For diners, restaurants are places to relax, socialize, and most importantly, eat! Your average consumer probably knows that a restaurant kitchen is a hectic environment, with heat, steam, smoke and noise galore. What a lot of people don’t realize is that restaurants in general are very high-impact environments! It’s not just the kitchen that sees abuse, the entire facility is subject to very hard use by customers and employees, from the seating to the door handles to accessories that most people don’t even consider. 

Case in point, we recently spoke with a contractor in Santa Cruz, California who specializes in installing high-end window coverings and power operated blinds. They installed powered window coverings in a mid-level sit down restaurant (not quite a fast casual, but not a high-end establishment). The contractor has visited the restaurant 3 times in the past 12 months to repair different shades that have been damaged either by customers or employees, and he confirmed that in his experience, restaurants are the highest impact environment when it comes to window coverings. And these are blinds and shades that are power operated, so they don’t even need to be touched to operate! 

There are a number of factors that make restaurants such tough environments for equipment, furniture, and accessories. To start, many of the fixtures are used or operated by people who didn’t pay for them. It’s always easier to abuse equipment knowing that the cost isn’t coming out of your wallet (whether that be customers or staff). Table tops, table bases, chairs, cups, place settings, light switches, door handles, menus and other high-touch, high-use items are constantly being poked, prodded, squished, squeezed, twisted, and turned. We have seen our fair share of shattered cast iron, bent steel, and chipped finishes on table bases. When it comes to environments that are subject to high turnover, heat, food messes and more, the furniture and equipment need to be able to withstand the abuse. 

Every restaurateur has their own unbelievable stories about equipment breakage and failure. What’s your story? Share your experience with us on social media.