HomePortfolioA Restaurant Automates Air Disinfection to Ensure Business Continuity During COVID-19

A Restaurant Automates Air Disinfection to Ensure Business Continuity During COVID-19

AI / ML

Struggling to resume operation after a year on a lockdown, a Belgium restaurant wanted to implement a UVC-based air disinfection system, automate a cleaning routine, and enable transparency over the process for guests and employees by using mobile dashboards.

A Restaurant Automates Air Disinfection to Ensure Business Continuity During COVID-19

About the project

Brief results of the collaboration:

  • With an air disinfection system, the restaurant was able to safely resume operations in May 2021, as soon as the Belgium government eased the lockdown restrictions.
  • By accurately identifying where and how many air recirculators and UVC lamps to place on premises, the business reduced the time for full-cycle disinfection to just an hour and insured 99% protection from viruses.
  • Through automation of cleaning routine (task assignment, progress monitoring, reporting, etc.), the customer cut costs related to manual processes by 15%, as well as enabled employees to focus on their primary job—serving visitors.
  • By providing transparency into the implemented safety measure for the guests, the restaurant retained its regulars and attracted new ones.

The customer

Located in Bouillon (Belgium), the customer is a restaurant specializing in Belgian and French cuisines. Founded in 2007, the business is close to a variety of tourist attractions, such as museums and galleries.

The need

Hospitality was one of the most affected industries by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. For almost a year, the majority of restaurants remained closed. To resume operations, businesses have to comply with multiple regulations by local governments. At the moment, Belgium prohibits dine-in due to a greater virus spread indoors. For instance, the World Health Organization reports the SARS-CoV-2 virus to survive in the air for up to 16 hours. This way, air disinfection is crucial to preventing the virus spread and its accumulation on the surfaces, where it can live for days.

As Belgium was to soften the lockdown measures in May 2021, the customer planned to reopen. Aiming to put safety measures in place, the business turned to Altoros to implement a technology-driven system that would automate disinfection scheduling, as well as enable transparency over the process for guests and employees.

The challenges

To date, there are two major ways of air disinfection: ultraviolet C (UVC) lamps and plain ventilation. Being somewhat harmful, UVC lightning cannot be utilized in a dining area, while guests are at a restaurant. In its turn, plain ventilation is simply inefficient against viruses. So, it was important to find a working alternative and properly allocate the safety measures on premises.

At the same time, manual cleaning of surfaces was still to be performed. As managers either relied on paper-based scheduling or assigned tasks by a word of mouth, it led to the lack of process transparency and proof of work.

The solution

Stage 1. To ensure proper allocation of safety measures, the team at Altoros analyzed the restaurant floor plan and identified the places with the highest traffic: dining area and restrooms. Based on Alarta, a safety and compliance platform, Altoros delivered a turn-key air disinfection system to install at the facility. The customized solution comprised recirculators and UVC lamps coupled with a cloud storage, a web dashboard, and a mobile app.

To maximize the efficiency of air disinfection and reduce time spent on it, the engineers advised to locate two recirculators in the dining area. This helped to conduct a full-cycle air disinfection in an hour. As recirculators combine a ventilator with UVC lamps protected by a special shield, the disinfection is completely harmless for visitors/employees and does not affect regular business operations. Furthermore, the recirculators are ozone-free emitting no disturbing gas-like smells. In the restrooms, UVC lamps with motion sensors were installed to enable disinfection only when there was nobody inside.

Stage 2. To automate cleaning schedule, the developers delivered a cloud-based web system that enables restaurant managers to assign table cleanups and monitor the progress in real time. The app also provides reports on completed cleanings, their number and type, as well as recirculators/UVC lamps active time or stand-by.

Stage 3. Then, the team at Altoros built a mobile version of a web app for cleaners to report the cleanup completion by scanning QR codes placed at each table, while the system tracks time spent on each activity. Using those very QR codes, guests could view which table had been cleaned and fill out the questionnaire about the measures in place. Finally, the engineers made it possible to track how many QR code scans were made by guests. All this contributed to understanding a customer satisfaction level and interest in the implemented safety measures.

The outcome

With a smart air disinfection system, the restaurant was able to reopen and resume operations, as soon as the Belgium government softened the lockdown restrictions. Thanks to a proper allocation of recirculators and UVC lamps, the business reduced a full-cycle air disinfection to just a hour and insured 99% protection from viruses. Through automation of cleaning routine (task assignment, progress monitoring, reporting, etc.), the customer reduced costs associated with manual processes by 15%, enabling employees to focus on their job. The turn-key system also provided transparency into the implemented safety measure for the guests, helping the restaurant to retain its habitues and attract new ones.

Technology stack

Platform

Amazon Web Services

Programming languages

Java

Frameworks and tools

Spring Boot, Spring MVC, Hibernate, NGINX, Angular, Chart.js, WebSocket, Swagger, Maven 3, FFmpeg, Twilio

Data stores

Amazon S3, Amazon RDS

99%

air disinfection

1 hr

for restaurant disinfections

15%

less costs on manual routine

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Contact us

Let’s Talk

Alexey Betimirzaev

Alexey Betimirzaev

Chief business development officer, Alarta

a.betimirzaev@altoros.com+1 (559) 640 7141

4900 Hopyard Rd. Suite 100 Pleasanton, CA 94588