Next Generation Wi-Fi Brings Outstanding Dining Experience at The "Icho" Chain


Yorozuya Corporation operates a large-scale Japanese chain restaurant & bar in the northern Kanto region of Japan -- the "Icho" chain -- spread out over the Gunma, Saitama, Tochigi, and Nagano prefectures. Each of Icho's 40 locations is furnished elegantly with approximately 80 private rooms, and serves an impressive variety of dishes for its diners. In order to reduce wait times and improve the dining experience, Icho introduced a self-ordering system that enabled customers to place orders in their own rooms through wireless tablets. However, providing a stable Wi-Fi signal for the system was extremely challenging due to the complex physical layout in each store.

"The ordering system often became unstable at lunch time when the restaurant was crowded and the signals could not reach the further private rooms. We were soon facing complaints and bad reputation problems," recalled Toshinobu Tabei, head of Icho's IT system construction.

Icho's management team quickly made it a priority for Mr. Tabei to find a stable Wi-Fi solution that could support their challenging network environment. During a visit to the HOTERES Hotel & Restaurant Show, Mr. Tabei realized that the enterprise-grade WLAN solutions being showcased for high-density public venues in hotels could also be applied to the Icho restaurants. He approached NTT Advanced Technology (NTT-AT), 4ipnet's local partner in Japan, and after hearing the detailed solution presentation, was convinced that 4ipnet could help him resolve his current wireless network issues.

Prior to the network deployment, NTT-AT conducted a thorough site survey for each Icho location, factoring in floor plan layouts and physical obstructions that would impact the wireless connectivity. NTT-AT came to the conclusion that placing the access points above the decorative eaves of the private rooms offered the best combination of aesthetics and performance, to which Mr. Tabei agreed. With NTT-AT's expertise, Icho was able to successfully deploy 140 sets of 4ipnet EAP757 and EAP767 indoor access points across all stores, and greatly increased the high-density performance and reliability of the self-ordering system.

After the new Wi-Fi deployment went live, Icho was extremely satisfied with 4ipnet's solution, as Mr. Tabei said, "With 4ipnet, the self-ordering system improved dramatically, and we can at last comfortably handle the network as the Icho Bar chain continues to open more stores. Moreover, guests can finally enjoy an uninterrupted dining experience."

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