Envysion provides Einstein Noah Restaurant Group with data-driven video intelligence into every transaction.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, which includes Einstein Bros, Manhattan and Noah Bagels, is the largest operator of bagel bakeries in the United States. With approximately 450 restaurants, two industrial dough-making facilities and thousands of employees, the quick-serve restaurant (QSR) enterprise has achieved a level of success that few bagel shops ever dream of.

But the company’s success also led to a set of challenges that were common to many mid- to large-sized QSR organizations: how could they monitor employee behavior and mitigate potential loss? How could they harness and leverage a wide range of customer data to optimize the customer experience? And how could they do all this without requiring massive amounts of hours and effort?

Lacking the data, the access and the transparency

Kevin Milner, director of audit services for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, the bagel enterprise, says, “Prior to Envysion, we didn’t have any kind of camera solution whatsoever. We were not data-driven at all in terms of trying to identify where there was inappropriate activity, training issues, whatever, that may have come up, and it was a very slow process, very cumbersome.” The organization’s lack of ability to discern between theft and simple coaching opportunities was a primary challenge.

But the leadership at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group knew that their lack of effective technology was leading to other, more instantly quantifiable losses in efficiency. “Our process at the time often involved interviewing employees in person, interrogating employees when we identified them as an issue, which is all very time consuming,” says Milner. “Traveling to each location results in very expensive flights to various locations.” And when you’re in control of over 800 locations, the potential exponential impact was painfully clear. They needed a better solution.

Gaining full visibility into every transaction

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group instantly recognized the value that Envysion brought to the table—data-driven video intelligence. Full visibility into every store, fully integrated with their POS data, providing full transparency into every transaction. “What we have now is cameras in every one of our 450 locations. And it’s a web-based system delivered through the cloud, and we can access it any time we want, from nearly anywhere,” says Milner. Because Envysion can leverage the cloud to deliver footage to nearly any Internet-enabled device in the world, Einstein’s travel costs were instantly minimized while the ability to gain insights into the situation were maximized.

Milner says, “What it does is it allows us to go out and actually view what happened. So, when we get a claim, whether it’s from an employee for a worker’s comp issue, or whether it’s from a guest from a slip and fall or any other kind of event, we can actually go to our Envysion portal, watch the incident from the comfort of our office, and determine whether it’s a valid claim or not. That speeds up the process for those that are valid and obviously allows us to take a different path for those that are perhaps fraudulent claims.”

Seeking secure stores, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group found improved operations

The surprising element for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group was the peripheral benefits that quickly became of primary interest. Beyond security, Envysion provided the management team with data-driven video intelligence to every other aspect of their business. According to Milner, “We look at a number of things. Are we temping our food according with our policies and we we’re looking at things like hand sanitation. Are we washing out hands and wearing gloves when we should? Are we maintaining a clean cutting board? Are we maintaining a clean sandwich line?”

Ultimately, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group realized that Envysion—far beyond a mere security solution—was enabling them to provide a safe, delicious product along with the right level of experience to their guests—every location, every transaction.

Analytics to deliver an optimal customer experience

Envysion solutions have unique analytics capabilities that empower a deeper level of data-driven video intelligence. Einstein Noah Restaurant Group uses this technology to many valuable ends. “We’ve used Envision to gauge the demographics of who is coming through the line, what they’re buying. We also use it to make sure that we’re fully stocked, our bagel bins are full, our grab-and-go cases are full—so we know our guests have a full range of options to choose from… and we also look at what they’re buying,” Milner says.

Beyond knowing that the bins are stocked, they actually gain insight into what is selling in different regions, helping them better understand what customers want and how they can better deliver it. “What it’s allowed us to do is customize what some of our premium bagels are going to be, regionally; in terms of maybe a green chile bagel in one area, and then a jalapeno cheddar bagel in another area,” says Milner.

Using the power of the cloud to minimize travel

While Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is clearly using Envysion to improve operations across their entire store, according to Milner, “One of the key things it does is it allows us to perform a lot of the same functions we would perform on site without actually having to get in a plane and travel.”

From the comfort of their office, the management gains full access to every corner of every store. “We can look at backdoor security, we can look at cash handling procedures, we can look at types of transactions and discounts that are being performed. We can look and see are the employees appropriately attired? We can view timing, and time the customers through the line. There’s a number of things we can do with the camera system that we can also do on site; we just don’t have to get on a plane to make it happen,” says Milner.