Burger King Franchisee Installs Air Curtains, Increases Employee Happiness

Burger King employees happily posing in front of installed Berner Drive-Thru air curtain.
Berner Drive-Thru Air Curtain & Happy Employees

With over 50 years as a Burger King franchisee, Bennett Management Corp. has a long list of industry-changing firsts, like introducing the drive-thru concept to Burger King corporate. With a motto of, “People Pleasing People,” the family owned and operated franchisee with 25 restaurants and over 1,000 employees in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, prides itself on being an “amazing and inventive company” with a people and community focus.

Mark Peterson, Vice President of Operations, worked with Bill Rowland of Berner Air Curtains to investigate the benefits that air curtains could offer his employees, his bottom-line, and his customers.

THE APPROACH

Drive-Thru Windows:

To protect the franchisee’s employees working the window from outside winter temperatures and vehicle exhaust, the recommendation was made to test air curtains that were specifically designed by Berner for drive-thru openings.

Walk-In Coolers:

To increase food safety and reduce energy bills, Berner recommended replacing plastic strip curtains with air curtains to allow employees to freely pass in and out of the cooler while maintaining temperatures, reducing both energy consumption and incidents of potential food spoilage.

Berner Commercial Low Profile 8 Air Curtain over Burger King Walk-in Cooler
Berner Commercial Low Profile 8 Air Curtain over a Walk-in Cooler

THE SOLUTION

  • Two Berner Drive-Thru Unit 3 air curtains (product #DTU3) with electric heaters installed over the drive-thru windows
  • Two Berner Commercial Low Profile 8 air curtains (product #CLC08) installed over walk-in cooler doors at two separate restaurants

THE RESULTS

After being in use for approximately three weeks, Rowland returned to the locations to see how the air curtains were working. He was greeted with smiling employees and a very satisfied Peterson.

Drive-Thru Results:

  • Simple installation
  • Happy, warm employees
  • Reduced infiltration of carbon monoxide

When asked about the drive-thru air curtains, Peterson said that the benefits were felt immediately. The employees stationed at the drive-thru windows were easily able to keep warm with the heated air curtains now keeping the cold winter air at bay. The units were also quiet and gentle enough that there were no issues speaking with customers through the stream of air or with the exchanging of money or receipts.

Walk-In Cooler Results:

  • Improved employee safety and productivity
  • With plastic strip curtains gone, so was the need to clean them regularly
  • During the many trips in and out of the cooler, the interior temperature is consistently kept within the proper range for food safety, resulting in:
    • Reduced compressor run times which lowers energy bills and maintenance costs
    • Reduced potential for food spoilage

With the preliminary test results being so positive, Peterson looks forward to tracking the continued success of these test installations and then moving forward with adding Berner air curtains to more of their restaurants.