Unlike many other aspects of a restaurant’s design, doors and windows must be carefully selected with multiple mission-critical functions in mind. First, they have to look good and contribute to the restaurant’s brand messaging and ambience from both inside and out. After all, an entry door provides guests with their first up-close visual and tactile interaction with an operation. And windows don’t just provide views to the outside; they passively and powerfully help market the experience within to passersby while enhancing the ambience for guests.
But windows and doors play several other important roles, too. Here are three factors that should be top-of-mind during every purchasing and design decision.
Ease of entry: Guests transitioning from the street to the restaurant shouldn’t have to struggle with a heavy door or work to figure out which way it opens or fight against air-intake imbalance to get the door open. They just want to get inside. Don’t make it hard for them by failing to consider the finer points of entry door selection and installation.
Guest comfort: Sure, everyone loves transparency, open environments and bringing the outdoors in as much as possible. As trendy and popular as they are, though, more and bigger windows, glass garage doors and retractable glass roofs can have a significant impact on comfort with too much heat, sunlight, noise from rain or wind, and/or cold impacting interior environments. As such, temperature and light management, air flow and acoustics are important considerations.
Energy efficiency: Carefully select window and door materials that will help, not hurt, efforts to conserve energy. Windows, in particular, can impact energy consumption for heating and cooling. Consider both U-factor, the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow, and solar heat gain, as coefficient measures in determining which windows will perform most efficiently in your particular climate.
And keep an eye on new technologies that promise to help improve comfort and conserve energy. One big new product trend quickly gaining steam: smart glass, which is tinted or glazed to control glares, bright light and heat transfer to ensure a more comfortable environment. And here’s what’s really cool: Smart glass is also available in Wi-Fi-connected and electronically controlled options that use sensors to determine room occupancy, weather and sunlight to fine-tune its tint — operators simply click a button to control heat and light levels automatically.
Safety, Beauty Combined
The PDU8000 Series Glass Panic Device from ASSA ABLOY offers an engraved push area and boundary grooves to make exit doors highly visible. The device has both keyed and non-keyed functions, six standard exterior pull options, and a selection of finishes. It features a solid latch. For use with both mechanical and electric strikes, the PDU8000 Series is ADA-compliant and meets California Building Code (2013) Sec.11B-309.4.
Indoor Comfort, Outdoor Freedom
Panora-View by Libart offers large-span motorized, vertical retracting door and window systems that let restaurant designers bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. The system is manufactured from electrostatically painted aluminum profiles. All models use insulated glass with interlocking and thermally broken aluminum framing. There are no vertical aluminum members, ensuring unobstructed views.
Large-Panel Sliding Glass Wall System
NanaWall offers four sill options for its minimal-framed, large-panel sliding glass wall system, cero — Higher Weather Performance, Flush, Low-Profile Saddle and Low-Profile Saddle Hybrid. With these four sills, NanaWall’s shallow sliding glass walls can address various restaurant design needs.
Secure, Full-Vision Entrance
The Special-Lite SL-15 is a heavy-duty aluminum stile and rail door. Suitable for use in high-traffic entrances, the lightweight doors feature welded corner construction.