There’s just something that makes dining outside more enjoyable. Whether it’s a break from the norm, a primitive calling or just a unique experience, outdoor seating at a restaurant is always a big draw. Unfortunately, diners are not the only ones who enjoy the outdoor experience. It seems the smells prove irresistible to flying insects who, just like the patrons, are lining up to get a taste of the local fare. How quickly your experience can go from “this is so great” to “I think I just ate a fly.”
To offer the “outdoor” experience but in a somewhat controlled manner, many restaurants have opened a wall, modified a patio, or added roll up doors. “Garage Door-style doors” are becoming a common feature on new restaurants and with a few minutes of prep, an outside eating area can be made ready to serve hungry diners.
But what about the flies entering through the newly created hole in the side of your restaurant? And while we are on the subject, what about the fumes, car exhaust or even temperamental temperatures? Now that you’ve got these massive openings, how do you prevent the unwanted outside elements from entering the indoor space?
Queue the Air Curtain.
Air Curtains offer an affordable, effective, and unobtrusive solution for patio dining. The barrier of air prevents unwanted nuisances like flies, exhaust, and humidity from entering your restaurant without sacrificing the outdoor dining experience. Add heat to the air curtain and you can create an area that can be used for nearly the entire year.
When used in restaurant applications, two of the most common questions we hear are:
- “I’m worried the noise from the air curtain will make it hard for diners to talk and have normal conversations.” - The reality is that air curtains, when sized and installed correctly, will barely be noticeable…other than to the flies they prevent form letting in.
- “I don’t want the air curtains to be blowing over drinks and making it hard for serves to walk under.” - This again comes down to choosing the right air curtain and ensuring a proper installation. When properly installed, a patio air curtain will complement the environment without detracting from the dining experience.
The payback period for air curtains in restaurant patio applications (the time when the amount saved on energy bills will be greater than the cost of the air curtain) is generally two years. Variables such as location, climate and the amount of time the door is open will factor into the equation. If a large garage door/roll up door is open all day, there is a considerable amount of conditioned inside air being lost—so you can expect a quicker payback period. If insect control is the primary application an unheated air curtain can be mounted on the exterior side (outside).
It’s not just patios that can benefit from air curtains. Restaurants can use them for outside bars, online order pickup, remote serving stations or any other area desiring insect-free, climate-controlled zones separate from the main building.
Of additional benefit, air curtains help improve Indoor air quality (IAQ) by preventing the infiltration of fumes, exhaust, and other harmful elements. UVC-based air curtains can even help eliminate airborne viruses like the Flu, Covid and common cold.
To learn more or discuss restaurant applications for air curtains, shoot us an email!