Jeffery Plummer, of Madico Window Films, explains how a Florida restaurant changed its indoor climate with new high performance window film. Take note: This is not the rather ugly purple tinted stuff of the 1980s.
When many people think of window film, they still envision the purple-tinted material used on cars in the 1980s, when it’s actually become a high-performance, versatile product.
It’s designed to keep out heat during the summer months and retain more heat during the colder months, helping save energy year round. Window film recently helped one Florida restaurant stay cool, save money and improve their customer experience.
The Firestick Grill in Tampa, Fla. – located inside the Amalie Arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning National Hockey League (NHL) franchise play – had a problem. The west side of the restaurant is dominated by a 200-foot-long wall of glass windows offering impressive views of the city of Tampa skyline. However, in the afternoon when the Florida sun was blazing in the western sky, customers would complain about the heat and glare, and often requested to be re-seated. Re-seating became difficult given the fact the restaurant is often at maximum capacity before a game or concert. In addition to the uncomfortable dining atmosphere, the restaurant’s cooling costs were also too high.
“You could really feel it during the summer months,” says Darryl Benge, general manager of the Amalie Arena. “You can feel the heat coming through the glass, and customers used to ask us to turn up the AC.”
Management knew something had to be done. They tried installing wooden shutters, but the upper sections couldn’t block all of the sunlight.
After mulling the options, management decided to install window film to reduce the sun’s glare and increase the restaurant’s overall energy efficiency. Management consulted with an authorized Madico film installer who after evaluating the property was able to recommend the window film that would best meet the restaurant’s needs.
Window film was installed on about 4,600 square feet of glass. When the restaurant re-opened, customers immediately noticed a big difference. Without spoiling the views, the window film significantly reduced the amount of heat and glare shining through and patrons were no longer asking to be re-seated. The window film allows the restaurant to retain its bright and open feel.
“You can still see the sun – it’s nice and bright, but we’re not feeling the solar radiation coming through the windows,” Benge says. “The window film has made a tremendous difference.”
In addition, because of the window film’s ability to block up to 86 percent of the sun’s heat, the temperature of the restaurant became easier to control. The Firestick Restaurant partnered with its energy provider to receive a $1,500 rebate for installing the window film.
In addition to energy savings, properly installed window film can offer several other benefits to businesses:
- Increase safety: Window films are designed to break, but not shatter, if an intruder tries to smash through a window. This can delay the intruder long enough to deter them. The ability of the window film to hold the broken glass shards together also increases safety by mitigating the risk of flying glass during a storm or other natural or man-made disaster.
- Protect furnishings: Many of today’s window films can block up to 99 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, keeping furnishings from fading.
- Mitigate graffiti: Some window films can offer a layer of protection against vandalism. If your windows are vandalized by spray paint, the damage isn’t permanent. Only the window film itself, not the glass, needs to be replaced, providing you with significant savings.
When choosing a window film provider, make sure you work with a company that’s experienced. A professional installer will be able to determine if there are unique or unusual circumstances within your facility that would make one film better than another.
Window film gives the Firestick Grill an unbeatable combination: A spectacular view and a healthier bottom line. Most importantly, it’s a more pleasurable dining experience, which will keep customers coming back again and again.
Jeffery Plummer is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Madico Window Films based in St. Petersburg, Fla. He can be reached at [email protected].