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Product at Work: Cheesecake Factory

TAB Technical Services is one of the first to design with Allen & Heath's new range of install audio matrix processors and purpose-built touchscreens

Todd Bermann started TAB Technical services in 1978, specializing in restaurants with a client roster that grew to include hundreds of franchise-wide locations of California Pizza Kitchen, Islands Restaurants, and over 300 worldwide locations of The Cheesecake Factory. The Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall are also among their bespoke clients for services including CCTV, MATV, and back-of-house systems.

For an upcoming Cheesecake Factory in North Beach, Miami, Bermann and his team designed in two brand new products from Allen & Heath—the AHM-32 and AHM-16 matrix audio processors. TAB has been a longtime user (and fan) of the now-discontinued A&H iDR8 matrix mixers and has widely deployed them for The Cheesecake Factory.

In adopting the just released AHM-32 and AHM-16 and eventually standardizing on them, the TAB team will benefit from the innovations of another popular A&H product—the flagship AHM-64. The AHM-64 debuted two years ago and has found wide adoption in worship, theater, corporate, retail, and education. The AHM-64 was designed to support industry requests for scalable I/O and remote control, rapid setup, and Dante integration. The 96kHz FPGA engine supports high quality audio and low latency. Ready-made remote-control options include an array of PoE remote controllers and the BYOD-friendly Custom Control app.

Now technical features of the AHM-64 have been scaled into these two smaller options, making the AHM series more accessible and, as it turns out, perfect for the new Cheesecake Factory. Two purpose-built touchscreens are new part of the install range as well. The CC-7 and CC-10 will allow TAB to simplify the system design and give the Cheesecake Factory everything they need and nothing they don’t.

According to Bermann, part of the appeal of the new AHM processors is their remote-friendliness—instrumental when supporting hundreds of worldwide deployments. Additionally internal control capabilities, including the ability to potentially control third-party elements like Direct TVs, allows for a simplified, less Crestron-dependent economy of scale.

“The system we have now with a combination of Crestron and the iDR8s and BSS processors is very powerful, more than we need,” says TAB engineer Mark Casselman “And while it’s an amazing platform, it’s difficult to access remotely; we’re looking forward to more remote accessibility, and our client will benefit from the price point. We’re also excited about the ensemble approach to the product with the app and the dedicated touch panel.”

Casselman says initially they’ll be dropping in the new AHM-32 and AHM-16 processors to replace iD8s and BSS processors in new designs and upgrades. From there they plan to optimize with Crestron control, and then explore whether the entire system can be A&H. ‘There are lots of interfaces and endpoints on the audio side; we’d like to see what it can do with serial and IR and how it evolves.”

“We’ve been using Allen & Heath product for 30 years,” Bermann says. “We trust the consistency and support and I have no doubt that this product will bring new capabilities and economies to The Cheesecake Factory systems.”

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