Food Service Blog


Ventless Hood Systems

November 26 2016

Quite often, a restaurant’s exhaust system represents the owner’s costliest expenditure. The hood needs to be purchased, hung, ductwork to the roof, fire system activated and finally inspected. Another consideration is that the hood system when installed becomes the property of the building owner. Unlike most other pieces of equipment, the hood does not necessarily move when the restaurant owner does. This represents an expensive investment that becomes someone else’s property after installation. That is assuming that the operator is leasing the property.

A trend that is becoming popular are self contained ventless hood systems. This is a system that can be used with most any piece of electric cooking equipment. These systems are extremely efficient at handling the grease laden vapors produced by cooking equipment. In most cases, they use a multi stage set of filters that purify the exhaust fumes rendering them completely free of particulate emissions. They use a combination of stainless baffle filters and HEPA rated fiberglass and charcoal filters to literally “scrub” the air clean of all grease laden vapors. They also have a self contained Ansul fire protection system capable of being linked to the building fire alarm system.

Ventless hood systems actually exceed the NFPA 96 and the standard EPA 202 test for particulate emissions. This means that the hood will pass all mechanical and building codes. The filters must be replaced on a regular interval depending on the cooking load however some may last for months.


  • Cost of purchasing and installing is lower due to the lack of ductwork, ceiling and roof penetrations.
  • Can be used in a multi story building where a typical hood system might prove to be cost prohibitive.
  • The operator owns the system outright and can typically depreciate it
  • Typically less expensive to operate and maintain than traditional ducted hoods.
  • Portable in many cases if the kitchen is being remodeled.


  • Limited to electrical equipment- no gas.
  • Increased noise due to powerful inline fans located inside the hood.
  • Additional radiant heat from the cooking area. In most cases, the amount of air moved by the hood should be matched by the same amount of air being introduced into the kitchen by air conditioning. This may result in additional AC ductwork and monthly expense.
  • Odors- Although the hoods work pretty well at reducing odors, there is no way to totally eliminate odors. Once again, this may be helped by additional air being moved by the AC.

So as you can see, there are many applications that can benefit from a ventless hood system. These days with more and more bars, micro breweries and bottle shops wanting to offer more than a limited menu of cold items these might be the answer. In these cases these hoods are a easy cost efficient way for them to do that. Multi story buildings are another positive application.

Are they perfect? Are they the answer to every new operators dream? Probably not. However, ventless hoods are here to stay and will continue to evolve into an application that is definitely worth looking at in certain situations.



Chronological Steps To Opening A Restaurant

November 20, 2016

Most people don’t realize that starting or opening a restaurant is a multifaceted process that can be very complicated and also frustrating at the same time. This is one of the many reasons that people choose a consultant such as Gannon Food Service Consulting to guide them through the many steps until they serve that first customer.

I’m going to outline some general steps in the process. Please keep in mind that each municipality may have different requirements for the process.

·        Develop a concept for your restaurant.

·        Develop a business plan.

·        Secure financing- Banks, Leasing Companies, Investors, Family and Friends.

·        Find a location-Work with a respected commercial Real Estate Broker.

·        Engage the services of an experienced consultant.

·        Determine the general aspects of your menu.

·        Interview and hire a General Contractor for the space up fit.

·        Collaborate with the consultant to identify the equipment that will be needed for your menu implementation.

·        Work with the consultant to design a floor plan incorporating the equipment.

·        The county Health Department (DEH) will require the following when you submit the application for permit:

·        Completed Application- Lengthy, very detailed application

·        Copy of signed lease agreement or bill of sale

·        Copies of all Menus

·        Proof of water supply (well permit or bill)

·        Proof of sewage disposal (septic permit or bill)

·        Site plan showing specific location of the business

·        Floor plan drawn to scale (minimum 1/4” = 1’) of food service establishment with all equipment

·        Equipment specification sheets for all equipment

·        Plumbing Plan (show floor drains, floor sink, water heater

·        In a couple of weeks (depending on their work load) you   will receive a letter from DEH outlining any changes needed for the plans or menu.

·        After revising per DEH’s instructions, you will resubmit.

·        Once you have received the DEH’s approval, your General Contractor may apply for the building permit

·        Believe it or not, you are now able to start the process of building and opening your restaurant.

As you can see, the process of opening a restaurant starts way before the first meal or first drink is served. Most people find the whole process to be very intimidating. That’s where we come in. Let Gannon Food Service Consulting do the heavy lifting for you and make your dream come true.

Craft Beers- What’s The Ideal Temperature For Storage and Consumption?

November 12, 2016

Here’s a handy guide to storing, handling and drinking craft beers.[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”beer-temps-pdf”]


GWP, HFC, HC- What’s It All Mean?

November 1,2016

As restaurateurs we all know the importance of refrigeration maintaining a proper temperature, be it a refrigerator or a freezer. We also know that a well maintained system will function efficiently and work less to maintain these temperatures.

What we don’t often realize is the importance of the proper refrigerant in the system. The type of refrigerant is oftentimes the one thing that drives the system. The refrigerant is also what determines the efficiency of the entire unit.

The function of a compressor is to increase the pressure, and corresponding saturation temperature (boiling point) of the refrigerant vapor to a high enough level so the refrigerant can condense by rejecting its heat through the condenser.

Different types of refrigerants perform this procedure in varying lengths of time. The refrigerant that boils faster and therefore cools down the unit is the most efficient. It also recovers faster when the doors are opened and closed during a busy period maintaining proper, safe temperatures.

So what’s all this about GWP, HFC and HC? What do they mean? Well first off GWP is short for Global Warming Potential. GWP is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases act like a blanket insulating the earth and raising global temperatures.

HFC’s or Hydrofluorocarbons have high GWP and therefore are being phased out by the government. On the other hand, HC’s or Hydrocarbons are natural, nontoxic refrigerants that have no ozone depleting properties and a low GWP.

HC’s also are used in much smaller quantities than the HFC’s. That translates into more efficient (up to 24% more) refrigeration units in your kitchen.

The new guy on the block is R290 (propane) for commercial reach in units. Yes, I did say Propane! Europe has been using HC’s for over twenty years. Will there be a danger of explosion in my kitchen? True Manufacturing found during UL leak tests that even when a full charge was leaked from a cabinet, it never reached  a hazardous concentration. In fact Beverage Air, one of the largest commercial refrigeration manufacturers  in the US has stated that the amount of propane in one of their reach in units is less than what is in a disposable lighter. R290’s GWP is 3 verses R134A at 1430 and R404A at 3920. As you can see, the spread is astronomical. Another added benefit is You need less of a charge compared to current HFC refrigerants, such as R134a and R404a, to get the job done.

The bottom line is natural HC’s are here to stay and that is probably a good thing for you and definitely our world. Make sure your next refrigeration purchase is a HC piece of equipment. You’ll save money in the long run and help save our planet.

Refrigeration Reliability

October 1, 2016

With the cost of repairing commercial refrigeration equipment increasing every year, one must ask themselves is there anything that I as an owner can do to minimize my need for repairs? When faced with a potentially high repair bill to fix a unit, you must look at the age and condition of the piece to see if it is really worth the cost of the repair verses buying a new unit.

Most major refrigeration manufacturers over the last few years have increased their warranties to 3 years parts and labor. This is up from 1 year parts and labor that was long the mainstay of the industry. Often times throwing good money after bad will only result in disappointment further down the road. One of the most prevalent causes of refrigeration failure is the owners failure to keep the condenser coils clean.

All refrigeration units needs to expel heat. The majority of units do this through an air cooled condenser coil. This is done by drawing air through the coil. This causes dust & debris to form fairly quickly on the condenser coil. Failure to clean condenser coils on a regular basis will increase electrical consumption and lead to major system component failure such as burnt wiring, a failed condenser fan motor, a restricted metering device or a failed compressor.

One new exciting innovation we have seen is the introduction of self cleaning condensers on Turbo Air refrigeration.

Check out this video on YouTube:


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