Entering the restaurant industry is very competitive, and sometimes it’s the little things that can make or break your success. If you are trying to become the neighborhood hotspot for good food and great entertainment, then you need every detail to be as close to perfect as it can be.
However, have you ever thought about how indoor air pollution can affect your cooking and productivity as a business? The answer might surprise you.
Air quality is a critical factor in cooking food and thinking clearly enough to work in a fast-paced environment. With that in mind, here is how to improve efficiency and air quality in your restaurant for the benefit of your employees and patrons alike.
Learn How Cooking Causes Indoor Air Pollution
Most chefs, and people in general, are unaware of the damage that indoor air pollution can cause to someone’s respiratory system. Luckily, range hoods are quite capable of removing all the harmful indoor pollutants that become airborne when you cook. These pollutants derive from the heat source that you use when you’re cooking.
Some examples of materials that emit pollutants when they are the source of energy are wood, gas, and electricity. All of them release various unwanted pathogens into your kitchen. When they burn, stoves that run on gas or propane release numerous toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
Nonetheless, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces don’t offer much relief either, and the smoke causes a notable increase in indoor air pollution. In addition, burning oil, fat, and other food ingredients creates air pollution. Unfortunately, this is also true of self-cleaning ovens, which create excessive pollution when they burn off the waste.
This is true regardless of whether the oven is gas or electric. Even minimal exposure will worsen or cause various health effects, including nausea, headaches, fatigue, irritation, and respiratory problems. Those with asthma, heart disease, lung illnesses, and children are the most vulnerable to suffering from cooking-related air pollution.
Understand How To Assess for Air Quality Issues in Your Restaurant
As you know by now, even the most successful restaurants must reduce their indoor air quality issues if they want to remain in business. The way they do that is by first assessing where the weaknesses are and figuring out how to get rid of them.
First, you need to find the biggest culprits that are emitting harmful pollutants in your restaurant. Some of the top offenders include the refrigeration unit, grills, stove, ovens, and cleaning supplies. Your refrigerator adds moisture to the environment, and anywhere with moisture could potentially bring mold and mildew.
Stoves, ovens, and grills are the primary source of air pollution in a restaurant, so be sure to use fans or range covers to clear out all the smoke and vapor that remains afterward. The fumes that linger after using noxious chemicals and volatile organic compounds to clean your restaurant might also be a nuisance to both staff and customers.
If you want to check for indoor air quality problems, look at the humidity level and temperature to ensure everything is functioning normally. When something is off, it could be causing pathogens to enter the atmosphere. Other telltale signs are when people smell a musty odor, get dizzy, have shortness of breath, or are exhibiting similar symptoms.
Know the Ways To Minimize Air Pollution From Cooking
The air pollution that comes with cooking large amounts of food is an unfortunate side effect that comes with running a restaurant. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to minimize or fully eliminate air pollution from your establishment.
First, ensure that there’s plenty of ventilation throughout the premises. A hood that vents outdoors is the most reliable way to keep pollutants from stoves, ovens, and grills at bay.
This is because the smoke goes away before it’s able to spread throughout the kitchen. As strange as it may seem, not all vents go outside, so follow it to make sure that’s where the air goes.
Furthermore, cooking grease builds up over time in areas where it vaporizes, so take a look at your ceiling fan blades and clean them if that is the case. Dirty fan blades will also move slower if grease and grime bog it down, which further hampers ventilation, so cleaning them will make them work more effectively.
Using a well-made, fully installed range hood is the most reliable method when it comes to the kitchen. Technicians can also inspect your stove and hood to make sure they are functioning properly. Try to use the back burners on your stove when you can because the range hood can more effectively ventilate that area.
Also, switching out cleaning solutions with harsh chemicals for ones that are more friendly towards the environment will help everyone breathe easier. Another way to benefit the environment is by using coconut shell charcoal in your oven, so consider purchasing this the next time you look at restaurant charcoal for sale.
Finally, calling an HVAC technician is the most thorough way to get a complete restaurant inspection of your ventilation. They can check all the weak points that fall under the radar in both the kitchen and dining sections.
Purchasing an air purifier with an efficient filter might cost money upfront, but the better air quality will make people feel better and spend more when they dine at your restaurant. When all else fails, simply opening the windows, cracking the door open a little, and running as many fans as you can at full capacity will improve the airflow in the building.
Overall, you should seek to benefit your staff and patrons by making sure their breathing experience is as pleasurable as their dining experience. The people who eat and work at your restaurant are too valuable to lose due to an issue that’s as easy to fix as poor indoor air quality. So, now that you know how to improve efficiency and air quality in your restaurant, make the necessary changes that will ensure the success of your business!