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About Northern Monk Refectory LDS

Northern Monk Refectory LDS is located on the first floor of the Old Flax Store, a Grade II listed building housing Northern Monk Brewery. The taproom features flagged floors, iron pillars and exposed brickwork and is an established favourite with its clientele enjoying draught keg and cask lines for Northern Monk brews as well as guest beers from Europe and beyond. The Refectory Kitchens host guest kitchens from across the UK on a rotational basis, serving food menu paired with beers in a casual communal dining environment. The space links to the new Refectory Gardens for external seating and service when the weather is clement!

Building a secure and robust WiFi service for business and guest use

Northern Monk's popular Refectory in Leeds has been in operation since 2017. Developing challenges for WiFi across the premises led the organisation to investigate the options for a more secure and robust solution, designed around the dual requirements of business and guest use.

The team from PCM Systems was called in to assess the project and provide a practical and effective solution. The Refectory was originally equipped with a simple BT router and standard WiFi provision. Staff moving around the area had experienced weak and problematic signal strengths, and faced with growing demand for internet access for operational reasons and to comply with additional COVID-19 regulations, a more future-proofed system was overdue. In addition, guests wanting to log into the system often found the service sporadic and difficult to use.

Business class WiFi solutions

PCM proposed a solution including the installation of business class WiFi points on each floor of the Old Flax Store, capable of handling the projected volumes of traffic. The solution allowed for the creation of two completely separate WiFi networks, one for business use and one for guest use.

The construction and layout of this historic industrial building also presented a number of challenges. To achieve the coverage, the router is situated on the middle floor of the building, which meant that cables had to be run across all three floors. Old buildings and thick walls present interesting installation issues! As a result of the work, the WiFi signal is now excellent throughout the building and also extends successfully into the beer garden, making transacting business easier, quicker and in line with guidance for COVID secure ordering and payment.

Improved security and efficient working practices

PCM's solution provides a number of identified benefits for Northern Monk. It's a fast and efficient system with an excellent signal strength which can be used by both staff and guests, with the staff network totally segregated from the guest WiFi for added security. Guests have no access to staff resources; the network traffic is totally separate allowing additional security for payments and data. Digital systems can now be used effectively by staff working from iPads across the business premises.

The timescale for the project was critical, with bars and hospitality locations coming out of lockdown to an influx of customers. PCM Systems completed the work within a week, enabling Northern Monk's Refectory LDS to reopen with improved digital capabilities in line with social distancing guidelines.

PCM Systems stepped in to install a secure and reliable WiFi network at our Old Flax Store site in Leeds, completing the work in a very short time window to enable us to utilise digital systems when reopening the premises to the public safely and securely according to COVID-19 operational requirements.
Northern Monk Brewery
Northern Monk Brewery

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