Clean air is more important to restaurants than you might think. In addition to helping cut down on pollution, cleaner air can keep customers safe during the pandemic and beyond.
Climate change is a big deal. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll found that nearly two thirds of adults believe that climate change is a concern for their community. This concern has led to increased scrutiny of the restaurant industry and the many ways in which it contributes to pollution.
Restaurants are notorious polluters. From chemicals and energy consumption to food and water waste, restaurants have been known to account for 20% of total pollution in the USA. Several jurisdictions have already taken steps by requiring their restaurants to stop selling products made from fossil fuels. The goal of new legislation is to lower their carbon footprint, but the biggest element that contributes to pollution is actually their exhaust systems.
At the same time, the pandemic has brought new concerns to the forefront. COVID-19 and the associated restrictions have been particularly brutal on the restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Association estimates a loss of $240 billion in bar and restaurant sales and 2.5 million jobs during 2020. Thousands of restaurants were forced to shut down permanently.
Cleaner Air is a Win-Win
Many restaurants experimented with tabletop purifiers, HEPA filters, and updated air quality measures as part of their reopening plans. High efficiency air purifiers are effective against the contagious virus, and also help with overall air quality. HEPA filtration is a decades-old technology that is proven to clear the air of tiny fibers and particles using a very fine filter.
In the above mentioned experiment, experts reviewed a restaurant who had installed several high quality air purifiers as part of their reopening plan, and found the restaurant’s air quality to be safer. The scientists stated that the air purifier and HEPA systems used would help to improve air quality and lower virus risk “substantially”.
Not only that, the air purifiers are likely to help improve IAQ scores (Indoor Air Quality, which can be measured with Indoor Quality Meters that track levels of carbon monoxide, radon, and other volatile organic compounds). Many restaurants have focused solely on exhaust systems and HVAC units, when individual air purifiers could improve air quality substantially.
In fact, there are many benefits of running air purifiers in your restaurant, including:
Cutting down on cooking odors and fumes
Taking dust and outdoor matter out of the air
Reducing the virus and bacteria load in the air (COVID-19 aside, air purifiers can reduce most airborne illnesses)
Displacing mold particles found in the air
Cleaning up what gets tracked in from customer traffic and activity
Making customers feel safer and improving your restaurant’s reputation
Not all air purifiers are created equal. Restaurant owners and managers should look at specific units that are best for their unique space and needs. From smaller units ideal for individual tables to larger systems that can clean up to 3,700 square feet each hour, there is a size and shape for every restaurant. If you need help reviewing options and putting together a plan for your business, reach out to our experts.