The backbone of any successful restaurant is its kitchen as this is where the food that customers order is prepared. If the kitchen does not operate smoothly, meal quality suffers and this can eventually lead to losses in sales that impact the livelihood of the establishment.
In addition to the equipment required in food preparation, a must-have in any restaurant kitchen is a commercial exhaust fan that keeps air flowing and extracts pollutants to the building exterior. While this is a component that most people do not give much thought to, below are reasons why it is crucial to have an effective and operational exhaust fan in your kitchen.
1. Legal requirement
As a restaurant owner, you have enough to worry about without having to concern yourself with fines and penalties but not having proper ventilation in your kitchen will lead to such things. Under the Ontario Building Code, all restaurants must be equipped with an exhaust fan and there is no way to skirt this responsibility because failure to do so could result in serious issues regarding health and safety.
Failing to comply with the obligation to provide adequate ventilation in a restaurant kitchen can result in a fine of up to $100,000 and $200,000 for any subsequent violations. Fines such as these would greatly inhibit your ability to stay in business and installing an exhaust fan in the first place would cost way less in the long run.
As mentioned, exhaust fans supply ventilation to a restaurant kitchen, removing aromas, smoke, steam and grease to the exterior of the building. The most popular type of restaurant fan is the centrifugal roof exhaust fan. This fan is mounted on the roof and is effective in pulling smoke and grease out of the area and depositing it outside. The large amount of pressure it causes makes it effective in pulling the air up and out of the area.
In addition to a centrifugal roof exhaust fan, an air supply fan should also be installed to ensure fresh, clean air is circulated in the kitchen. Without these types of fans providing ventilation and air, your employees will be overwhelmed and they may not be able to do their jobs in a way that will benefit your business.
3. Health reasons
Having an exhaust fan in your restaurant kitchen is a must because of the potential health issues it can cause for people in the vicinity if you do not have one. Smoke and steam caused by meals being cooked will linger without proper ventilation and while it is probably not life-threatening to ingest, it can still lead to coughing, headaches, dizziness, and difficulties breathing if it is overwhelming enough.
Steam can also cause moisture if not removed, leading to mold and mildew that will impact the health of everyone present and can lead to your restaurant being fined or shut down if a health inspector notices these issues.
An exhaust fan in a kitchen will play an important role in keeping your restaurant and its occupants safe. When your cooks and wait staff become exposed to smoke and steam, they can become hot and uncomfortable. This can lead to them being unable to effectively perform their duties or they could even faint. Fans will remove the smoke and steam from the area and can provide cooler, fresh air that will make your employees comfortable and content while they do their jobs.
Your commercial exhaust fan will also be able to pick up grease and expel it to the outside, dramatically decreasing the chances of a grease fire breaking out that will put people’s lives at risk and you out of business until repairs are complete.