Even a small oversight can turn a restaurant dream into a nightmare. Consider the following scenario. You’ve invested in state of the art kitchen equipment and recruited a professional team that has your establishment working like a well-oiled machine. Your latest social media marketing campaign is going viral and lines are forming out the door. Only one thing stands between you and total market domination—the hand dryers in your bathrooms.

Yes, you read that correctly. Hand dryers are the unsung heroes in a restaurant’s success story. The right choice provides customers with a seamless user experience and an affordable, hygienic hand-drying solution. The wrong choice can lead to high-energy costs, unhygienic practice, and wasted resources.

If this scenario seems a little far-fetched, consider the evolution of hand dryer technology. The first hand dryers appeared on the scene almost 100 years ago. In 1921, a company in New York patented a hand dryer operated by a foot pedal. Chicago-based inventor George Clemens is credited with introducing the modern hand dryer in the late 1940s. Today’s restaurants likely don’t have hand dryers that old, but many rely on models that are 10, 15, or even 20 years out of date. Restaurants that rely on outdated models are missing out on the many benefits of the new generations of high speed hand dryers, including energy efficiency, hygienic features, and lightning-fast dryer times. In fact, the technology of high-speed hand dryers has improved so dramatically, they are playing a pivotal role in the move toward sustainable building practices.

Hygiene: Cleanliness is the Key to Satisfied Customers

Today’s customers are savvy about health and avoid touching surfaces that contain germs. This is especially true of restaurant bathrooms frequented by a steady stream of patrons. Modern, high-speed dryers offer touchless, automatic operation and some even incorporate HEPA filtration to remove contaminants from the air. Antimicrobial technology provides an additional hygienic feature by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus, thereby extending the service life of the hand dryer. The high speed of today’s hand dryers further prevents the spread of germs by drying hands more quickly.

Energy Efficiency: Why High Speed Hand Dryers Mean Big Savings for Your Business

Both customers and restaurant owners are increasingly interested in sustainable technology, and modern hand dryers provide an environmentally friendly alternative to paper towels and older traditional dryers. In fact, when it comes to energy efficiency, this new generation of hand dryers are light years ahead of previous models. More powerful motors mean that high-speed hand dryers consume 88 percent less energy than their predecessors. The latest models can dry hands in less than 12 seconds using less than 950 watts while providing a steady stream of warm air for user comfort. As a useful basis of comparison, traditional dryers take up to 30 seconds to dry hands and use a whopping 2300 watts. Some modern dryers also include convenient on-off heating and speed controls, providing even greater energy savings.

With the reduced use of energy, high-speed dryers can slash your utility bills. However, the environmental benefits of these dryers may be even more impressive. Over its lifetime, a high-speed hand dryer uses three times less CO2 than the production of the paper towels it replaces. Switching to high-speed hand dryers saves the resources it takes to make paper. Hand dryers also reduce the paper towel waste pouring into landfills.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

When it comes to user experience, appearance makes a huge difference. Modern hand dryers come in compact, sleek, surface-mounted designs that are ADA-compliant. These all-in-one models combine energy efficiency and hygienic features with top of the line aesthetics that will enhance your customers’ overall experience. Other features include ergonomic designs with a wider hand drying cavity and high-speed dryers that perform at lower sound levels than traditional models.

While your customers will love the streamlined designs of modern hand dryers, your staff will rave about the easy maintenance that these models offer. Some of the latest versions collect residual water in a dedicated reservoir to prevent wet floor hazards as well as intelligent maintenance that signals when filter water should be changed or the water reservoir emptied through an easy-to-read LED display.

Switching to high-speed dryers is a sound investment for any restaurant. Consider these potential benefits:

  • Lower electric bills and big savings on yearly maintenance costs
  • Greener and cleaner restrooms
  • Meeting and exceeding customer expectations for clean, touchless, automatic and fast hand drying

Like the traditional models of yesteryear, the high-speed hand dryers of today will provide years of great service, but at a fraction of the cost.

Krystal Pesch is senior product marketing analyst for World Dryer (www.worlddryer.com), a Zurn Company. She can be reached at krystal.pesch@zurn.com.
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