I'm planning on an Arduino project for a restaurant I work at that would require determining how busy it is at any point in time, but I'm not sure how I would go about procuring this information.

I don't have access to any of their IT systems or I would have simply pulled the data from their till systems.

I was thinking perhaps measuring the ambient sound of the restaurant as it gets quite loud during peak time but that could be thrown off when the music volume is adjusted.


There are a few ways to go about it but my initial thoughts would be to detect people entering (and exciting) the front door and simply keep a running total.

Motion detector http://www.adafruit.com/products/189

IR beam detectors http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/InfraredBeamPair

  • I don't think this is possible as the project must be small and placed in a dedicated corner of the restaurant, which is away from the door. If I were able to move it near the door, how would you distinguish between people entering and exciting? – jshxe Sep 22 '14 at 9:24
  • You could use a variety of sensors but easiest would be a pair of $10 proximity sensors and depending on when they trigger you could work out if which direction the person was travelling. Alternatively use IT beam detectors arduino-info.wikispaces.com/InfraredBeamPair – Frankeex Sep 22 '14 at 9:29
  • 1
    I expect that a direction-of-travel based people counter might often loose track in many restaurants I'm familiar with - too many people waiting in the entryway, holding doors for others in their party, walking in side by side, etc. – Chris Stratton Sep 22 '14 at 16:51

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