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Dickey's Barbecue Pit Brings "Hey Alexa" to the Restaurant Industry

By Paula Suarez, VP-IT, Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

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Dickey's Barbecue Pit Brings Paula Suarez, VP-IT, Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Voice enabled technology is the efficiency tool of the future. Today, requesting information from Alexa is pervasive throughout the United States, and is quickly becoming an integral business tool, especially in the restaurant industry. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, in partnership with iOLAP, has set out to utilize this technology in our restaurants for owners and employees to easily access business metrics without interrupting the cadence of their day, sacrificing guest interaction or interfering with crafting our low and slow smoked barbecue.

Currently, owners of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchises and their employees move from chopping meat at the block, to the POS, tablets, or computers to find the metrics and information that they seek.

Through voice or text, to access key business and sales functions for any stores they have permission to access

At Dickey’s, we saw this as a problem and looked to voice enabled technology as the solution. Our thought was, “if this works in a business setting, why shouldn’t it work in a restaurant?” Thus entered our newest venture with our partner, iOLAP.

iOLAP leveraged its Enterprise Voice service to build an Alexa For Business Solution for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit that connects to store data, corporate data, and business applications. This allows the Dickey’s manager, the “Pit Boss,” through voice or text, to access key business and sales functions for any stores they have permission to access”. The Pit Bossis able to efficiently manage their individual stores on a daily basis. They can then receive a daily briefing, sales, and cost projections, as well as track and update inventory, food temperatures, and cleaning items. iOLAP designed the voice solution with Dickey’s unique barbecue vocabulary in mind thereby reducing training time, driving more efficiency, and improving the overall user experience.

Utilizing voice at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations enables Dickey’s to truly operate and manage their restaurants “hands-free.” The iOLAP Enterprise Voice app enables users to access Dickey’s Enterprise data and applications through voice, and a chatbot, making the data accessible wherever the user is. Users have the option to utilize an Amazon Echo device, a Bluetooth earpiece, and an Amazon Remote in the stores. This creates a truly integrated experience via adapting to various environments and surroundings in Dickey’s restaurant locations. Whether Dickey’s team members are in the kitchen, on the restaurant floor, or on the move, they will have real time access to business-critical data at the “tip of their tongue.”

Dickey’s is currently testing Alexa’s voice enabled technology in their corporate training location with plans of rolling it out systemwide.

This technology is the way of the future and Dickey’s is honored to be in the forefront of testing this in the restaurant industry. For restauranteurs, the possibilities are endless with voice enabled technology—just imagine having all pertinent business information just a “Hey Alexa” away.

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