF International can show restaurant workers how to make a burger or fix the oven. They just need to put on glasses.
The platform, called EyeSucceed, is built around Google Glass smart glasses and augmented reality technology that restaurants can use to support training, maintenance, and other processes.
It’s a response to the industry’s continuing battle to hire and retain workers, an issue that can impact virtually every aspect of restaurant management. EyeSucceed is designed to make work easier for workers while enhancing operations, quality and food safety.
âThe (labor) markets are tight right now,â said Jorge Hernandez, vice president of quality assurance at Wendy’s, who tested EyeSucceed. âBeing able to have the right processes and procedures and the right tools to train someone who has never been in a restaurant, who has never been in operation, so that they can operate like Wendy’s, it is is something that is close to our hearts. “
Hernandez added that young people tend to learn better through technology, and EyeSucceed makes that possible.
The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 device is equipped with a small screen that is in the user’s field of vision; a camera; and a navigation pad. Video provided by NSF shows an employee putting on the glasses and using them to assemble a burger. Each step is displayed on the screen (“Place 2 pickle chips on the cheese”, “Swirl ketchup”, etc.), and the worker moves from step to step saying “next step” .
In another example, EyeSucceed is able to confirm that a worker is wearing gloves before proceeding to a task.
Restaurants could use it to train employees on new menu items and OLTs, perform audits and inventories, and work with kitchen equipment, said Jennifer Tong, co-founder of EyeSucceed.
âWhen you look towards your deep fryers or that beloved Frosty machine, sometimes these parts can be a little more complicated than you might imagine,â she said. âIt will also provide the ability to have real-time, in-line operating instructions,â as well as the ability to call for service using the glasses.
Restaurants can create step-by-step guides using EyeSucceed’s workflow software, then deploy them to any number of glasses.
The technology is currently available for restaurants and food services. The cost will vary depending on how each restaurant intends to use it, said Tom Chestnut, co-founder of NSF EyeSucceed.
Wendy’s started piloting EyeSucceed last year with suppliers and then distributors to monitor food safety and other processes. The channel saved time and money and got positive feedback from employees and suppliers, Hernandez said. It has now moved on to the final stages of the pilot, testing the technology at some of its restaurants in the United States and abroad, he said.
An anonymous QSR reported that EyeSucceed reduced training costs by 65% ââand improved employee satisfaction with training by 83%, NSF said. The restaurant also saw savings of 75% on maintenance costs and lost revenue when using the program.
The internationally renowned NSF has its roots in the restaurant industry. Founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, it initially focused on developing sanitation standards for soda fountains and luncheonettes. It then expanded to create similar protocols for other industries and continued to offer certifications, training programs, and other services.