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Last week, Dickson took a trip to Las Vegas for PACK EXPO 2013. The show would have been fantastic anywhere, but the location presented Dickson with the opportunity to visit one of our customers, the High Scaler Cafe, located only a few feet away from this place:
The Hoover Dam!
A couple of weeks before we headed out towards Sin City, one of our Inside Sales Representatives, Dave C, mentioned that he had just spoken to a customer of ours, located at the Hoover Dam. We (DicksonOne’s Product Manager Matt M and I) quickly, and I mean “90 words per minute” quickly, typed “Hoover Dam,” and “Las Vegas” into Google Maps, and found that we would be a only 45 min away from a spectacular customer visit. So, we decided to stop by and say hello.
Who was this customer, this “High Scaler Cafe?”
The High Scaler Cafe is a restaurant located at the top of the Hoover Dam, and it boasts one of the best hot dogs West of the Mississippi. The “Dam Dog,” is a full ½ pound hot dog grilled to perfection, on a bed of salty, satisfying fries. The restaurant also serves up delicious diner style food (I would recommend the breakfast sandwich) and hand-dipped ice cream.
We get it, you kinda went there for the food, but what exactly were they using data monitoring devices for?
To monitor their refrigerator and freezer! Here is a photo of Dickson Chart Recorders used to monitor the refrigerator at the High Scaler Cafe:
That dandy is an old Dickson KTX, over 15 years old and still chugging along. Proof that Dickson makes products to last.
We met with the Operations Manager of the High Scaler Cafe, Mike Penuelas, who talked with us at length about his application and use of our product all these years. A gracious host, he took us behind the scenes of his operation, to see how exactly he was monitoring the food in his facility.
Nevada is HOT during the summer.
Summertime at the Hoover Damn can get pretty hot Mike mentioned, and by pretty, he meant very. He said that temperatures in a utility room could reach 147 degrees! To summarize, Mike said that kind of heat can cause cooling systems to fail, which makes any Operations Manager nervous.
As the High Scaler’s Cafe Manager, Mike heads up quality assurance within the restaurant, which means he has to deal with the consequences of his freezer or refrigerator failing. He mentioned he uses a temperature chart recorder for two main reasons:
To have a physical record of when temperatures begin to fluctuate, and
To know if and when stock should be thrown away.
Makes sense, right? You monitor to ensure safety, and while Mike doesn't necessarily have to monitor the temperatures inside his refrigerator and freezer (meaning he does not get audited specifically for temperature monitoring) he feels it’s a valuable asset for him to have in such a unique and dreadfully hot part of the country.
While Matt and I gazed around the High Scaler Cafe’s back room and kitchen, Mike described one last reason he monitors that took us by surprise:
Health Inspectors Like Organizations Who Proactively Monitor.
When the Health Inspectors show up at his door, Mike doesn't freak out like some restaurant managers would. Not only because he runs a clean operation, but also because he goes beyond the minimum requirements, which is evident, and on display, with his use of two Dickson Chart Recorders.
Mike felt that because he monitored the temperatures of his application, Health Inspections went a little more smoothly. He obviously cares that the food he is selling is the highest quality, and every Health Inspector notices that just by looking at his refrigerator and freezer.
The customer visit satisfied both our stomachs and our minds. Matt and I left the Hoover Dam astounded by the monstrous scale of the structure, and contemplating why it's useful for not only food producers, but restaurants, to be monitoring their temperature.
We can’t thank Mike and the staff of the High Scaler Cafe enough for welcoming us so kindly into their establishment. As the first official customer profile on our blog, we couldn't be happier with the information and good food they provided for us.
Finally, one last photo of the Hoover Dam, this time from the Lake Mead side (all credits to Matt):