Burger King Franchisee Installs Air Curtains, Increases Employee Happiness

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.

Drive-Thru Windows

Berner Drive Thru Unit air curtain Burger King quick serve restaurant.

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. Two Drive-Thru Unit 3 air curtains (product #DTU03) with electric heaters were installed over the drive-thru windows.

When Rowland spoke with Peterson 3 weeks after installation, he said that the benefits were felt immediately by his employees stationed at the drive-thru windows. They were easily able to keep warm with the heated air curtains now keeping the cold winter air at bay. They also noted that the units were quiet and gentle enough that there were no issues speaking with customers or exchanging money and receipts through the air stream.

Walk-In Coolers

To increase food safety and reduce energy bills, Berner recommended replacing plastic strip curtains with Berner’s Commercial Low Profile 8 air curtain (product #CLC08) installed over walk-in cooler doors 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's Commercial Low Profile 8 air curtain close-up on walk-in cooler.
Berner’s Commercial Low Profile 8 air curtain over Burger King walk-in cooler.

Peterson again saw the benefits of these air curtains shortly after installation. He noted that with the plastic strip curtains gone, so was the need to clean them regularly, saving time and eventually replacement costs when the strips become too worn out. He also found that the air curtain assisted greatly in keeping the cooler temperatures within a proper range for food safety. This resulted in reduced compressor run times which lowers energy bills and maintenance costs along with a reduced risk of potential 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.