Rockville, Md. — To make indoor dining comfortable again and to honor its commitment to employee and customer health and wellness during the coronavirus pandemic, Silver Diner founders are installing a unique, Veteran LED customized interior air filtration and purification system to make dining indoors as close you can come to outdoor dining.
This is the first time this comprehensive and customized system has been used in restaurants. The system includes germicidal UV-C light, bipolar ionization technology and HEPA filtration. Air purifiers, mounted throughout each restaurant, work to continuously clean the air by using all three technologies simultaneously. Germicidal UV-C lights installed throughout the HVAC system work to disinfect air and surfaces inside the system. Heavy-duty handheld UV-C light sterilizers are being used on high-touch areas as part of the closing duties of the staff. At night, when the restaurant is closed, the interior is bathed in germicidal UV-C light to help kill pathogens in the air and sterilize surfaces. The system eliminates 99.9% of pathogens encountered.
“Our goal is to make indoor dining as safe as possible to outdoor dining,” says Robert Giaimo, co-founder and president of Silver Diner Group. “We are investing in this because we believe this is the restaurant model of the future. It maximizes the safety of our employees and our guests.”
The system that has been created is a comprehensive package of the best products and technologies available for a restaurant. All 20 restaurants will have the system in place by Aug. 12.
For more than a century, UV-C light has been used to clean air, surfaces and water. It has been used effectively for years in hospitals, healthcare facilities, laboratories and schools, to name a few.
Throughout the pandemic, Silver Diner and Silver, American Brasserie have provided customers with options. Implementing a robust takeout and delivery business at the onset, the restaurants then moved to establish outdoor dining at each of 20 restaurants. While some of its newer restaurants have built-in patios, most do not. Attractive tents with outdoor lighting and landscaping were installed at every location. A “Curbside Carhop” was created as well so customers had (and still have) the option of takeout, curbside carhop, delivery, indoor or outdoor dining.
Prior to being allowed to open indoors, the Silver Diner/Silver team began planning for the return of customers. They made a large investment in plexiglass and had it installed between tables and booths, they rearranged the restaurant to maintain distancing, they added hand sanitizer stations and removed all condiments and seasonings from tables. They had menus printed on anti-microbial paper — all of this in addition to the usual wearing of masks and gloves, temperature checks and minimum to no contact.
As it came time when limited customers could dine inside, the Silver Diner executive team researched the market to see if there was anything else they could do. “First of all, we wanted our employees to feel as safe as possible. Secondly, we wanted our customers to feel comfortable dining with us,” explains Giaimo. “We want to be their home away from home and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to get them back.”
The system being installed at Silver Diner and Silver is by Veteran LED, a Richmond, Va.-based company founded by veteran Chris Rawlings. Rawlings served two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine and has an extensive background in lighting technology and building customized systems. Rawlings researched the top products on the market and created the unique, comprehensive package for the Silver Diner restaurant group.
“We are excited to work with Silver and Silver Diner in becoming the first restaurant chain to implement this cutting-edge technology,” says Rawlings. “This pandemic is forcing businesses, engineers, architects and more to rethink how proven technology and a little innovation can go a long way in helping to support a safer environment for all building occupants. Air quality and healthy environments are on the forefront of all of our minds right now. We’re obligated to use our resources and knowledge, based on scientific evidence, to effectively address this concern.”
This week, Silver Diner is opening its 18th restaurant in Alexandria, Va. The restaurant (4630 King St.) will feature an outdoor patio, full bar and will have the new HVAC/UV-C light system and all of the other COVID-19 practices in place.
“We recognize that it’s an unusual time to open a restaurant,” Giaimo adds. “But we also recognize that people want to dine out and have healthy menu options. We hope all of our efforts will bring our customers back to their home away from home.”
With restaurants throughout Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, Silver Diner is the preferred local restaurant for families seeking high-quality and healthier choices. The first Silver Diner was established in 1989 in Rockville, Md. For more information, visit www.silverdiner.com.
SOURCE: Silver Diner