Facts at a glance
Food and beverage
Size of company:
In light of new health challenges in 2020, owners at Ignite Brewing Co. wanted to do more to protect their customers and their workforce while creating a safe space for members of the community to gather.
Leveraging an existing deployment of Connected Platform, the brewery quickly deployed and integrated Bolide Advanced thermal cameras to create an automated system for detecting elevated temperatures in employees and guests.
- Single-point solution able to unobtrusively scan up to 30 guests at once
- Discreet, real-time alerts delivered in the event of an elevated temperature
- Strengthened confidence among employees and customers
- Improved traffic and sales year over year despite pandemic environment
Insight’s Digital Innovation solutions help clients incorporate emerging tech into their business operations to improve the workforce and customer experience.
Since its founding, the brewery has provided a place for people to connect, playing host to a wide variety of events and activities for families and friends, as well as partnering with other local businesses, supporting charities and sponsoring regional causes.
In March of 2020, as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Health Department forced closures of businesses across the country, Ignite’s owners immediately began making strategic pivots. Overnight, they transitioned their business model to support curbside and call-ahead orders as well as home deliveries — building out an online store within 36 hours of initial closure. On site, they prioritized team and customer safety, instituting rigorous sanitation protocols, installing physical barriers at the bar and doubling the size of the outdoor patio to 5,000 square feet.
These changes proved an effective business continuity strategy, but owners wanted to do more to help build a safe space for people to regain sense of normalcy and connection.
“The approach we took was, if I’m not comfortable coming here, if I wouldn’t take my family here, then why would I expect a customer to come here?” Megan Slater, Ignite Brewing Co. partner, explained.
Ignite had recently implemented Insight Connected Platform™, leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) solution built on Microsoft® Azure® to remotely monitor the temperature of beverage coolers and other critical components throughout the brewery. In light of modern health challenges, they began looking for ways to apply the underlying technology to help ensure the safety of customers and staff.
The owners were particularly intrigued by the possibility of thermal detection solutions to quickly and non-invasively detect symptoms of illness.
“Our team is passionate about leveraging tools, processes and technology to enable growth. The health and safety of our guests are the most important thing to us, so the idea of integrating thermal cameras along with remote temperature monitoring in our production and foodservice areas was very interesting,” stated Michael Chisnell, Ignite Brewing Co. partner.
But while thermal cameras offered a valuable way to help build confidence among customers and staff, owners knew it wouldn’t be feasible to manually check every person that walked through the door. They needed a scalable, automated solution that could not only collect temperature readings, but also provide actionable alerts as needed.
“My personal philosophy is, if I can’t run the business from my cell phone then we’re not doing something right.” Said Chisnell.
With Connected Platform already in place, they were able to quickly apply the same framework designed for food safety to this new use case.
Based on an evaluation of the space and the typical flow of traffic, Insight’s team recommended the Bolide® Advanced Thermal Camera system. This single point device is able to take quick, accurate readings of up to 30 guests at a time, eliminating the cost, risk and inconvenience associated with handheld checks.
“For a brewery like ours — and really any service-oriented business — having the ability to scan a group of people at one time was paramount to make sure we weren’t disrupting the flow of business or the experience that we seek for our guests,” Slater explained.
Insight worked with the Ignite team to deploy and integrate the camera through Connected Platform. In the event an elevated temperature is detected, integration with Connected Platform enables discreet, real-time alerts to be emailed directly to the Ignite leadership team to determine if communication with the taproom is required.
To help protect both the heath and privacy of their customers and staff, workflows are structured to ensure no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is collected or stored, and that all data that’s used is secured.
“Insight was instrumental and a great partner throughout the full process, from device selection, deployment and integration through end-user training,” said Slater.
The seamless integration of thermal monitoring has earned Ignite Brewing a strong vote of confidence from the community. Thanks largely to the unobtrusive nature of the solution, employees and customers alike have embraced the system for its ability to help them get back to business as usual while prioritizing personal safety.
The experience that guests are having at Ignite is being shared, resulting in increased traffic and sales compared to the same period last year, despite the pandemic environment.
While signs around the building inform guests that temperatures are being monitored with a thermal camera, by and large, Ignite reports, they haven’t experienced any resistance. “When someone has asked about it, they think the fact that we’re pioneering this type of technology with Insight and Microsoft is phenomenal,” said Chisnell. “And they continue to be thankful for all that we’re doing to create and maintain the safest environment possible.”