RFID doesn’t just stand for “Really Fresh Ice-cream’s Delicious” – it’s also the commonly used acronym for Radio Frequency IDentification. At Izzy’s Ice Cream, both interpretations of RFID are equally important. While technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your neighborhood ice cream shop, Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel, the owners of Izzy’s Ice Cream, might soon change that.
Izzy’s Ice Cream produces an extensive roster of flavors, many of which are made seasonally in small batches, and supplies a devoted group of customers who eagerly await these flavors throughout the year. The Flavor Up system is a brilliant implementation of RFID technology that connects ice cream enthusiasts to the flavors they love most while solving a number of challenges that come up in the process of keeping a rapidly changing menu up to date.
On each of the flavor tags in the ice cream display cases at Izzy’s are RFID chips which correspond to specific flavors. The cases themselves are equipped with RFID readers which scan the flavors on display 20 times per second. Each time a new flavor is placed in the case, the Flavor Up database is updated. This database not only populates the in-store menu screens, automating a process that would otherwise take valuable time away from employees and pose a logistical challenge during peak hours, but it also triggers an email notification system which pings customers about the availability of their favorite flavors. Upon receiving a notification, customers can call in to reserve a pint or just make their way to Izzy’s as quickly as possible to enjoy a cone.
As with any excellent tech integration, content and process are at the heart of the design and the displays, networks, and programs powering the system collaborate in the background to bring the solution to life. This system is so elegant and efficient that it may even sound like an obvious solution to an assortment of problems that many ice cream shops face on a daily basis – but this didn’t exist before Jeff and Lara created it.
Now that summer is here – take a look at the Flavor Up menu and head to the nearest Izzy’s location to discover an awesome Minnesotan company whose ice cream flavors are as innovative as the menus that display them!