Settled on the scenic waterfront of Panama City Beach, Florida sits Captain Anderson’s Restaurant and Waterfront Market (opens in new tab). Founded in 1967 as a small family-owned seafood eatery, Captain Anderson’s has evolved into a dining hub for tourists and locals alike. In addition to winning over the hearts and appetites of millions of customers worldwide, the waterfront restaurant boasts an impressive list of accolades including a spot-on America’s Top 50 Restaurant list and recognition as Southern Living’s Best Seafood Restaurant.
With such remarkable growth follows a heightened responsibility for Captain Anderson’s to uphold a memorable customer experience for the 750-seat restaurant that hosts 250,000 guests during the restaurant’s eight-month season. When restaurant employees started to have trouble controlling the restaurant’s existing audio system, Captain Anderson’s looked to local Panama City Beach integrator, Nolan Bush of Neves Media (opens in new tab), to reel in a new audio ecosystem to satisfy the ears of customers and simplify audio control for employees.
With the restaurant featuring an indoor and outdoor waiting area, gift shop, kitchen, bar lounge and four dining areas, Neves Media sought a system complex enough to address the unique audio needs of the different areas yet simple enough for any member of the 177-person restaurant staff to manage. After considering its options, Neves Media landed on AtlasIED (opens in new tab) and its innovative Atmosphere Audio Processing and Control Platform (opens in new tab).
The Audio Zone
At the core of Captain Anderson’s Atmosphere audio control system is the Atmosphere AZM8 (opens in new tab) 8-Zone audio processor. Featuring a host of beneficial features such as a built-in message player, virtual wall controllers, ambient noise sensing, Tilter Filter, auto-gain, GPIO, room combine and more, the AZM8 serves as a key component to ensure the restaurant sound is as enjoyable as the award-winning cuisine.
Aside from its impressive list of features, the beauty of the AZM8 shines through its simple yet innovative interface. Prior to installing Atmosphere, adjusting the restaurant audio was a hassle. The process required one staff member to stand at the audio control panel, while another staff member was on the phone in a separate area of the restaurant directing their colleague on what adjustments to make. The restaurant also added the AtlasIED AZA404 (opens in new tab) 4-channel power amplifier, which is designed to interface with the Atmosphere AZM8 and helps drive power to the loudspeakers.
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Now, with Atmosphere, Captain Anderson’s staff can manage the audio system to select sources, adjust the volume, and choose zones from one of two AtlasIED C-ZSV (opens in new tab) wall controllers, mobile device, or computer. Additionally, Atmosphere also allows restaurant management to restrict who can make adjustments to the system.
The restaurant features multiple areas including a large waiting area, a gift shop, a waiting area outdoors, four main dining halls, and a lounge area. Captain Anderson chooses different music for various zones—from smooth jazz in the bar to upbeat eighties music played throughout the rest of the restaurant, the restaurant staff appreciates the flexibility Atmosphere provides. “Giving our customers that full control of all the zones was one of the things they were lacking. Then, after replacing the speakers, the system provided clean sound quality. The people that you wouldn't think would comment about it noticed the difference,” said Bush.
In addition to a collection of music sources and seamless, user-intuitive control, Neves Media added paging to the restaurant’s IP network with balance line-outs for each phone extension and then connected to Atmosphere. This phone integration enables staff to page either guests or their fellow team members in the kitchen, waiting area, or throughout the entire system. The staff uses it to alert other staff members that a guest may be waiting on-hold, or they use it to reach guests for various reasons, such as the availability of a table. This configuration with Atmosphere, the phone system, and an AtlasIED PA60G (opens in new tab) amplifier for paging helps to streamline staff communication and provides the restaurant staff the peace of mind knowing that the message will reach the other party clearly through the restaurant’s audio system.
Apart from transforming the audio system within the restaurant’s outdoor and indoor areas, multiple dining rooms, and gift shop, Neves Media were also challenged with outfitting the restaurant’s private event room—an area used regularly both for reserved parties and celebrations, as well as company presentations and meetings. With an older audiovisual system, they continually had connectivity issues and needed to upgrade. To help modernize the room, Neves Media installed a separate AZM8 and several inputs, including the Remote XLR Input (opens in new tab), an RCA Audio Input (opens in new tab), and a Remote Bluetooth Audio Input (opens in new tab). Now, through the input panels connected to the AZM8, guests can plug in a variety of devices, including connecting mobile devices via Bluetooth, for audio control within the space.
“The restaurant is like two separate installations,” noted Bush. “We made the private room its own audio environment, and our customer can either play audio from the main restaurant feed in that room or guests in the room can select their own music or we can choose a different playlist there. The private room is now also all wireless, so connectivity is simple and controlled,” Bush added.
The new audio system throughout Captain Anderson’s Restaurant includes a combination of 26 AtlasIED FAP63T (opens in new tab) and FAP42T coaxial in-ceiling loudspeakers. Both speaker models deliver high-intelligibility voice and music reproduction to ensure the audio helps provide an excellent guest experience. The quick connectors included in the loudspeakers don’t require screwdrivers, which helped the Neves Media team save time during installation.
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The Neves Media team has installed Atmosphere in more than 30 of its projects and will continue to use it in appropriate applications. “Atmosphere fits a lot of the applications we come across, from small installations to larger restaurants like Captain Anderson. The quality and the controls make it reliable and easy for customers to use,” said Bush.
Today, the staff at Captain Anderson has nothing but positive things to say about their experience with AtlasIED’s Atmosphere system. They love its ease of use and system performance. They also appreciate the ability to walk into one of the rooms and adjust the volume from their mobile phone whenever they want. As a third-generation family-owned business, they look forward to continuing to provide guests with an outstanding audio experience with AtlasIED.