How Twin Peaks Reached New Heights In the Restaurant Biz

Source: Solution Providers for Retail

Some retail concepts just can't be denied. One of those new segments is described as the, ahem, "breastaurant" category. I learned that new vocabulary word recently when I spoke with DirecPath, a solution provider that was instrumental in setting up the high-tech environment in one such establishment, the Buckhead, Ga., Twin Peaks restaurant.

Improving the customer experience is critical for retailers, as it helps them to retain their existing base. In an interview on, Alison Paul, vice chairman and US retail and distribution leader, said, "New economic realities have resulted in a new order of buyers who are more price-conscious and careful about the purchases they make. The critical challenge for retailers under these circumstances will be delivering a compelling in-store experience that drives profitable growth in 2012."

And so, Twin Peaks, with DirecPath's IT expertise, has delivered such a compelling experience.

With its Hooters-style waitresses, the concept of mixing high-tech with pretty girls is marketing genius. Built to resemble a hunting or fishing lodge, the wait staff is attractive, the setting is "every guy's" dream living room, and there are 93 televisions broadcasting every conceivable sporting event. Yes, 93. (And yes, some are in the men's room.) Enter DirecPath.

Installing, and then coordinating, all those televisions offered the solution provider the opportunity to develop a system that would showcase the latest and greatest in audio and video, said James Hampton, VP of business marketing at DirecPath. The hostess station alone houses a majestic array of equipment.

"The idea is to hit people when they walk in the door with shock and awe," said Mark Kiffin, director of technology. DirecPath used a Savant Systems control solution to handle all of the audio and video switching in the restaurant.

The Savant system provides customers the ability to manage all audio and video units through a tablet computer. They can also control all lighting, climate, surveillance, and even adjust the curtains. The managers and staff use an interface designed to mimic Twin Peaks' style, and can also control every aspect of the experience with ease. That means the waitresses can concentrate on their customers by refilling drinks, serving meals, and concentrating on the business' profit center.

The restaurant is a franchise, and the Buckhead location is ownership group LaCima's flagship. LaCima plans on building 35 Twin Peaks locations in six states during the next 10 years, and Kiffin said DirecPath hopes to provide IT solutions in each.

The installation is an interesting extension for DirecPath, which is 25 percent owned by DirecTV. The solution provider's business focus is commercial and multi-dwelling units. It's an expert in "big pipe" Internet, fiber, Wi-Fi, routers/switchers, as well as providing automation/control/entertainment. As a one-stop shop for such services, it was the ideal fit for the Twin Peaks job.

In the end, the goal of every IT solution is to help the customer become more efficient, which ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line. The Savant system not only met Twin Peaks' challenge, but also supported DirecPath's quest to expand its client base.

"The solution provides the ability to control the environment in an efficient way to free up wait staff so they can get back to selling food and drink," said Kiffin. "And, it gives customers yet another thing to talk about."

Source: Solution Providers for Retail

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