Why FieldServer Is Becoming the Secret Ingredient of Fast-Food Operations

September 26, 2022
Richard Theron

It’s 11:55 p.m. Cars are lined up in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. Under the glow of a well-lit sign, these hungry customers are patiently waiting to order their late-night snack.

Inside, a skeleton crew is hard at work frying, flipping, and wrapping orders as fast as humanly possible. Just five minutes later, the line is cleared, the clock strikes midnight, and it’s time to shut things down and call it a day.

If you’re in the Quick-Service and Fast Casual Restaurant (QSR) business, then you know just how much energy that kind of night in your QSR establishment can gobble up.

In fact, research by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, attributes the massive energy use in QSR facilities to “intensive process loads,” such as food prep and storage.1 And, according to EnergyStar.gov, restaurants use up to 7 times more energy per square foot than office buildings and retail stores, while high-volume QSRs use up to 10 times more energy.2

High-volume QSRs use up to 10X more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings.

Beyond Energy Savings

Operationally, of course, it only makes sense for QSRs to be concerned about lowering energy consumption. Not only does reigning in excess energy usage help with profitability, it’s also an imperative for environmentally conscious organizations that are committed to reducing carbon emissions.

As you probably know, refrigeration and air conditioning (AC) systems can leak.3 As such, if they’re to be effectively and efficiently managed, they, too, require the same thing energy metering does: greater visibility and enhanced notification.

But who says these functions – energy metering and refrigerant leak detection – and these goals – energy and refrigerant reduction – have to be mutually exclusive? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution that would enable refrigerant leak detection, energy metering, data-informed monitoring, real-time notifications, remote troubleshooting, and more?

Good news! There is. And it’s called the MSA FieldServer.

What’s FieldServer Got to Do with It?

When the FieldServer suite of automation gateway products found its way into the hands of savvy QSR building managers’ hands, it was quickly touted as the “secret ingredient” for drastically cutting carbon emissions, controlling high energy costs, and enabling proactive monitoring in the restaurant world just as effectively as it does in other commercial building operations. In addition to the restaurants themselves, this includes food retail services, food processing facilities, food logistics and warehousing companies, and other industrial and manufacturing plants that operate using higher GWP (global warming potential) gases.

That’s because FieldServer can connect any device, such as fire alarm panels, energy metering equipment, and gas detectors, to deliver any and all meaningful data points via cellular or Cloud connectivity, as you wish. Most notably, FieldServer is a best-in-class gateway solution designed to connect to the equipment and collect the crucial data points. It also has the capability to connect to the Cloud via the MSA Grid, providing invaluable visibility and remote notifications.

How FieldServer Transforms Device Data into Actionable Insights

Here’s just one example of how it works. Let’s say one of your QSR locations has a high-value asset that has a turbo mode. Let’s say someone forgets to shut it off when they should. Suffice it to say, that’s a massive amount of energy that’s being drawn and wasted, as well as potentially polluting the environment.

With FieldServer in place, you get uninterrupted monitoring and measuring so that the person in charge can easily see that there’s a potential energy issue and take action to avert an energy drain.

That’s just one of the many benefits QSRs are realizing, thanks to FieldServer. Others include:

  • Quick and easy installation of the gateway
  • Cellular connectivity with no internet connection needed and no IT security issues to contend with
  • Industrial IoT device-to-device communication (device-to-Cloud communication is also available)
  • Detailed, device-specific information on power consumption, gas leaks, and more
  • State-of-the-art diagnostics, troubleshooting, and remote notification capabilities

FieldServer offers new and better solutions for QSRs to streamline their operations, improve efficiencies, and support sustainability initiatives.

If you’re ready to explore world-class solutions and industry-leading IIoT gateways with multi-protocol support, please request more info.


[1]Pnnl.gov. “Technical Support Document: 50% Energy Savings for Quick-Service Restaurants.” https://www.pnnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-19809.pdf. Accessed 14 September 2022.

[2]EnergyStar.gov. “ENERGY STAR® Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Your Restaurant.” https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/tools/SmallBiz_Restaurant_factsheet.pdf. Accessed 14 September 2022.

[3]MyBacharach.com. “Reducing Grocery Store Refrigeration Emissions.” https://www.mybacharach.com/reducing-grocery-store-refrigerant-emissions/. Accessed 14 September 2022.

Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for FieldServer at MSA, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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