In Branson, Missouri, breakfast spot Billy Gail’s serves 14-inch pancakes and “billion-dollar bacon.” The local favorite has earned a dedicated following of locals and tourists alike since its opening more than 25 years ago.

Now owned by Joshua Rasmussen and Alan Kram, Billy Gail’s is in a period of expansion, adding a second location to Branson in 2022.

The vision for the new location included an open kitchen that connected to a high-ceiling dining room. And though an open concept makes for an airy atmosphere for customers, it also means that there is no way to divide the cooling and heating needs of the kitchen from the dining area. So meeting the demand and heat load of a kitchen, where grills regularly reach 450°, added a layer of complexity to the project.

The kitchen is the heartbeat of any restaurant. A lot of restaurants under-spec their kitchens, Rasmussen said — they don’t put as much air in the back as they do the front. But making the kitchen “bearable” for Billy Gail’s staff to work in every day was not enough. The new system needed to dependably deliver a cool and comfortable place to cook, as well as meet heat load needs from hundreds of people who would be coming through the doors every day.

Rasmussen worked with Ed’s Heating & Cooling to find the right HVAC solution to meet the new restaurant’s needs. After speaking with distributor Hoffman Supply, Ed’s Heating & Cooling decided to replace existing packaged units with commercial equipment from Ruud: two 10-ton Renaissance commercial units and added one 15-ton Resolute heat pump.

The Renaissance units fit directly on the previous unit’s footprint and were able to be installed without a curb adapter. Meanwhile, the new Ruud Resolute line makes installation and serviceability easier. Standard single-point wiring allowed faster installation, while standard hinged panels meant less screws and easier access to internal components. The unit’s CoreCommand Control delivers enhanced diagnostics with easy-to-understand fault codes and complete fault history and input/output options to ensure building compliance needs.

Since opening in June 2022, the new Billy Gail’s location now sees 600 to 700 people come through its doors daily. Even on the hottest days where temperatures push past 100°, the new system has kept both customers and employees reliably cool — in the dining area and kitchen alike.