Dining Hall Uses Innovative IoT Button to Enhance Service

March 19, 2019


Food Service Company Uses Unique Technology to Assist Guests and Staff

With a focus on fresh food, customer service, and technology; Fresh Ideas has rolled out the F.A.N. (Fresh Assistance Now) Button at Maryville University in St. Louis. The F.A.N. Button gives team members a way to quickly contact management by text when they need assistance. The system also notifies the team when someone has responded to the help request. The FAN Button is the brainchild of Bob Love, Fresh Ideas Chief Technology Officer.

“This concept provides a new kind of support and quick response to our teams to empower them to better serve our guests,” says Kris Lensmeyer, Chief Innovation and Experience Officer. “Customer service enhancement is a priority at Fresh Ideas.”

Fresh Ideas employee, Jessica helped identify the need for the Fresh Assistance Now (F.A.N.) Button.

The solution was created in response to a question posed by Jessica, the deli attendant. The Fresh Ideas employee asked if there was a way to request management’s help when she was busy working on a customer’s order at her station. She understood the importance of taking care of customer satisfaction while providing a seamless experience. There are now F.A.N. Buttons at each of the work stations in the Maryville University servery.

The IoT buttons are also available on the dining guest side of the ordering process, at the kiosks. They have decreased waiting times, and aided in creating a more enjoyable experience for customers. The buttons are used to alert the Fresh Ideas team of a variety of concerns and questions. Students no longer have to leave their place in line to ask about the menu, ordering process, or to speak with the onsite chef or dietitians about allergens.

“My vision for the F.A.N. Button is for it to be a value-added service for the entire organization, not just the dining program,” says Love. “The application is a business wide solution that can be used in all areas to respond to guests. Campus services that would benefit from the F.A.N. Button include installing them at printers, computers, laundry facilities, bathrooms for cleaning and other areas that are not staffed throughout the day.”

Every touchpoint of a guest experience impacts their overall perception of the business. The F.A.N. Button allows guests and staff to discreetly request assistance without having to leave where they are.

About Fresh Ideas: Fresh Ideas is a dynamic food service management company headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. Fresh Ideas provides fresh dining management solutions for K-12, higher education, senior living and commercial markets.

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