I enjoy dining out. Nothing beats a lovely evening savoring excellent food and wine. But I have one requirement; I don’t want perspiration on my table. Crank up the air conditioning, please!
The pleasure of dining out in hot weather is avoiding a number of displeasures, like heating up your kitchen, sweating as you cook, eating in a hot kitchen and, most important, having to cook your own dinner. So, off to the restaurant where the air is cool, the dining room is lovely, and I’m not cooking.
The opposite scenario is also disquieting. I’m lifting shaky forkfuls of hot, delicious food because I’m shivering, and what I thought was steam coming from my partner’s food is actually her breath. Brrrr.
Too often I find restaurants cheaping out by limiting air conditioning and heating, or turning the HVAC system off and opening windows. And I end up hoping for good food and a good breeze. Ventilation is as important as temperature in a business that depends on pleasant aromas and, while it saves on utility bills, open windows don’t cut it.
I find newer restaurants taking dining temperatures into account when designing the venue. With a kitchen full of heat-producing equipment, climate and temperature must be considered for both the kitchen staff and the adjoining dining space; even more so if the design is an open kitchen. Older restaurants too often make do with antiquated, less efficient systems that barely overcome the collective body heat of customers. But where’s the sense in providing excellent food in an uncomfortable setting?
Cold food and hot customers or hot food and cold customers; either provides the same results. No customers.