Skip navigation

Tech Tracker: Outback franchisee tests nanny-cam style surveillance system

Presto Vision helps restaurants catch and correct front of the house missteps

Editor’s Note: Tech Tracker looks at different technologies and innovations that are disrupting the industry and changing the way restaurants operate and interact with customers.

Outback franchisee pilots Presto Vision

Presto, which offers front-of-house tech solutions for restaurants, is testing a “discreet” nanny-cam style surveillance system with Outback Steakhouse that can flag managers in real-time when pitfalls occur in customer service.

The system, dubbed Presto Vision, can help managers catch and correct missteps such as a guest waiting too long for a table or water glasses left unfilled. An Outback franchisee is piloting the system in select restaurants to improve customer service, Redwood City, Calif.-based Presto announced Wednesday.

Small cameras are typically mounted in the ceiling near the lobby or dining room. Managers don’t have to watch the video to catch problems. Instead, the system uses advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence to detect potential front-of-house issues.

For example, if a customer faces an empty hostess table for a long time, the system can alert a manager with a message sent to either a mobile device or wearable device like a smart watch or Apple Watch, said Rajat Suri, founder and CEO of Presto.

Suri said Presto Vision allows restaurants to “improve performance” by spotting problems in real-time. The advanced video system can also generate next-day reports that measure everything from bounce rates to how long it takes employees to buss a table.

Managers can then use the reports to fix problems tied to “small interactions” that can improve the guest experience.

Using this technology, we can forecast a guest experience,” he said.

Suri said Presto Vision has the power to “bring about a tectonic shift in the restaurant industry.”

“With this product, restaurants can now have access to critical insights on how their stores actually work. This helps them provide better service, operate more efficiently, and reduce overhead,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.

Presto, founded in 2008, provides restaurants with front of the solutions such as tabletop and hand-held devices. The company works with top full-service restaurant chains in the U.S. including Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse.

Startup highlight

Two-year old indie-focused app CurEat recently launched an improved user experience. The app, a social platform that highlights independent restaurants, features a location-specific section where users can follow favorite “CurEaters” and restaurants. There’s also a news feed, a curation of “useful” local and national articles that will help app users discover “the next great place to dine and drink,” the company said.

The app’s mission is to connect diners by sharing content about award-winning independent restaurants in 60 cities across the U.S. Restaurants featured on the site include Providence and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Atwood in Chicago and Willa Jean and Domenica, both in New Orleans.

Delivery footnote: Burger King announced this week that it has launched delivery in the U.S. with Uber Eats.


Through Oct. 27, Uber Eats is offering free delivery on Burger King orders of $15 or more.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.