A new Control4 automation system installed at San Diego’s new 1,100-seat Portside Pier, which offers four district waterfront concepts, completely reimagines how restaurant staff operates thanks to scheduling and control that allows staff to focus on customer service.
The Control4 automation system – which was designed, installed and integrated by California-based integration firm AV-ators – controls the lights, climate controls, outdoor firepits, audio system, video displays and the security system automatically.
“Occupying one of the most desirable restaurant locations in San Diego, Portside Pier lives up to the promise of 21st century dining, complete with technologies that improve the atmosphere and comfort for guests while eliminating countless tasks from staff’s daily workload,” says AV-ators President Jared Magoon. “Besides the cooking and direct customer service, the whole building can essentially run on autopilot.”
As a cleaning crew disarms the alarm system in the morning, the Control4 system initiates a “clean-up” lighting scene. Before the kitchen crew arrives, the climate control systems bring the temperature to comfortable levels for their working areas.
And half an hour before the Portside Pier opens, the system creates a daytime lighting scene in each restaurant, music systems playing client-specific music turn on and televisions are activated – all without any human interaction.
The system also monitors levels of sunlight and intelligently adjusts lighting levels on more than 140 lighting loads to ensure the perfect levels of ambiance in each restaurant. As day turns to night, the system slowly dims the lights without any drastic adjustments so the change goes unnoticed by guests.
According to Magoon, the system even allows staff to change the channels on the building’s 20 TVs all at once or individually through the Control4 app on five connected iPads.
“If there’s a Padres or Chargers game, for instance, each restaurant can choose which TVs to broadcast the game on in seconds, without ever having to step out from behind the bar,” Magoon says.
At the end of the day as the manager arms the security system, the HVAC units, AV components, heaters, fireplaces and lights all switch off, and a path to the parking lot is illuminated for one minute for the staff’s safety.
The project at the 40,000-square-foot building also included 130 in-ceiling and surface mount speakers that bring professional quality audio performance to every seat in the house.
The building also includes 20 TVs and five digital signage menu boards that utilize various Strong mounts on ceiling piles and double TV mounts. AV signals are distributed through a Binary MoIP system to deliver content through Cat6 cable, enabling The Brigantine, Inc., the building owners, to save money by avoiding long, expensive HDMI runs.
The AV network, including climate sensors, security panels, and an enterprise-grade Araknis networking solution, required more than 20 miles of low-voltage cabling.
The system also included 71 integrated security cameras that record to three 12TB 32-channel NVRs that can be viewed remotely via the Control4 app.
According to Magoon, the programming was the easiest part of the job, and the team encountered no major roadblocks or challenges. The hardest part, he said, was complying with the stat’s new Title 24 Energy Compliance requirements which include regulations around daylight harvesting and energy reduction.
However, the team was able to exceed those requirements with the help of Control4’s automation capabilities.
“I won’t be surprised at all if this is how all restaurants, and especially multi-venue destinations, are designed and operated in the future,” Magoon says. “As long as the will and budget exists to create a more functional, easier-to-operate business, we will be here to deliver on owners’ dreams.”