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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Air Conditioning: Are Comfort Issues Driving Diners Away?

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Restaurant air conditioning.

As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably invested quite a chunk of change in décor and lighting to make your restaurant’s atmosphere inviting. But have you paid as much attention to your restaurant air conditioning and the temperature of the dining room?

Without a doubt, restaurant air conditioning is a hot topic among diners (pun intended!). Air temperature is an important part of every diner’s experience, and if your customers are sweating or shivering through their meal, they are not likely to return for another one. Especially in New York City, you have competitors on every block, and customers will quickly find another restaurant where they can eat in comfort.

When your dining room feels like a sauna or an icebox, you’re losing more than the customers who don’t return. These days, it’s likely that those disappointed customers will share their uncomfortable experience with everyone they know on Facebook, or worse, post a negative review on Yelp. Both word of mouth and bad online reviews can do some serious damage to your restaurant’s reputation. When diners feel like you’re skimping on restaurant air conditioning maintenance, they may wonder (our loud and on social media) whether you’re also cutting corners on food handling, kitchen cleanliness, or quality of ingredients.

Also, don’t forget that your employees will be more productive when the temperature is comfortable.

Is your restaurant air conditioning a respite from the NYC heat?

In the dog days of summer, everyone in New York City is trying to escape the heat and get comfortable. It’s hard to avoid in the city streets and subways, so when people go inside a restaurant, they expect comfort.

With your dining room’s occupancy changing by the hour and kitchen equipment usage varying, it can be tough for your restaurant air conditioning to keep up with the demand. The result can be a dining room that feels like a meat locker or an oven.

So how can you fix this problem once and for all, and make sure your restaurant is always comfortable for diners?

Ventilation and system design updates may be needed

Have you renovated your restaurant, updated the kitchen, or even just added more tables without evaluating your restaurant air conditioning? If so, it’s very likely that your air flow and ductwork design may need adjustments. Getting the right amount of air flow to maintain comfort is an exact science, so if you’ve made changes to your space, it’s time for an evaluation by an HVAC professional. The good news? Often small changes to ducts can make a big difference in maintaining consistent temperatures.

Did you know that air flow is also essential to controlling odors in your restaurant? Read this related article: Your HVAC System Could Be the Cause of Your Smelly Building.

Neglected restaurant air conditioning maintenance may be the culprit

The problem is compounded when your restaurant air conditioning hasn’t been serviced in a while. Keeping your restaurant air conditioning in good condition and running efficiently is critical to maintaining an optimal temperature.

Getting caught up on restaurant air conditioning maintenance is as simple as setting up a preventative maintenance agreement with a qualified HVAC service company. Think that’s too expensive? It’s not unrealistic that the savings generated by a reliable restaurant air conditioning system could cover the cost of an annual preventive maintenance agreement and then some.

In addition to the costs of lost business from poorly regulated temperatures, consider the following:

Regular service prevents expensive breakdowns

When you sign up for restaurant air conditioning maintenance with a reputable air conditioning service company, a trained and experienced technician regularly inspects your system looking for failing parts. When he spots something worn, like belts or electrical components, he will replace that (probably inexpensive) part before it can cause a catastrophic system failure that disrupts your business and costs you a bundle.

Related article: 8 Ways AC Preventative Maintenance Keeps the Repairman Away.

You get priority service when you need it most

Without fail, things always seem to break down when your restaurant is at its busiest. What happens if your restaurant air conditioning breaks on a busy weekend or when you have a high-stakes event, like NYC Restaurant Week? If you don’t have a maintenance agreement, you’ll be put in the queue with everyone else and you could wait days for service, especially during a heat wave.

On the other hand, when you have a maintenance agreement your HVAC service company will typically provide you with priority service. That means you’ll be up and running again much faster.

Having a relationship with an HVAC service company helps you plan for future restaurant air conditioning needs

Each time your HVAC service provider inspects your restaurant air conditioning system, they can let you know which components may be nearing the end of their life span. Knowing this in advance allows you to budge for the expense and also gives you the chance to shop around for the best price instead of taking what’s available quickly when your unit fails.

Don’t let restaurant air conditioning problems impact your bottom line

This summer, take control of your restaurant air conditioning comfort issues before you lose any more customers. Here is some further reading to help you deal with the problem:

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