McDonald's is to implement a mobile inspection system for its restaurants around the world following a successful roll-out in the UK.
The fast-food chain will deploy its mobile Global Restaurant Operation Improvement Process (Groip) application to at least 3,000 restaurant inspectors worldwide. McDonald's designed the business processes for an application that could be deployed globally, and then tested it in the UK.
The company equipped its 200 restaurant inspectors in the UK with Pocket PCs in February this year. Staff were given two months to familiarise themselves with the devices before the company rolled out its Groip application in April, said McDonald's UK IS business relationship manager Keith Frimley.
Since April, the 200 restaurant inspectors have used their mobile devices to inspect the six to 20 restaurants that they are each responsible for.
McDonald's has 1,290 restaurants in the UK, all of which are inspected four times a year. Two of the inspections are announced in advance and two are unannounced.
The devices are used to record the answers to more than 700 questions for an announced inspection and 300 questions for a surprise inspection. Inspectors spend two to three days in the restaurant for the longer inspections.
After seven months in use, Frimley said the technology was saving each inspector more than two hours of effort in terms of generating reports following a restaurant review.
McDonald's used the Afaria application from supplier iAnywhere to create a standard "image" for the Groip interface for every territory worldwide.
The image enables the restaurant inspectors to transmit data by either GPRS or Wi-Fi to McDonald's head-office systems.
Each country can choose the device that its restaurant inspectors will use to access the Groip application. In the UK, the inspectors have been equipped with Qtek 9090s from HTC that run on the O2 network.