Redwood, CA-based restaurant-tech company Presto has launched a a computer vision product that monitors the front of house in the restaurant and alerts managers in real time to any potential problems.
Called Presto Vision, the system leverages the same computer vision technology found in automated toll booths, traffic monitoring, and Amazon Go cashierless stores. Presto Vision uses cameras placed in the restaurant lobby to tag staff and guests and analyze their motions in real time. The company makes a point of saying it doesn’t track or store information that would personally identify someone. Rather, it “models individuals as abstracted entities (e.g., boxes)” to gather data on things like guest interactions with the host, excessively long wait times, and if customers leave before getting seated because of those long waits.
The product joins Presto’s existing lineup of restaurant management tools, which also includes a tabletop terminal for guests, Presto A.I., and Presto Wearables.
In addition to monitoring the lobby, the system can alert a restaurant manager, via a mobile or wearable to device, to any potential problems. For example, Vision could tell a restaurant GM that the host station has been empty for 10 minutes, and the GM could then immediately send someone to fill in, to keep wait times for customers down. The system also generates next-day reports that include data on things like bounce rates (i.e., how many customers left before getting seated) and how tidy the lobby area is.
“With this product, restaurants can now have access to critical insights on how their stores actually work. This helps them provide better service, operate more efficiently, and reduce overhead,” said Rajat Suri, Presto’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Suri, who is also the cofounder of Lyft, founded Presto in 2008 after working in restaurants and prototyping a product based on his observations of front-of-house activity. The company raised $30 million in February of this year.
Right now, Presto Vision is currently only being tested in the lobby area at undisclosed Outback Steakhouse locations. Presto says it plans to expand the product to other parts of the restaurant soon, including the back of house, the dining room, and curbside areas.