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The Cheesecake Factory Standardizes with Allen & Heath

TAB installs A&H iDR-8s audio distribution systems at 60 locations (November 02, 2004)

TAB Technical Services, a leading A/V systems integrator working in the hospitality and retail industries, has become a major installer of Allen & Heath's iDR DSP audio distribution and processing systems. For one major client, The Cheesecake Factory, TAB has installed the A&H iDR-8 at 75 percent of the national restaurant chain's more than 60 locations, according to company president Todd Berman.

Although materials, ceiling height, and décor differ slightly between locations, says Berman, the A&H iDR installation at each Cheesecake Factory restaurant is essentially the same. "It's pretty much an 8- or 10-zone system in each. The iDR works out well because there are 10 outs--in addition to the 8 main outs there are the two monitor jacks."

Using the multi-zone control and processing capabilities of the iDR-8, audio in each area of the restaurant may be separately programmed and controlled, continues Berman, who also has years of experience with Allen & Heath's DR128 digital installation mixer. "We're able to EQ each individual zone. We have paging going into some of the zones plus different sources, such as CD music or television sound or satellite music, also going into the zones."

Setup of the system involves easy to use set-and-forget software, he continues. The iDR system configuration and settings are set-up by the installer using a Windows PC which is then removed, allowing the iDR to run as a standalone unit.

The iDR System Manager software is "very simple to use, very easy," comments Berman. "I get all the sales guys coming in here to my office, and it's actually the easiest software compared to all the other pieces I've seen. It's very straightforward."

Employee access to the system is limited to the functions on the remote control, and although the iDR system integrates with Allen & Heath's PL Series of remote controllers, Berman has found that the hospitality chain prefers to utilize a system that more closely matches the point of sale touchscreens with which employees are already familiar. "We initially set the iDR system up the way we want it, then use a Crestron control system to control the volume levels, source selection, and various other aspects."

He continues, "From an operator point of view, having a color touch panel makes it as simple for them as possible. I set it up so they have full control over various zones, but they can also hit one button for opening at lunch or dinner and it'll take all the zones to a predetermined level."

Berman reserves particular praise for one specific attribute of the iDR system. "One of the features that we really like is the Ethernet jack on it. I hook it up to a wireless base when I'm setting up a store, so I'm able to walk around with my wireless laptop to the various rooms and set the equalization. The owner really likes that application."

The systems are typically integrated with JBL ceiling speakers. "The owners want really good sound but they want it to aesthetically fit in. They don't want to see speaker boxes," he explains.

Summing up the iDR system, Berman says, "It's an awesome piece. It's probably a bit of overkill, but I'd rather have more tools at my disposal, and you certainly get what you pay for." It also allows TAB to keep service calls down to a minimum. "What we aim to do is set up a system and we don't want to go back into that restaurant unless we're going to eat!"

About The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory, established in 1978 in Beverly Hills, California, has since expanded to become one of the most profitable hospitality chains in the country, with restaurant locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia as well as bakery production facilities plus three Grand Lux Café branded locations in Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas. Its enviable annual sales figures include $11 million per restaurant, over $34,000 per seat, and in excess of $1,000 per productive square foot.

About TAB Technical Services
TAB Technical Services, established in 1977, specializes in the design and installation of high-end audio/visual systems and has developed an impressive clientele of corporate national chain outlets that include Wells Fargo Bank, Darden Restaurant Group, Wolfgang Puck, Inc., California Pizza Kitchen, and Islands Restaurants in addition to The Cheesecake Factory.

About Allen & Heath
Established for 35 years, Allen & Heath designs and manufactures professional audio mixing consoles for an international clientele in the live sound, installed systems and nightclub markets. Established in 2002, Allen & Heath USA has been set up by American Music & Sound (AM&S) to provide U.S. distribution for the British audio mixing products manufacturer.

For further information on the entire range of Allen & Heath mixing products visit the company's web site at Comprehensive details of the iDR Series of DSP audio mixing products are available at


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Related Keywords:Allen & Heath, The Cheesecake Factory, TAB Technical Services, systems integrator, iDR, audio distribution, Todd Berman, DR128, iDR System Manager, Crestron, JBL,


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