Options for Sustainable Commercial Equipment

Bagel Slice


When a nationally noted chef and multi-restaurant concept developer committed to launching a new sustainable concept, his leading values were to operate profitably while minimizing the impact on the earth. The concept was envisioned to source products and equipment from value-sharing vendors who operate sustainably with a focus on energy efficiency and low waste. The supply chain was carefully vetted to provide products that are green grown, fair trade, and non-GMO or hybridized.Equipment was selected to reduce emissions, minimize environmental impact, and save energy.

The small, corner-situated restaurant near Occidental College in the Los Angeles enclave of Highland Park had two vulnerabilities that required protection: cold storage and the customer front entrance. Cold storage, the epicenter in any foodservice setting, is a source of significant energy use and plays a critical role for the operator. The cold storage walk-in must operate with energy efficiency and maintain safe, stabilized temperatures for long product shelf life and lower food waste. Water and condensation are issues because they lead to mold, mildew, and other organism growth while dripping water on floors lead to slips and falls. The customer front entrance is frequently a source for exterior contaminants such as dust, debris and flying pests that diminish the experience for guests and reduce perceptions of sanitary operations.

The Solution

Walk-In Cooler

Because the operator knew the value of UVC for sanitation, he sought out the Mars LoPro units enhanced with a UVC bulb. UVC has been scientifically proven to eradicate E. Coli and Salmonella and the microbes that can cause food spoilage. In addition, it is an established method of extending the life of fresh produce. The Mars UVC unit at the walk-in entry operated at a low speed continually to circulate the UVC technology while the door was closed. The air curtain increased to a high speed upon opening of the door to provide a strong stream of protective air to separate interior temperatures from outside air infiltration that causes temperature fluctuations.

To establish the pathogen-killing capability of the Mars UVC, petri dishes were installed throughout the walk-in and tested for microorganism growth when the air curtain was not operative. As expected, when the air curtain was not in use significant microorganism growth was noted within 7 days. When tested with the Mars UVC operating, there was zero growth noted in any testing area.

Customer Front Entrance

Mars LoPro units were installed and operated with a surface-mount magnetic switch that automated the air curtain when the doors were opened. The proximity of the customer entry door to the food prep and food serving areas was concerning because of the expectation that doors would be propped open for long periods during high traffic cycles. Once installed, the operator immediately noticed the low sound profile and a significant drop in the accumulation of dust and exterior debris at the door which had accumulated heavily prior to air curtain installation.

Bagel Slice


David hot chicken

Dave’s Hot Chicken, serving Nashville-style fried chicken, is on a spicy-hot growth trajectory and even on track for being the fastest growing concept … ever. Committed to becoming the national leader in hot chicken, franchisees need construction plans that will yield a profitable concept ensured to have sanitary food prep and serving zones. They also need equipment partners that can support their high growth, high quality values and provide quick shipment when construction and roll-out schedules shift or are tight. Reliable products, exceptional customer service and quick technical support when needed are key qualities for vendors of high-performing chains. As their air curtain partner, Mars is working to deliver the protection they need and the energy savings that make a difference to their operating budget.

Salad and Go

When the produce-forward, high-growth restaurant concept Salad and Go begin their efforts to double their footprint across the U.S., from hot humid Houston to the dry Arizona desert, Mars air curtains was their brand of choice. Mars customized a solution for the Salad and Go concept that took into account operational considerations, store configuration and climate to protect the pass-thru window, drive-thru windows and employee entrances. The Mars units were integrated with the window system for seamless installation and wiring, reducing labor costs and simplifying the start-up process when every construction day counts. While the Mars brand is widely recognized for its exceptional flying pest protection, Mars air curtains are now accepted in national building codes as an energy saving device reducing excessive loads on heating and cooling systems. This ensures a lower annual utility spend and a longer HVAC system lifespan that yields better operating profit.

Chicken and pickle

Designed for guests flowing in and out of game playing, eating and imbibing drinks, Chicken N Pickle takes inspiration from The American Town Square with activities pivoting from a large, central outdoor courtyard. The indoor structures wrap around the large performance space and host a series of 30-foot openings so that guests flow easily throughout. With plans to open 12 additional units in 2023 alone, the need to control operating costs and manage the flying pests, windborne dust and debris that the design inherently contributes was paramount to future growth. Initially the cost of 30 air curtains per unit appeared daunting but upon analysis, using the Mars ROI calculator, it became evident that the air curtains would pay for themselves within a year with the energy savings they bring about. Lowering the energy spend while managing exterior flying pests and windborne debris creates the brand experience operators need to provide a satisfying guest experience and repeat visits.


When a popular sports bar in Downtown Overland Park, Kansas added a track-guided garage door and a series of fold-out windows along the second-floor dining area to open the space and bring the outdoors in, Johnson County health code regulations threatened to halt the experience enhancing plans. Prohibitions against open exposure to flying pests in food prep and food serving areas were circumvented when Mars Air Systems was part of a rescue served up to meet regulatory requirements, amplify guest comfort, and cut utility bills. A cleverly designed exterior-mount solution provided a simple ledge to cradle the hardworking air curtains while doing double duty as an architectural mullion. A painted custom-made protective covering was then placed around the units to shield them from harsh Midwestern elements while blending in with the building and appearing to be part of an intentional facade. Now the threat of flies and mosquitoes has been halted as the air curtains provide the proven invisible protective shield the health code demands. Able to operate continuously whenever the garage door or windows are open and provide trusted defense, patron experiences are also separated as any drifting cigar or cigarette smoke from guests on the patio is safeguarded from reaching inside diners.