The coronavirus crisis has had a profound effect on the economic performance of restaurants. Confinements, partial or total quarantines, and capacity limitations have pushed many businesses in the sector to the limit. Some of the restaurants that populated our streets will no longer open.
To overcome these difficult times, the priority objective of hospitality professionals is regain consumer confidence. The customer should know that everything possible is being done to combat SARS-CoV-2 in the establishment and that their health is not at stake.
There are many ways in which this is being achieved. The philosophy contactless is, without a doubt, the one with the greatest relevance. Now, some restaurateurs are looking further and exploring new ways to ensure their premises are 100% safe. To do this they have looked at the hospital technology and how it can be applied to the restaurant environment.
A clear example of this paradigm shift is the case of the chef Dominique crenn, decorated with numerous gastronomic awards and settled in the city of San Francisco (California, OF. UU.) where do you run the restaurant Atelier Crenn, a local with 10 years of history on its foundations and has also been awarded three Michelin stars.
2020 It has been a better year for Dominique compared to 2019. In 2019 the chef spent a long time hospitalized due to serious cancer. During the time of his admission, he realized that hospitals and restaurants are not that different either. With this epiphany, Crenn decided that he would make his establishment a much safer place from a sanitary point of view.
This purpose would lead her to face the coronavirus crisis of 2020 from an advantageous position, because the restorer had the necessary knowledge to host her clientele in the dining room of the Atelier Crenn without any risk.
The key to your success is in a ultraviolet light disinfection unit. UV rays have a proven virucidal effect. According to recent studies, an exposure of only 30 seconds is capable of disintegrating the 95% of the virions that cause COVID-19.
Crenn got hold of an expensive piece of hospital technology from R-Zero, el Arc UV-C, an ultraviolet light emitting column that can disinfect the ventilation flow in spaces up to 450 square meter.
However, visitors who come to the Atelier Crenn to taste the tasty pumpkin velouté, spiced trout garnished with grilled vegetables and apple puree, or papardelle with mushroom ragout never come into contact with the appliance. This is because the UV-C radiation emitted is not safe for people. Thus, the R-Zero Arc UV-C is only placed in the room between different arrival shifts. The minutes in which the system remains in operation are sufficient guarantee that the space remains free of coronavirus and other pathogens.
According to the Atelier Crenn team, when considering establishment dimensions and building air renewal cycles, it turns out that just seven minutes of operation are enough. The potential of the device is unusual.
But equally unusual is its price. With an acquisition cost around 20 000 euros, it is an investment that not all restaurants can undertake. Even so, the benefits are unquestionable, And because of that Rental services specialized in this type of equipment have appeared. The restaurants that request it can make use of the ultraviolet disinfection system with a price of 17 dollars per session.
Sherry Villanueva, Associate at Acme Hospital in nearby Santa Barbara and owner of several restaurants, insists that the system is much cheaper than having additional labor to sanitize and disinfect the restaurant according to the standards imposed by the administration governmental.
These radiating columns are not the only devices based on hospital technology that are appearing in restaurants. At Corvino de Kansas restaurant, the owner, Christina Corvino, decided to consult with an epidemiologist before reopening once the first wave of the coronavirus had subsided.
The epidemiologist who attended her gave her an itemized list with the different devices that would safeguard the health of her future clients, organized in order of importance and economic cost. Among the most important devices were the ULPA filters and forced fans, two pieces of equipment that are part of the ventilation circuits in hospitals.
ULPA filters, higher than usual HEPA, are more efficient and also retain particles as small as a few microns. This prevents the free movement of viruses and bacteria through the ducts. Meanwhile, forced ventilation allows the air to be renewed quickly enough in closed rooms. This in turn has a very positive effect in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 as it eliminates the suspended droplets that can carry the virus and serve as a vector of the disease..
In the Corvino they ultimately opted for a system coupled to the pre-existing HVAC. They installed a bipolar needle tip ionizer in each circuit, at a cost of 1000 dollars per unit. This expense was eligible within a PPP fund (Paycheck Protection Program) encompassed within the Aid Law, relief and economic security from coronavirus (CARES Act), so it was not a great effort for the restaurant.
These science fiction-sounding technologies in the hospitality world have existed for decades in other industries. Especially notable is the case of the hospital world and of food products factories. With the new normal that the coronavirus has brought with it, all this hospital technology and other advances in safety, Health, hygiene and disinfection begin to be transferred to the world of restaurants.
Those who have already dared to make the initial payment show that they are very happy with their decision. All indications are that UV emitting columns, ULPA ionizers and filters perhaps they will become part of the usual furniture of the most select restaurants.