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A San Antonio McDonald's Relies on ITWatchDogs Environmental Monitoring Products

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April 28, 2011
By Carrie Schmelkin TMCnet Web Editor
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Lita Salazar, owner of a McDonald's located in San Antonio, Texas, could have had a cost-prohibitive and damaging situation on her hands a few weeks ago when a fan in her freezer broke and one of the condensers was iced over.

Fortunately for her, she had her trusty security dog - an environmental monitoring product from ITWatchDogs - guarding her freezer and letting her know when the temperature got above zero degrees.

"If nobody had been in the store and it had been overnight, products would have defrosted," Salazar told TMCnet in a recent interview. "The ITWatchDogs device saved me anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in products."

A few months ago, Salazar was approached by an official at ITWatchDogs who asked her if she would like to try out one of the company's environmental monitoring products in her 24-hour McDonald's for free to determine if it could prove valuable in all the McDonald's restaurants.

In just a matter of minutes, her walk-in refrigerator, which also contains a walk-in freezer, was equipped with environmental monitoring products. A sensor was placed on both the refrigerator and the freezer. The official from ITWatchDogs then showed her how she could use a website to monitor the temperature in those two places and set up a system so that she would be alerted if the temperature went up from a certain starting point.

"You set the parameters yourself based on how your business works," Salazar said, noting that she set her system to send e-mails to her iPhone (News - Alert) any time one of those two places went 10 degrees above zero. The individual can also determine how often they want to receive notifications once the temperature spikes until the problem is remedied.

A few weeks ago, Salazar received an e-mail letting her know that her freezer had gone above her set baseline temperature. When she called her team, they assured her that the rise in temperature was due to the fact that they had left the door to the freezer open for a while as they restocked the freezer. However, 10 minutes later, Salazar got another alert letting her know there was still a problem and then a few other alerts followed.

Since the doors had been closed for a while at this point, the team assessed the situation and determined that it was a repair problem. The situation could have been greatly exacerbated without the help of the environmental monitoring product, Salazar said.

"I see the value in it," Salazar said of ITWatchDog's product. "I am seriously considering having it installed in my other two stores. It pays off having it in your restaurant; it's definitely proven that it's really worth it."

Companies can benefit from the environmental monitoring products from ITWatchDogs in a variety of ways and all companies that have to refrigerate products will find the inexpensive products useful, according to Salazar.

"It really is a great tool," Salazar said. "I would really recommend it to anyone, especially if they keep a lot of product and if they are very busy. There are so many things to watch in a restaurant now-a-days constantly, especially when it comes to food safety. You are always on the watch: you are monitoring food temperature and you are monitoring the food as you are cooking it."

"I have fast food restaurants, but I think it will work in any type of restaurant," she added. "It will work anywhere in any type of business where you have to refrigerate and if you have to use a freezer."

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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