Sunderland-based CCTV specialist, Hadrian Technology, have teamed up with Durham’s renowned Bells fish restaurant and takeaway to create a unique customer service solution.
The pioneering system utilises flatscreen television monitors, a mobile tablet and advanced high definition technology. With the ability to zoom in on any table at the touch of a finger, staff can easily observe the restaurant and remain instantly aware of customer needs.
Overlooking Durham’s ancient market square, the listed building has a complex layout spanning three floors, meaning it was previously impossible to see all tables at once. Despite there being a total of 18 restaurant workers and seven takeaway staff, restaurant manager Julia Abbott felt more could be done to improve service.
It was in conversation with Gary Trotter who runs Hadrian Technology, that the innovative solution was formed. Gary suggested that CCTV, despite being known for security, could actually be used to improve customer service.
Placed at the entrance to the restaurant, a flatscreen TV featuring pinch zoom technology allows staff to zoom in on tables, checking whether plates and cups are empty, while a flatscreen TV located in the admin office and a mobile tablet which can be used off-site allow the manager to provide support to staff at all times.
Julia Abbott says, “We are delighted with the CCTV system. Without this technology it’s almost impossible to monitor all tables at once. Our customer service is now more efficient than ever before and the system allows for more sittings throughout the day. It’s a huge benefit to the business, our staff and the customers simultaneously.”
“It’s especially useful when a queuing customer requests a particular table, such as our most popular one overlooking the market square. Rather than running upstairs to check, our staff can now use the pinch zoom technology to give our customer an immediate answer.
She said, “With staff having the freedom to view tables from afar, the dining experience is a lot more intimate too. The restaurant frequently hosts private functions, and the innovative system allows parties to feel as though they have the place to themselves.
Hadrian Technology’s Gary Trotter says, “The use of CCTV technology in the hospitality sector can hugely improve service levels and staff experience. This system means the team can instantly see where they are required and where they are able to seat customers – they can virtually be in multiple places at once.”
He said, “The revolutionary technology uses an analogue based, high definition camera system known as AHD. The new cameras are the first to be able to offer crystal clear video transmission over traditional 75-3 coaxial cable for distance runs of up to 500 metres.
“This means it uses old co-axial cables and converts digital camera signals, allowing them to run over previously installed CCTV networks. This solved the problem of having to rip up floor boards and hack off plaster in what is a listed building in order to find the route of previously installed cabling.
Julia added, “The benefits of the technology are endless; it has even had a positive impact on happiness levels – and not just for the customers who receive an improved service. Our staff are safe in the knowledge that their colleagues can see them at all times, so if they need extra support, they can rest assured it will be on its way, and if they are busy talking to a customer they don’t need to worry about their colleagues wondering where they are. It has gone down well with absolutely everybody involved.”