Success Story

Popeyes Hawaii charts growth despite the pandemic with Solink

February 10, 2021

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen may have its roots in America’s Deep South, but it has become a mainstay on the islands of Hawaii, too.

This multinational quick-service restaurant chain known for its chicken has six franchise locations in the Aloha State, with several more to come in 2021.

Popeyes Hawaii is under the management of Lori Woo’s family. She serves as vice-president, responsible for expansion and new technology adoption. The latter has included in recent years a new POS system, a new camera system and digital platforms to escape paper-based processes.

Challenge: Poor POS-video integration = poor operational insight

popeyes food

Effective video surveillance, with true 360-degree perspective and reliable integration with POS, proved to be a persistent challenge for Woo. The issues she experienced spanned implementation, as well as functionality and performance.

Woo often had to spend hours she didn’t have reviewing footage to investigate suspicious transactions, customer service complaints, or other incidents.

Then she looked at the issue from a different perspective – instead of trying to find a POS system that could better integrate with her camera network, why not adopt an intelligent cloud-based video management platform designed to integrate with the POS?

That platform was Solink.

“At that point, I thought ‘what do I have to lose?’” Woo said. “The way Solink was presented in the demo, it certainly appeared that it could deliver as promised.”

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Solution: Cloud-based intelligence puts store data to work

Solink deployed at Woo’s first location in February 2020.

“It was really amazing,” she said. “Once we had connected, we could see all that POS data integrated with video for the first time. Before with our camera system integration and setup, there were always roadblocks, but with Solink it was so easy.”

Woo committed to rolling out Solink at all Popeyes Hawaii locations. Then the pandemic struck. With dining rooms closed, efficient and courteous service at the drive-thru window and through home delivery became more critical than ever. Internal operations also changed, to maintain social distancing protocols and keep staff safe. Woo began working from home more often, supporting her teams remotely.

Despite this disruption, Woo has been able to maintain a close eye at all times on her locations, from anywhere, thanks to Solink.

Restaurant takeout icons.

The Solink platform provides time and date stamp correlation between every transaction at the POS and the corresponding video clip. Solink also provides full data analytics to quickly search and review footage. Customized exception-based reporting and motion capture can deliver real-time alerts. Woo also benefits from a full 360-degree viewing experience that leaves no blind spots.

She can access all of this through her smartphone or other connected devices. This extends to video alarm verification, which Woo has already found useful to shorten response times and eliminate false alarms.

This insight is available to other members of her team, too. Solink makes it easy to differentiate user permissions within the platform, from full administrator access to limiting access for individual employees to just video or other specific features.

Outcome: Real-time insight cuts costs, ensures safety, boosts service quality

Solink has proven to be a wise investment in many ways.

First, its integration with each location’s HME zoom timers, to solve performance issues and identify potential training opportunities.

“Understanding the customer journey through the drive-thru is key, and then on top of that using the integration of the headset audio to understand how employees and customers are communicating with each other,” Woo said.

Second, Solink’s powerful search capabilities.

“The ability to view transaction summaries at any time, and then see any single transaction in detail and spot check something when you have video integrated with POS is invaluable,” Woo said. “All that information is at your fingertips, where before I had to watch hours of video and rarely had the time.”

Video correlation with order fulfillment also helps to identify if a problem with a customer’s order rests with her team, or with Popeyes’ third-party delivery service. Even Woo’s accountant can access data to more quickly address customer billing complaints.

Since Woo can so easily monitor activity throughout a shift, she can also better control labor costs.

Barista shaking hands with customerThird, Solink makes it easy to recognize a job well done.

“Our people are doing the best they can and it’s so important to not only show the problems but the praise, too,” Woo said. “It’s so easy to clip a segment of video and email it to everyone to showcase a great customer interaction.”

It’s just one more way that Solink stands out from other systems.

“Solink is almost an extension of myself – having that someone who is always available to pull up reports and provide all that insightful data,” Woo said. “It’s AI working at its best. With the value it adds to our organization, I can’t imagine not putting Solink in all our stores.”

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