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Quick Question - Cold Restaurants
Old 10-12-2012, 07:09 PM
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Question Quick Question - Cold Restaurants

Just a quick question - er, rather, series of questions. I would really appreciate a little insight from the POV of anyone who has this problem, or works in the restaurant industry.

I get cold very easily. Lately I've found that a lot of restaurants are, well, damned chilly. I end up having to wear my coat while I eat, and since I favour heavy pea-coats, it gets a bit cumbersome, and I find it harder to relax and enjoy my meal when my fingers are freezing.

So, my question(s) are: is there an actual reason for the low temperatures? (I know it's not just me, because even my girlfriend, who doesn't chill easily, has been noticing it.) Is it possible to ask to turn the heat up in just our section, or is that probably not an option?

Obviously, if there's a good reason for the cold, I will simply continue to bundle up (I still enjoy eating out too much to just stop going).

Thanks to everyone who reads this, and I hope someone can provide some insight!

Old 10-12-2012, 07:21 PM
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Depending on how busy the restaurant is, my guess would be that at this time of the year when it's getting colder outside, every time someone opens the door (which will be often if the place is packed) some heat is lost and a chill is introduced into the air.

If we're talking about a large chain then it's conceivable the main heat/AC controls may actually be run from the home office. Believe it or not, this was how it was done at the Bent Staple, and they were stingy as hell about it; cutting off the A/C right at closing time in the summer and the heat right at closing in the winter, thus making it alwyas either too hot or too cold depending on the season. I suppose it's possible some twit is either trying to pinch a few pennies or just hasn't properly accounted for the temperature changes.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:33 PM
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Also, from what I understand, those kitchens get super-hot, and the cold AC could be a way to keep them cooler, if there isn't a way to specifically control the temp in the kitchen.

Old 10-12-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quoth Kaylyn View Post
...Those kitchens get super-hot...
Quoted for truth. If you've ever cooked or baked at home then you know how hot just one oven/stove can get. Imagine 4 or 5 that are each twice or three times the size of a standard oven/stove.

I used to work at Boston Market (rotisserie style chicken ala KFC). The kitchens there even got very warm with ovens for chicken and sides going pretty much non-stop from open to close. I can only imagine how it gets in larger sit down eateries.

Old 10-12-2012, 08:00 PM
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I figured it might have to do with keeping the kitchens cool or something (although I LOVE being in a hot kitchen, I realise that not everyone enjoys the heat). I shall just have to dig out some nice sweaters to go out in.

Also, Dave1982, I think you're right about the change in temperature. The season is just starting to turn, and they probably haven't adapted from the summer temps yet, which would explain why I'm suddenly finding the restaurants cooler than usual.

Last edited by Lore; 10-12-2012 at 08:00 PM. Reason: I like to be IN a hot kitchen, not BE one.

Old 10-12-2012, 08:19 PM
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There are a couple of different reasons why any gathering point will be cold.

Any restaurant is likely to have their temperature set for conditions when the dining area is nearly full. Thus, any time the dining area is, say, less than 75% full, it's going to feel cooler than is strictly comfortable to someone who is sitting and eating.

Also, as mentioned, they have to consider the needs of the waitstaff, who are very active, and are going to require the temperature to be set much lower for them to be comfortable, than for those who are dining.

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:58 PM
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You might want to check around where you're sitting and see if you are near an AC vent...if that's the case you should ask if they can move you to another table, or maybe they can close the vent until you leave.

I get cold easily, too; I never go out to eat without a sweater.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:03 AM
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You can also do what my Mom does and ask the person who seats you to put you in a warm section. Lots of times it's right near the kitchen and she can stay somewhat warm. But you are right it's hard to enjoy a meal when your fingers are frozen.

Old 10-15-2012, 07:19 AM
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Most of the answers I would have given have already been given. That being said...

Quoth Lore View Post
Is it possible to ask to turn the heat up in just our section, or is that probably not an option?
No. Generally not. In 26 years of working in the restaurant industry, I have never worked in a restaurant or bar that had different controls for different sections. Such places may actually exist, but if they do, they are on the rare side. As I said, I've never worked or been in one.

Now, as others have pointed out, often enough in places, there are warmer or cooler parts to the establishment, something that happens from the general makeup of the building. I know that in my bar, there are spots that are cooler or warmer, usually in direct correlation to where the ceiling fans are. Hint: if you don't want the colder section, don't sit under the ceiling fan. Likewise, if you're boiling, go plop yourself under the ceiling fan.

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:09 PM
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Now, as others have pointed out, often enough in places, there are warmer or cooler parts to the establishment
boy are there ever.

there was one place i went to that started off making me want to throw up. ... i mean everything was great, except that they must have figured we were cold or something because they put us under the vents.

being too warm like that makes me feel kinda ill.

[no] different controls for different sections.
not a restaurant or bar, but it was the same way on my first ship's berthing - one set of controls for the temperature. girls would get chilly in the lounge area and turn on the heat vs putting on a sweater... and when they did that they blasted every single rack with heat.

nothing like trying to sleep with someone suddenly blasting hot air into your coffin rack just because they put their own needs ahead of everyone else's.
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