The summer heat is raging strong. This last week has seen the temperatures soar into the 90's. You are not going to use your stove. Grilling outside feels like a hellish punishment. There's always sandwiches, but you're not in the mood for one. (I don't see how but that's just me.)
So, why not head to a restaurant? Sit inside in the refreshing air conditioning and let someone else prepare and serve up some tasty food. Only, once there, you see a sign on the door that states "Due to excessive heat, we are closed for the day. Please come visit us soon. Thank you."
Some people are rational enough to realize that, just like anything mechanical, air conditioning units break down and that is likely the issue. Others are not. They scoff at the unreliability of the dining establishment and make sure to leave a negative review online. That's unfair.
Have you ever sat in a restaurant where the dining room is uncomfortably warm? Well, whatever the temperature was, add at least seven to ten degrees and that's what the cooks in the kitchen are working in. Not to mention the servers who are running back and forth between the two.
Most commercial HVAC units are on the roof of a building, with the vents in the ceiling. Since cold air sinks, this works pretty well, when they are fully operational. Except, the kitchens in most restaurants have these powerful hoods situate over the 350°F fryers and the 375°F grill to pull the grease and contaminates out of the air. So, not only is heat added to the area from the cooking units, the hoods are sucking a percentage of that precious cool air as well.
While some establishments have a make up air unit, something to replace that which is lost from the hoods, many do not. Add in a malfunctioning HVAC unit and you have a threat to the health of the people frying your mozzarella sticks or flipping your burgers.
It's the responsibility of the restaurant managers to oversee the welfare of their guests and employees. They need to assure that everyone keeps hydrated, let them escape the firey heat of the kitchen as often as possible (many like to take their breaks in the sweet bliss of the cooler) and, if necessary, close down when the temperatures reach dangerous levels. Unfortunately, OSHA and state regulations don't have a specific temperature for when a restaurant should shut it's doors for the day. The only guideline for workers is that they shouldn't be forced to work in "unreasonable temperatures."
The restaurant my partner manages has a broken air conditioning unit. The parts have been ordered but haven't arrived yet. He has had to contact his District Manager for the last four days to request permission to close. The company has a policy that if the dining room, which is the coolest place in a restaurant minus the cooler, reaches 85°F they will close. They've received many calls and complaints regarding the closures. I'll give the company credit, it has stood firm against these and have chosen the welfare of it's employees over the seven thousand or so dollars that could have been made had they stayed open.
So, if you are dining in a warm restaurant today, please have a thought to the cooks in the kitchen. They are working hard, they are tired, and they are probably dying to take a break in the cooler.
art and flair courtesy of @PegasusPhysics