What are the Best Air Conditioners for Restaurants & Cafés?

The restaurant business is a tough business and customer satisfaction has never been as demanding as it is today. With a flurry of applications that let diners review and comment on their experience, restaurant owners and chains are putting each area of their business under the microscope to understand what the customer expects of them.


It goes without saying that climate control plays a considerably large role in generating customer satisfaction in many establishments so finding the best air conditioner for your restaurant is a priority.



The Importance of your Restaurant’s Air Conditioning

Your restaurant provides excellent service, a tasty menu and interior decoration with personality. But it feels like it’s not enough. What about the restaurant environment?


The right environment at the right temperature plays a significant role in gaining repeat customers and filling up the tables.


When deciding what air conditioner is best suited to your restaurant, among different factors, consider the following:

• Optimal heating for open plan dining
• Zoning adaptation, from the entrance to the table
• Comfort for the floor and kitchen staff
• Reducing cooking fumes and smells coming from the kitchen
• Accommodating fluctuating temperatures due to occupancy and season


 The importance of air conditioning in a restaurant or cafe - Hitachi


Whether it is a question of being too hot, unpleasant drafts or overbearing smells, each customer will have their own perception of what a comfortable dining environment is. So, finding the right restaurant air conditioning equipment that can create and adjust to ever-changing scenarios is a must.

In the case of a Michelin-starred restaurant, it was VRF technology that best matched their needs.



The Ideal Air Conditioner for a Michelin-Starred Experience

The restaurant Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona, Spain is a Michelin-starred eatery where nothing but excellence is expected.

It’s an open-plan restaurant in which diners are sitting around mini kitchen workstations where the chefs prepare the food in front of them. The requirements were to install a system that generates the ideal dining atmosphere without creating the sensation of draft on guests, zoning that caters to the different spaces, all the while not interfering with the food preparation.


The Hitachi Set Free Sigma VRF system was selected thanks to the flexibility it offers during installation, and that the indoor units available within the Hitachi VRF range diffuse the conditioned air from above, downwards into the dining space, without interrupting the diners’ comfort.


If you haven’t already seen the video, check out the case study below:
VRF installation in a Michelin-star restaurant in Spain | Hitachi Cooling & Heating



What are the Best Air Conditioners for Restaurants?

There is not a straightforward answer to this question as each establishment’s size, type, theme, business needs, location etc. influences the types of AC used in restaurants.

As touched upon above, the requirements of a large, open Michelin-starred restaurant won’t be the same as a small, independent noodle bar. Then is the restaurant an eat-in or takeaway only? Perhaps it caters to both, so there could be the need to eliminate the possibility of cold drafts upsetting those dining in or staff getting cold.

So what air conditioning systems are on offer?


VRF Air Conditioning Systems for Restaurants

Starting with VRF, there a numerous reasons that this air conditioning system is a great match for all manner of restaurants, especially those that have widely varying temperatures from area to area. VRF is great because one system can provide simultaneous cooling and heating.

Within the Hitachi VRF range, you will find units that can match a variety of requirements with just one system:

• Zoning air conditioning
• Units operate with a minimum noise level so that comfort is felt and not heard
• For restaurants with high ceilings, 4-Way Cassette VRF* units can offer precise airflow control  from as high as 5.5m
• Innovative features like Crowd-Sense*detects increases in diner activity, adjusting the temperature automatically
• Reliable performance and energy-efficient


*Check availability in your region



Incorporating Ventilation Technologies

Another important aspect of creating comfortable, clean, and safer restaurant and kitchen environments is ventilation.


Indoor spaces, especially those with multiple sources of air pollution (stoves, cooking oils, food particles etc.), eventually become charged and heavy.


To minimise uncomfortable environments, ventilation technologies can be used to improve air quality and safety, and, as in the case of Hitachi VRF units, integrated into systems. Ventilation is essential in all types of establishments:
• Restaurants
• Cafes
• Pubs
• Hot food takeaways

Not all ventilation requirements want the introduction of cold air indoors as this would disrupt the comfort of staff and customers. Products like the Hitachi Active KPI offer ventilation but it is designed to pre-treat the outside air. Doing so, it delivers fresh, clean air into the indoor environment, and adjusted to the desired temperature, keeping the indoor environment comfortable.

Maintaining and /or improving indoor air quality is becoming increasingly important, and investing in tech that monitors levels of harmful air pollutants not only helps maintain optimal indoor comfort but also the safety of the environment. The Hitachi CO₂ Sensor monitors indoor CO2 levels, adjusting the unit's operation so that indoor spaces don’t become unpleasant.



Finding the right system to suit your business needs isn’t easy but we can help with that.


There is a variety of solutions available for every type of restaurant, bar and eatery available through Hitachi Cooling & Heating, it’s just finding the right Hitachi Air Conditioning equipment that is right for you.


To learn more about the ranges available, check out our recommendations for Retail & Hospitality environments, here.

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