Finnish Restaurant First in the World to Install New Queue Management and Social Distancing Tech to Combat Covid-19 Spread


New affordable technology from Dutch firm Philips Professional Display Solutions is helping retailers, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes to avoid overcrowding and encourage social distancing without staff assistance

PeopleCountAmsterdam, June 26, 2020: As bars, restaurants, pubs and cafés reopen, a restaurant in the city of Kuopio has become the first in the world to debut a brand-new queue management technology designed specifically to help ensure the safety of staff and customers from the potential contraction and spread of COVID-19.

The technology, called PeopleCount, has been developed by Dutch firm Philips Professional Display Solutions has already helped a number of leading retailers, including those in the Netherlands and Spain to reopen safely.

The Apteekkari restaurant and bar in Kuopio city centre, owned by Osuuskauppa PeeÄs – a leading Finish organisation employing more than 2,000 staff in northern Savonia (Savo) – installed the technology as part of strict new safety measures placed on the food and beverage industry as part of a gradual reopening.

The solution uses Android powered digital displays (signage) combined with intelligent camera technology and bespoke software to monitor and manage venue capacity, without any staff assistance.

Social distancing

The Apteekkari, a popular city centre haunt for dining, socialising and live entertainment, has now successfully reopened, hailing the technology as vital– bringing hope to the wider food and beverage industry, as, like retail, it looks to recover from the lockdown.

Designed for 24/7 use, the displays have been strategically positioned in portrait mode at the stair entrance of ‘Apteekkari Sky’ rooftop terrace and inside the rooftop’s indoor bar area.

Connected to strategically placed Bosch cameras, the number of people entering and exiting the terrace is calculated and displayed in real-time, with a traffic light system displayed to indicate when it’s safe for people to enter as and when capacity is reached and reduced.

This method has previously been monitored using staff (as regularly seen in supermarkets and other high footfall retailers in recent weeks and months) – but with the concerns around the spread of COVID-19, PeopleCount provides a reliable, more accurate alternative – freeing up staff to focus on customer service.

In addition, the displays are also used to communicate marketing messages and promotions to customers, whether waiting or not – ensuring investments are maximised and future-proofed.

The process, from first discussion to installation was completed on time, in under two weeks. The restaurant reopened the following day with staff and customers have responded positively to the ‘new normal’ technology.

Arto Hujanen Restaurants manager for Osuuskauppa PeeÄs, said:The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority and with PeopleCount from Philips Professional Display Solutions, we now have a solution that not only brings a new level of safety but also trust as we continue to move forward in a post COVID world. 

“We’re delighted with the response from our staff and the reaction from our customers has been extremely positive.  The solution has already proved to be a very worthy investment, minimalizing any potential disruptions to their experience, and allowing people to stay informed whilst enjoying themselves.”

“We’re delighted to have been able to support Osuuskauppa PeeÄs in the safe reopening of its Apteekkari restaurant.”

Mikael da Fonseca, Sales Director at Philips Professional Display Solutions added: “At Philips PDS, we feel a great responsibility in bringing new products and solutions to market to meet the needs of our customers. In this extreme instance, we were able to foresee and respond immediately to the conditions caused by COVID-19, and respond to their very sudden changing needs to create a solution that in January this year did not appear on any roadmap.”



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