Fast-food Giant Gains on Bottom Line

Milestone Systems is helping Restaurant Brands to reduce theft and improve daily operations across New Zealand’s KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and Starbucks locations.

The parent company in New Zealand for KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and Starbucks, Restaurant Brands, has installed Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS) throughout their chain of restaurants. The first implementation in 2010 convinced management to roll out the solution nationally: thanks to the Milestone video, the number of thefts dropped measurably and day-to-day operations became more efficient, leading to significant improvement on the bottom line.

Milestone Partner Lexel designed and implemented an efficient solution with Milestone XProtect Corporate software that manages more than 1,300 AXIS network cameras in about 180 sites. Cameras are installed in all KFC and Carl’s Jr. restaurants and selective locations for Starbucks and Pizza Hut. System operators use the XProtect Smart Client interface and Milestone Mobile client to improve day-to-day operations at the many restaurants. 

“Although there was no target set for loss prevention, there was a remarkable increase to the net profit after the installation of the Milestone video system,” said Geoff Holton, commercial IT manager at Restaurant Brands Limited (RBD). “The main benefits of the software included user responsiveness and the open platform architecture that will enable us to integrate with other systems in the future.”

Loss prevention was improved by monitoring the different food preparation processes at the restaurants and managing waste levels. Theft was lowered among both dishonest customers and staff. Simultaneously, staff safety increased and more efficient day-to-day operations became the norm.

“The Milestone solution has made day-to-day operations much easier. Prior to this all managers were only able visit one or two stores at a time, but now they look remotely at the foyer area of their stores using the XProtect Smart Client interface,” said Holton. 

Managers can remotely see how many customers each branch has, how many cash registers are open and how many employees are operating the counters. The software also helps them keep track of peak hours and check the restaurant’s performance during these hours. 

"We are also using the Milestone solution to ensure the quality of the food that is made; now we can go and have a look at how the pizzas are made at Pizza Hut or see if standards are followed when breeding chicken at KFC stores,” said Holton. “This is all about securing the quality of our products, making sure our staff is safe while working with the hot deep fryers, managing waste and staffing levels. Both IT management and supervisors can remotely check on the stores with Milestone Mobile 24 hours a day.

The Milestone VMS also helps to avoid theft at the restaurants.

“We have just over 5,000 staff, and in the first 20 weeks of the financial year we actually detected 16 people that were stealing,” said Holton. “The majority of our employees are honest and hardworking but unfortunately all businesses have theft issues. We did not have a previous surveillance system, which made it difficult to catch thieves and provide evidence of their misdeeds. Now we can monitor the stores and provide video footage of an incident to the police if necessary.”

Holton explained that the uses of the Milestone software might expand even more:

“We are thinking about integrating with a point-of-sale (POS) system in the future. The Milestone open platform allows us to integrate with analytics which is a big advantage - it is one of the main reasons we chose the Milestone open platform.

It was the system integrator Lexel who recommended RBD to go with the Milestone solution, and Lexel Systems thoroughly trained each of the users in how to operate the solution. Lexel is a trusted partner that was able to provide good support during the purchasing, installation and follow-up process.”

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