Outside Dining Year-Round

June 12, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
GASTONIA, NC — If you’re an hvacr contractor who specializes in restaurant work — especially restaurants that offer outdoor seating — here’s a product application that could help boost your customers’ profits, as well as your own.

Just as restaurants in Arizona use evaporative cooling misters on their patios to cool customers during the hottest months of the year, two unitized, low-intensity, gas-fired infrared tube heaters are helping a Hickory Hams restaurant here create a warm, comfortable atmosphere for patrons to enjoy their meals on the restaurant’s patio.

Use of the heaters increases the restaurant’s seating capacity by 40%, from 75 to 111 during cooler months, while allowing minimal waiting time before patrons are seated.

The two LTU90 infrared tube heaters from Space-Ray (Charlotte, NC), each with a 90,000-Btuh capacity, are mounted horizontally and end-to-end, above the outside eating area and in view of the customers. The heaters are normally used from October to March and can be manually adjusted to the desired temperature, which averages 68°F.

Patios: Useless When Cold

Marion H. Davis Jr., president of Hickory Hams, said he decided to purchase the heaters for his patio to better serve his customers and increase his business. He said that before the heaters were installed, the restaurant’s patio was completely useless when it was cold outside.

Davis also pointed out that on several occasions, he couldn’t accommodate all the people who wanted to dine at his restaurant.

“Our sales potential was really affected during cooler months because our outside eating area seats 36 people. Now when it’s cool outside and the heaters are on, often times we fill up the patio before the inside area, which seats 75,” he said. “Customers are amazed at how warm they are under the heaters when it’s 30° outside.”

Davis pointed out that the heaters are effective as long as it’s not raining or too windy outside.

Another advantage to having the tube heaters on the patio is the fact that since they are placed near the windows of the restaurant, infrared heat is transmitted through the windows which helps heat the inside eating area.

“In the cooler months, I don’t even have to run the heat on that side of the building because the heaters do the job from the outside,” Davis noted. “That reduces my electric bill and produces more uniform heat throughout the restaurant. I have definitely already gotten a return on my investment.

“We are also constantly getting compliments from our customers about the comfort of the patio eating area during cool weather,” he added.

How The Heaters Work

Unlike forced-air heating, which works from the top down, radiant gas heat works from the bottom up, warming floors, people, and machines first.

Well-suited for covered restaurant patio applications, these low-intensity tube heaters feature a self-contained draft inducer that pulls the products of combustion through the combustion chamber for increased radiant efficiency and safety. A step-opening combination gas valve provides for quiet ignition, says the company.

Safety is enhanced, the manufacturer states, by the closed combustion chamber design and direct-spark ignition system with 100% safety shutoff control. Moreover, these heaters are not affected by outdoor environmental conditions such as strong gusts of wind, the company adds, since the flame is totally enclosed in the combustion chamber. Bon appétit!

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Rajan Rajendran

Rajan Rajendran, newly appointed director of the Emerson Innovation Center, talks about the new $35 million facility and how it will function on the University of Dayton campus. Posted on Aug. 29.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 09-01-14 cover

2014 September 1

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Prohibiting HFCs

EPA is proposing a rule that would prohibit some HFCs in select refrigeration applications. Do you agree with this move?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con