Restaurant AC: How Comfort Plays Into Customer Frequency

From your experiences running a restaurant, you understand the importance of creating ambience to enhance your customers’ dining experience. You put considerable money and thought into décor, lighting, seating, and layout. However, you may not have put as much time into heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). The temperature in your business can have an impact. Being too hot or cold can spoil the experience no matter how good the food or how clever your interior design. People who know they won’t be comfortable are unlikely to come back. Here are some things to consider for a comfortable dining environment.

Maintain Balanced Temperatures

No one is going to fully appreciate your food if they’re sweating or shivering. In fact, many bad reviews come from customers who were very uncomfortable, with barely a mention of the food and service. While the kitchen might be always hotter and wait staff warmed by constant activity, the customers are sitting still and more likely to need a little heat. Have two-zone HVAC for both the kitchen and dining room, or hire a professional from a company like AMC Cool Air to help you find a balance that both employees and customers seem comfortable with.

Consider Variation

Interior temperature will depend on how many cubic feet of space you have, how many people are present, and the kind of food you serve. People eating spicy food like Thai or Mexican will prefer cooler temps. Colder temperatures will cool dishes faster, so that customers may wonder if their food has been sitting awhile. But nobody wants piping hot food when they’re already sweating. Very hot or cold food can also lower appreciation of the taste. It’s important to be observant of customer satisfaction at all times and make note of what works best, and when.

Seasonal Temperature

Interior temps will also depend on climate conditions. Most restaurants do their best business in the summer time when the weather is warm and people are out and about. A nice cool interior can be very inviting. People in the winter tend to be out less to avoid the biting cold, ice, and snow. You can lose 20 percent of business during the holidays. While the restaurant business often slows in the cold weather, people will appreciate warm, cheery surroundings and hot food more.

Maintain Your HVAC

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems should be well-maintained so that they’re working to maximum effect. If your system is struggling to produce heat or AC, your customers may never be comfortable. HVAC systems that are in top condition are also more efficient and will save on your electric bills. Have your systems evaluated, checked regularly, and repaired promptly by an experienced HVAC company.

Given the many different circumstances and customers you’ll encounter, you will find that there’s no easy answer. But being vigilant and having an efficient, responsive HVAC system will go a long way toward bringing back repeat customers.