Anyone who’s ever had a job in food service knows how much manual administrative work can be involved in running the back of the house. Kitchen staff may spend hours a day doing inventory management via spreadsheets and whiteboards, and gathering data on what customers want.

AccelOne’s custom software development team architected and developed SousZen, a food service automation platform that digitizes food prep and pairs it with actionable, real-world data. We built SousZen in conjunction with their innovation partner Xinova, and with funding from a well-known American multinational food and beverage company (we can’t say who, but you likely have some cans of their products in your fridge right now). The platform allows restaurant operators and owners to collect real data on what people are ordering, and use it to run a more profitable business. Features include the following:

  • Automate inventory/supply chain management via records of what was purchased, what’s no longer fresh, and the ability to auto-order ingredients based on how much of that ingredient is used.
  • Learn what people are ordering and which combinations of ingredients are selling the best. With this data, restaurants can prepare new dishes based on real insights into what their customers want to eat.
  • Schedule and plan meal prep for large-scale food service operations, limiting the need for a chef at every location.

The system AccelOne designed contains an “ingredients” database created by us, with data units and equivalencies (e.g. volume, cups, metric, etc.) defined. Geolocation also allows multiple locations of a restaurant to be visualized, with data analyzable on a local, state, or regional level.

AccelOne’s Custom Software Development Process We started by assembling a technical team:
  • 2 Full Stack Engineers
  • 1 Technical Program Manager (TPM)
  • 1 Software Architect
  • 1 Senior Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst

The technical team traveled to Mexico to meet with the client and the UX design studio hired by SousZen. AccelOne chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support the application infrastructure, Reactjs and Redux for the user interface framework, and Nodejs plus Express as the backend API. We also exposed a REST API to make SousZen’s platform integrate with other systems.

Throughout the project, we employed Scrum methodology, which utilizes a weekly sprint system to produce functional software sooner than traditional PM styles. At the end of each weekly sprint, stakeholders met with the development and design teams and gave feedback, which was incorporated at the next sprint. The client elected to be heavily involved at every stage of development, and we were happy to comply with this request.

Outcome: Pilot Program at Chain of Gourmet Nacho Stands

The project was implemented in a pilot program at a well-known chain of stands and food trucks specializing in gourmet nachos.

Results included:
  • Effective replacement of paper-based documentation and data-gathering tasks
  • Removed manual annotations for the chefs
  • Replaced administrative manual procedures with a digital solution that gives business owners more information about what happens in their kitchens

With this data, the corporation overseeing this pilot program will be able to use data collected by SousZen to improve their menu offerings, marketing strategies, profits, and food safety. Learn more about this project by reading our full case study, or contact us online for more information on custom software development at AccelOne.