The Economics of a Pure Air Zone in Hospitality
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Installing a Pure Air Zone is almost as simple as plugging in the bioreactor and turning it on. But what sort of costs are involved for a business? This can naturally vary so we thought that it might be useful to look at the economics of a Pure Air Zone.
By ‘economics’, we don’t necessarily mean finances, although that is naturally what most will be thinking about upon installation. When getting set up, the first thing to think about is the current quality of air within your establishment, which we will measure for up to two weeks before turning the bioreactors on. After all, you want to ensure that you are getting good value for money!
Boboli, a restaurant that is featured in the Good Food Guide, ...has seen the opportunity and signed up to become a Pure Air Zone.
The recent lockdowns have had a huge impact on the hospitality industry with numerous companies reporting poor figures and the first UK lockdown estimated to have cost the hospitality industry £25 billion. As an example, The Restaurant Group, owners of Wagamama and Frankie and Benny’s, stated that revenues were 57% down on the previous year, and made an adjusted loss before tax of £87.5 million. It isn’t just the larger chains either; Fulham Shore, owners of Franco Manca, announced a 44.9% drop in revenues and an operating loss of £3 million compared to a £2.1 million profit the year before. We can therefore estimate that independent restaurants have also suffered a similar percentage loss so it doesn’t come down to affording a Pure Air Zone but whether you can afford not to have one, especially as restaurants are keen to improve ventilation to win customers’ trust. Boboli, a restaurant that is featured in the Good Food Guide, is just one such establishment that has seen the opportunity and signed up to become a Pure Air Zone.
The pandemic has shown that great air quality is vital and restaurants are notorious for pollution with 13% of particle pollution in London hailing from eateries. There are even indications that the figure is even higher in the US, perhaps closer to 20%. As the public becomes ever more aware of the problems of air quality, and restaurants attempt to lure back customers post-pandemic, it makes sense that the better your air purification system, the more peace of mind there will be for customers, staff and stakeholders.
A HEPA filter should be replaced every 2-3 weeks whereas U-Ox only needs replenishing every 30 days.
Up to 90% of contaminants are too small to be affected by traditional ventilation systems or gravity. U-Earth’s Pure Air Zones use molecular charge attraction to ensure that these charged particles are drawn towards the bioreactor and then neutralised by the U-Ox, a proprietary blend of bacteria and enzymes from the natural world. If U-Earth can step in where other ventilation systems fail, there must be a catch but if anything, the bioreactors are even time-efficient. A HEPA filter should be replaced every 2-3 weeks whereas U-Ox only needs replenishing every 30 days. Now that’s what we call efficiency, especially considering it uses the same amount of electricity as the average light bulb!
There is also something to be said for providing peace of mind to a customer, ensuring that the cost of the system can be passed on to those who stand to benefit most. If there is a decision between a number of local restaurants, it makes logical sense that the majority of customers will be drawn to the establishment that offers a healthier alternative to most, especially if that restaurant can claim exclusivity in their area, which is something U-Earth is always happy to discuss. The costs needn’t be prohibitive either, if a typical family restaurant has 600 ‘covers’ a day, and there is a 15 pence uplift in prices per cover, the result is £2700 per month - the Pure Air Zone would pay for itself and then some, especially when factoring in the cost savings of removing the HEPA filter system that requires a change every other week. And the more covers a restaurant has, the more those prices can be reduced while still ensuring pure air for all. Result!
...there is improved decision making when we find ourselves in an area with better air quality.
The benefits are cumulative too with the restaurant being able to be seen on the upcoming Pure Air Zone app, and being able to market themselves to like-minded, health-conscious customers. And the positives don’t stop there with research even showing that there is improved decision making when we find ourselves in an area with better air quality. Restaurant staff can work to an improved level and they may even take less time off sick as well!
But we were talking about the economics of a Pure Air Zone, and at the end of the day, many relate that to finance. The truth is that restaurants can be enormously wasteful and the cost of unused perishables can quickly add up. In the US 4 to 10% percent of food is wasted before it even reaches the consumer and in the UK, 6% of the cost of a meal accounts for wasted produce. What if the prices could remain the same but waste could potentially reduce? The average mould spore is between 2 and 10 microns in size, which is five times smaller than can be seen by the naked eye. Although we can’t see them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and this comes back to the molecular charge attraction mentioned earlier - a Pure Air Zone can capture mould spores where a human cleaner may fail. And