Is Your Retail Business a Comfort Zone?
Ah, summer in New York City! Temperatures are soaring, humidity is rising and people on the NYC streets are seeking relief from the oppressive heat. Will they find it in your retail store or restaurant? Comfort is an important factor in where people choose to shop or dine. If your establishment is too hot or too cold, you may be driving away customers in droves.
Air conditioning problems are bad for business.
Restaurant owners invest a great deal of money in décor and lighting to create an inviting atmosphere, but many pay little attention to the temperature of the dining room. With constantly changing occupancy and varying use of kitchen equipment, proper HVAC system design and maintenance are critical to maintaining an optimal temperature in a restaurant. Air temperature is an important part of the customer’s dining experience. If your clientele are sweating or shivering through their meal, they are unlikely to return for another one.
If your restaurant is a sauna or an icebox, you’re losing more than just the customers who don’t return. It’s increasingly likely that those unhappy customers will share their negative experience both with friends and on Yelp or Facebook. Word of mouth and bad reviews can severely damage the reputation of your restaurant. Customers who feel that you’re skimping on maintaining your air conditioning system may wonder (out loud and on social media) if you’re also cutting corners on the quality of ingredients, food storage and handling, or even the cleanliness of your kitchen.
In a retail store, an uncomfortable temperature makes a bad first impression; one that can cause customers turn right around and walk out the door before looking at a single item. If your clothing store feels like a meat locker or an oven, patrons may be too chilly or too sweaty to want to try on items. Instead of lingering and browsing, people will be breezing in and out again. Your employees will also be less productive and less effective salespeople if they are hot or ice cold. In New York City, you have competitors on every block and customers will quickly make their way to another store where they can shop in comfort.
Comfort is not as expensive as you think.
How can you maintain a comfortable temperature in your establishment without camping out by the thermostat? It’s as simple as setting up a preventative maintenance agreement with a qualified HVAC service company. Think that’s too expensive? In addition to the costs of lost business from poorly regulated temperatures, consider the following:
Maintenance prevents costly breakdowns.
Regular cleaning and tune-ups can add years to the life of your HVAC equipment. Qualified technicians become familiar with your system, and can spot problems and fix them before they cause a system failure that disrupts your business.
You get priority service when you need it most.
Don’t things always seem to fail during your busiest time? Service providers typically provide priority to their customers with contracts in place. If something breaks and you don’t have a maintenance agreement, you may find yourself waiting days for a service call during a heat wave.
Regular check-ups help you plan for future expenses.
Your HVAC service provider will inspect your units regularly and let you know which components may be nearing the end of their life span. Knowing this in advance allows you to budget for the expense, and also allows you to shop around for the best deal instead of taking what you can get in a hurry when your unit fails.
This summer, don’t let uncomfortable temperatures impact your bottom line. It’s not unrealistic that the savings generated by a reliable HVAC system could cover the cost of an annual preventive maintenance agreement and then some.
Have questions about how temperature variance and poor HVAC maintenance may be costing your business? Download our guide to Calculating the Hidden Costs of Poor HVAC Maintenance.