Energy Savings That Can Reduce Operational Costs

Chicken and pickle


A growing food and entertainment concept with plans to expand aggressively turned to Mars to help them with an escalating energy spend due to inherent design features. Since 2017, Chicken N Pickle has been known as a fully indoor/outdoor entertainment center hosting bars, multiple restaurants, pickleball, and a variety of yard games. Designed to encourage guests to move indoors and outdoors freely throughout the experience of game playing, eating and imbibing drinks, the facility design takes inspiration from The American Town Square with activities pivoting from a large, central outdoor courtyard. The indoor structures wrap around the large lawn and performance space and host a series of 30-foot openings so that guests flow easily. With expectations to open 12 additional units in 2023 alone and continue that expansion in the coming years, the need to control operating costs and manage the flying pests, windborne dust and debris was paramount to future growth.

The Solution

Initially the cost of 30 air curtains per Chicken N Pickle unit appeared to be a daunting spend 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 encourage a satisfying guest experience and repeat guest visits.

Operators are now considering adding the Mars Simplink® BACnet-enabled controller that would automate the control of the fan speed. The multi-function, programmable, solid-state controller can deploy “Smart Mode” which optimizes the air curtain sequence based on real-time climatic conditions. Simplelink® also increases energy savings with its automated functionality that responds to real-time conditions. With a single restaurant averaging 13,000 sq ft alone, having an automated protective stream of air over all of the large openings allows for the guest experience they designed without any damage from exterior conditions.

Chicken and pickle



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.

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.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier® is a 3,300-foot-long pier and entertainment site sitting directly adjacent to Lake Michigan in Chicago where lake effect weather increases snowfall in the winter. This body of water also provides the city with a lake breeze as a dominant feature. When Navy Pier undertook a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015, operators knew Mars air curtains had to be a feature to give this important community destination the thermal comfort guests demand. A series of units were installed along the north side windows to provide 24/7/365 barrier-free air stream protection so doors can open and close at will for free-flowing passage of visitors. Hot water heated Phantom units also provide added comfort of heating during the colder, windy, snow-driven months. Controller switches can be set to run after the door shuts to add more heat to the interior. And, in the hotter, humid midwestern summer months, chilled water can be run through the units to cool the air passing through the unit.


When you control the processing and shipping of more than 1 billion packages a year through more than 150 fulfillment and sortation centers, those vast working spaces need to be consistently clean and comfortable despite dozens of wide openings for plenty of people and equipment to pass through 24/7. One Amazon center is so large it’s the size of 28 football fields...combined. These facilities are known to have realized internal temps over 90°F which is a common challenge of large, cavernous spaces. And, while goods move in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible, employees are long-time guests who deal with the air quality and temperature constraints for hours each work day, year after year. Industrial facility managers need consistent durable solutions customized for their unique climate and constraints. Amazon’s industrial facility managers called in the titan of tough. Across the U.S., the Mars air curtain now stands guard at Amazon fulfillment and sortation facilities and manages their many large dock doors as they safeguard against air transfer and pollutant infiltration while keeping passages free and clear from obstructions that lead to accidents.