SmartThings use in a restaurant / business - Range? Reliability?

This post is partially out of boredom, looking for something to talk about. LOL.

So I’ve been personally using a v2 SmartThings hub for probably about 4-5 years. Whenever the v2 hub came out, that’s when I started using it. And I’ve been relatively happy with very little issues.

But I’ve only ever used my hub in a small apartment and now in a small house. I realize that for zigbee, other wall powered devices can serve as a repeater to build the mesh network, so that plays a big factor as well.

The point of the post is…my Dad owns a restaurant, it’s been in our family since the 60’s. He likes to do things the old way, and that’s fine. But there are certain things I think would make his life a little easier if I were to help introduce him to some smart devices.

Some examples…he’s constantly calling in to make sure his walk in / table fridges are within the safe temperature range. He also has a problem with the employees forgetting to turn on the open sign, and some times other things, like the jukebox, video games, etc.

I was thinking, maybe I could buy him a smartthings hub, and get some sensors, smart outlets/bulbs and such set up for him.

How many of you are using SmartThings for your business? And would you recommend it?

I think it would be a fun project for me, but I don’t want to create a headache for my Dad.

With my home setup, it’s usually a work in progress…occasionally bulbs disconnect, batteries need to be replaced at least yearly, etc. So I don’t know if I want this so I can help my Dad, or if I’m biased because I would be excited to set this up for him.

Curious of your thoughts.

There are lots of automation systems available for small businesses, and companies including Phillips, Leviton, Lutron, and even Amazon have separate divisions dedicated to providing small business services.

Smartthings does not fall into that category. Just the fact that you can’t defer or deny platform updates makes it unsuitable for a commercial environment because you just never know when things are going to randomly stop working.

They say so themselves in their product usage guidelines:

  • Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests. For example, because temperature readings may vary significantly from reading to reading on an individual device, between devices, or over time, those readings should not be used to control heating and cooling in environments where food spoilage, health risks, or damage to physical goods could occur. Alternately, presence data from SmartThings devices or mobile/Smartphones can vary in accuracy, and therefore should not be used to control access to secure locations without secondary authentication.

Compare that to the Leviton offering:

Note also that the frequent changes to SmartThings without prior notification make it impossible to train employees on how to use the system.

Someone with a home system might open the app, notice something different, And then start trying to figure out how and if that affects their own setup. But you can’t have that for a commercial system. You want to be able to have established and documented procedures so you can train employees ahead of time. So it’s more than just the system reliability itself. It’s the way in which it fits into business operations.

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Thanks for the tips! I’ll look into those other systems.

The main goal is to eliminate the need for employees to be involved at all. That’s the whole reason behind the post actually. Because the employees keep forgetting to turn on the open sign, or they forget to turn on the arcade games, or the TV’s, etc.

So I’m hoping to find something that would be easy to set up and automate. While also being easy for my Dad to pull up an app on his phone, and see everything is where it needs to be.

I’m not too worried if the system occasionally has glitches…it’s not exactly a high end corporate restaurant. It’s just a small pizza restaurant that’s been around since the 60’s. So my main concern with these other enterprise/corporation grade systems is their cost.

AKA…would it be overkill to use one of these other systems you mention for a small family owned coffee shop or in this case, a pizza shop? If it were a Starbucks, or a high end restaurant or something like that, then I would understand wanting a high end 100% reliable system.

Can’t really say. Depending on the location of the restaurant and the details of your dad‘s insurance, you may run into other issues as well. Nothing about smartthings is certified for commercial use. So just as one example if one of the glitches is that the system unlocks the front door when it’s not supposed to (this can happen) and then there’s a robbery, it could be that your father’s insurance would not cover that loss. Or any other loss associated with a smartthings problem. There may also be other commercial code requirements that it won’t meet.

If it was me, I would not consider it for a business operation. I think your desire to help your dad is great, I just don’t see ST as a good fit.

The guys above know their stuff inside out, so it’s worth digesting the info already provided.

That said, my dad has a small barbershop. Similar to your situation it would be good to have signs etc automatically switched on at certain times. And just to be able to keep an eye on a few things.

I’d happily install a smart system (this one) for those purposes because there’s nothing mission critical and any potential fails would likely be minimal and short term. Just mho. Wouldn’t be using smart locks etc but I’m guessing you weren’t considering them anyway.