restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.
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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 7 9 Form + Function and background music, both types of music need to be right," says Howell. Sports bars and restaurants need more foreground design with greater volumes as well as more TVs and speakers. "Some want to display all events going on at any one time," says Andrade. "So, we need to design the sound system so that the audio is clear over the ambient noise in the facility." Keep in mind that the numbers of TV endpoints in a sports bar could be as many as 80. Typically, finer-dining facilities place an emphasis on background- ing the AV system. These spaces also have few, if any, televisions or visual displays. Regardless of the facility type, the AV system should be flexible to anticipate future needs and allow for controls that can be changed, depend- ing on the time of day and type of clientele being served. "At lunchtime, there might be more of a background audio, and the noise needs to be nice and smooth," Howell says. "In the evening, the fore- ground music may begin to emerge for family dinnertime. Even the visuals will be turned up in the evening. Then, the late-night crowd comes, and the audio will be even more foregrounded and much louder. The visuals will be set to high-energy shows, with them all on at the same time." AV System Design Considerations AV system design is a critical com- ponent in creating a positive guest experience. "It's hard to believe, but there is a difference between 50 and 52 endpoints regarding the design, acoustics and ambience in the restau- rant," says Howell. The first decision to make is whether to go with a networked versus an analog system. "With a networked system, an owner can have a wider vari- ety of audiovisual sources and, because this solution employs standard network- ing equipment for the distribution, it's merely half the size of traditional AV racks," says Andrade. Networked systems will use CAT5 or CAT6 shielded wiring, which takes up less space with- in the building and, most important, within the ceiling plenum space — a feature that is highly desirable in open- ceiling designs. Due to the fragility of CAT5 wiring, Johnston recommends adding 50 percent more wiring to allow for a double run to each endpoint. "Analog AV equipment techni- cally has a more stable connection," says Howell. "Even though analog is becoming outdated, the wiring is less expensive and more durable than CAT5 and CAT6." Analog chassis come in increments of eight endpoints, which limits the flexibility of the overall sys- tem. If the restaurant would like to add a few more endpoints, it would need to purchase an additional chassis that has a minimum of eight more endpoints. "We have a saying in our business, which is 'anything, anywhere, any- time,'" says Andrade. "The AV system needs to be designed to account for future expansions. With a networked system, a restaurant owner could more easily add just one or two more end- points, while an analog system might involve the purchase of an additional chassis just to increase the overall system by one or two endpoints." Audiovisual controls range from very complex to the easy-to-use residential-style setups. Photo by Anthony Torsiello In some instances, like this Buffalo Wild Wings in New Jersey, the restaurant design and audiovisual package will require layers of televisions. Photo by Joe Lipari