Founded in Los Angeles in 2012 by chef Anthony Carron, the 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen is a pizzeria chain with its own take on the art of cooking with a wood fire. With eight outlets across the US, two in the Middle East and three in Japan, the latest – at the Tokyo International Forum – features a Yamaha background music system.

800 Degress in Tokyo's Marunouchi business districtThe first 800 Degrees restaurant in Japan opened at Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, followed by one in nearby Minamiaoyama. The latest is in the heart of the city’s Marunouchi business district, with seats for 100 diners and a VIP room for ten people. ‘While maintaining the core Californian brand and taste, we have a concept for each restaurant, with a specially-designed interior and menu in each location,’ says Kazuma Suzuki, General Manager of the Market Development Department of Lumine Co, the Japanese retail developer that brought the 800 Degrees brand to Japan.

‘The new restaurant is relatively large for this busy office district and we wanted to offer a stylish, cosmopolitan lounge space for businessmen and women in Marunouchi. We also offer a deli box and bakery takeaway service.’

Lumine contracted Kohji Fujita, Space Planner at Hiranya Access Co, who designed an audio system using Yamaha’s combination of flexibility, audio quality and coverage. ‘The pizza kiln is at the centre of the restaurant, so I designed the system to create the impression of all the restaurant’s energy coming from the kiln,’ he says.

The installation uses Yamaha VXS5 surfacemount speakers and VXS10S subwoofers at the entrance, delivering high-quality music to customers as they step into the restaurant, ‘It is designed to highlight the feeling of a wave of heat coming from the kiln while they choose toppings and wait until their pizza is ready,’ says Fujita. ‘We had used the VXS5 in previous projects because of its versatility and high quality sound. With its compact format, wide coverage, high SPL and cost efficiency, it was an important factor in helping us to design the audio space.

VXS10S subwoofer‘We used VXC5F low profile ceiling speakers for the counter and the VIP room, with VXS1ML compact surface mount speakers installed in the takeaway area. We like the VXS1ML’s compact format, it really complements the restaurant’s design.’

The VIP room also features a projector and screen and can be booked for private or business events. A range of audio and video inputs are provided, with the entire audio system controlled from here, using DCP4V4S and DCP1V4S wall-mounted controllers.

The system is managed by an MTX5-D matrix processor, using its speaker processing and delay to achieve phase coherence, and is powered by XMV8140 and XMV4280 multi-channel amplifiers. ‘The system is programmed with presets for events like parties, in-store performances and presentations, with the music selection and levels tailored for different times of the day. It is very simple to use, allowing any restaurant staff to operate it,’ says Suzuki.

The audio content was devised by Mio Ueki, Senior Music Designer at Mood Media Japan Inc. ‘Premium, Fast and Casual is the theme of 800 Degrees, and the music has to make customers feel uplifted. The soundtrack was carefully chosen to deliver the ‘wave of heat’ effect and give the restaurant its unique atmosphere,’ she says.

‘Mr Suzuki also briefed me on the concept of it being somewhere for mature business people to eat. To balance the formal and the casual, I created a playlist of modern music which incorporates the feel of 1980s funk and soul, dynamic tracks that reinforce the playful atmosphere.’

The response from the Tokyo public and office workers has been positive: ‘Customers have said that they enjoy the contrast between casual style of the service and the richness of the food and music,’ says Ms Ueki. ‘That is exactly what we aimed for, creating an audio experience that seamlessly complements the interior design and lighting. The audible environment enhances the entire space and has played a vital role in successfully delivering the 800 Degrees concept.’

More: www.yamahaproaudio.com

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