Case Study: That Bar-B-Q Place

Everything but the kitchen sink: control restaurant systems by phone


The Challenge

Your average restaurant houses a large assortment of mechanical and electrical systems. Most modern restaurants have systems for lighting, HVAC, security, fire alarm, outside signage, and audio/video. Commercial kitchens add refrigeration, fire suppression, and specialized ventilation systems.

Now consider that each of these systems has its own readouts, dials, switches, alerts, screens, and other controls. If you need to keep track of all this, you’re going to be busy.

Edmonton, Alberta-restaurant owner Dave Brosseau has given this problem a lot of thought. With wife Trina, Brosseau owns “That Bar-B-Q Place,” a barbecue restaurant specializing in the slow-smoked barbecue style found in the Southern United States.

Brosseau, however, also runs CASE Technologies, Ltd., a Canadian automation integrator based in Edmonton. As an industrial engineer, he knew the systems his restaurant contained—in some cases having installed them himself—and he had an idea how to bring together the controls and indicators for these systems in one place.

The Solution

Brosseau instrumented the existing systems in the restaurant and connected them to his Opto 22 SNAP PAC System. He had heard about groov View and, after ordering a groov Box for the restaurant, he developed interface screens for the restaurant’s connected systems and devices.

“That Bar-B-Q Place” now has a web-based groov View interface that monitors and controls the entire building. Restaurant staff use their smartphones—at work as well as remotely—or a web browser running on a PC at the restaurant’s front desk to monitor and control security, fire alarm, fire suppression, HVAC, lighting, outside signage, TV menus, and even the kitchen hood fan.

While no stranger to HMIs (human-machine interfaces), Brosseau thought building and running a groov View interface was particularly easy. “It was easy to implement,” he says, “and an easy way to make the restaurant’s systems visible, especially on smartphones.”

Staff at a new barbecue restaurant monitor and control equipment using groov View interfaces on mobile devices and PCs.

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