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Fast Casual: 'Look, Ma. No hands.' Dickey's franchisees using Alexa to track operations

Published: 17 Aug 2017

Dickey's Barbecue Pit franchisees can manage their businesses from the kitchen via Alexa, thanks to the chain's incorporation of iOLAP's Enterprise Voice Platform.

"In working with iOLAP to customize this technology for our restaurants, we are giving each of our franchisees a way to carry out key business functions hands-free in their kitchens," CEO Laura Rea Dickey, said in a company press release. "At Dickey's, we are constantly looking for new ways to better our business along with our slow-smoked barbecue. This new technology means our franchisees can retrieve key data without having to stop smoking ribs."

This new software gives Dickey's franchisees the opportunity to have store information a voice-command away, and is the second phase of Dickey's big data initiatives, Dickey said.

"Smokestack, our proprietary data platform makes data accessible and actionable in our restaurants," she said. "By layering in this new enterprise voice platform, we hope to make data even more restaurant friendly. We've worked a lot with iOLAP to optimize Alexa for the kitchen from the data integration to the right placement in the back of house. We've also been thankful for franchisees that have opted in to further test the technology."

Operators can ask Alexa for daily sales metrics, KPI analytics or even when the brisket in their smoker should be finished smoking. That — coupled with the platform's ability to perform inventory analysis, food safety reminders and waste management controls — will help manage their business, Dickey said.

"I have been with Dickey's for over 20 years, and I never would have thought we would be using an Alexa to carry out parts key (to) the business," said Owner/Operator Dale Smith. "I can continue to do what is important, which is smoking meats, while Alexa can easily give me the business metrics I need."
Fast Casual: 'Look, Ma. No hands.' Dickey's franchisees using Alexa to track operations
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