Running a restaurant can seem like one hassle after the next. Owners must worry about everything from staffing to inventory to food quality to marketing. With so much to think about, it can be easy to overlook the importance of water quality. However, in today’s modern restaurants, this critical aspect of the food and customer service should not be ignored. Here are some reasons restaurants will invest in a commercial water filtration system and the different options available.
One of the most important reasons restaurants need a commercial water filtration system is customer satisfaction. Customers today are increasingly knowledgeable and discerning when it comes to their food and drink. They want to know where their food comes from, how it was prepared, and what ingredients were used. Water quality is a critical component of this equation.
Poor water quality can negatively impact the taste of food and drink. Water that contains impurities, such as minerals or chemicals, can alter the flavor of beverages like coffee or tea, making them taste bitter or sour. Bad water also can noticeably affect the taste of the food that comes out of the kitchen as well. This can be a major turnoff for customers who expect a high level of quality when dining out.
In addition to impacting taste, poor water quality can also affect the appearance of food and drink. Water with high levels of sediment or particles – in particular, hard water – can create a cloudy appearance in beverages or leave residue on glassware. This can make the restaurant appear unclean or unprofessional, further detracting from the customer experience.
Health and Safety
Another crucial reason why restaurants need a commercial water filtration system is health and safety. Water that is not properly treated can contain harmful bacteria or viruses, such as E. coli. These contaminants can lead to serious illness or even death if consumed by customers.
In addition, water that is not properly treated can contain high levels of minerals or chemicals, such as lead or mercury. These contaminants can accumulate in the body over time and lead to chronic health problems.
By installing a commercial water filtration system, restaurants can effectively remove harmful contaminants from their water supply. This not only helps to protect the health and safety of customers, but it also demonstrates a commitment to responsible and ethical business practices.
Liability and Reputation
In extreme cases, if a customer becomes ill as a result of consuming contaminated water, the restaurant may be held liable for damages. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and even punitive damages in some cases.
Legal issues aside, a waterborne illness outbreak can also have a significant impact on the restaurant’s reputation. News of an outbreak can quickly spread through social media and word of mouth, leading to a loss of business and potentially even closure.
By investing in a commercial water filtration system, restaurants can help to protect themselves from legal liability and reputation damage. A high-quality filtration system can effectively remove harmful contaminants from the water supply, reducing the risk of illness or outbreak.
Types of Commercial Water Filtration Systems
Similar to the options available to any homeowner, there are a number of options for restaurant owners, ranging from simple carbon filters to ultraviolet sterilizers to point-of-use reverse osmosis systems and more expensive whole-facility water treatment and softening systems.
There are several types of commercial water filtration systems available, each designed to address specific water quality concerns. Here are some of the most common types of systems:
Carbon filters are a common type of water filtration system used in restaurants to improve the quality and taste of the water. These filters work by using activated carbon to remove impurities from the water, such as chlorine, sediment, and organic compounds.
In a restaurant’s water filtration process, carbon filters are typically installed at the point of use, such as under the sink or at the water source for ice machines or coffee makers. This allows the water to be filtered before it is used for cooking, cleaning, or drinking.
Carbon filters come in various sizes and configurations to meet the specific needs of a restaurant. For example, a small restaurant may use a countertop carbon filter for a single sink, while a larger restaurant may require a larger, multi-stage carbon filter system to accommodate multiple sinks, ice machines, and other water sources.
Carbon filters are also often used in combination with other types of water filtration systems, such as reverse osmosis or UV sterilization systems, to provide comprehensive water treatment. This can help ensure that the water used in the restaurant is safe, clean, and free of impurities that can affect the taste and quality of the food and beverages served.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis (RO) systems are a popular type of water filtration system used in restaurants to remove impurities and contaminants from the water. These systems use a semi-permeable membrane to filter out particles and impurities, resulting in clean, purified water.
RO systems are typically installed at the point of use (for a drinking water faucet, coffee machine or an ice machine) but some systems can also be employed at the point-of-entry for the water supply, such as in the basement or utility room of the restaurant. This allows all of the water used in the restaurant to be filtered before it is used for cooking, cleaning, or drinking.
In larger restaurants, multiple RO systems may be installed to accommodate the high demand for purified water. For example, a large restaurant with multiple kitchens and dining areas may require several RO systems to provide clean water to each area.
Overall, RO systems can provide an effective way for restaurants to ensure that the water used in their operations is clean, safe, and free of impurities that can affect the taste and quality of the food and beverages served.
Ultraviolet (UV) sterilizers are a type of water filtration system that uses UV light to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can be present in the water. In a restaurant setting, UV sterilizers can be used to improve water quality and ensure that the water used in cooking, cleaning, and drinking is safe and free from harmful pathogens.
UV sterilizers are typically installed at the point of use, such as under the sink or at the water source for ice machines or coffee makers. As water passes through the system, it is exposed to UV light, which destroys any bacteria or viruses present in the water.
One example of how UV sterilizers can be used in a restaurant is to ensure the safety of the ice used in drinks. Ice machines can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms, which can be harmful if ingested. By installing a UV sterilizer at the water source for the ice machine, the water used to make the ice can be effectively sterilized, ensuring that the ice is safe for consumption.
Another example of how UV sterilizers can be used in a restaurant is to improve the quality of the water used in coffee and tea. By installing a UV sterilizer at the water source for the coffee maker or tea kettle, the water can be effectively sterilized, removing any impurities or bacteria that can affect the taste and quality of the beverages.
UV sterilizers can also be used in combination with other types of water filtration systems, such as carbon filters or reverse osmosis systems, to provide comprehensive water treatment. For example, a restaurant may use a multi-stage filtration system that includes both UV sterilizers and carbon filters to remove a wide range of impurities and contaminants from the water.
Whole-Facility Water Softening and Filtration Systems
Point-of-entry water filtration systems, including water softeners, are commonly used in restaurants to help improve the quality of the water throughout the entire facility. Water softeners are particularly effective at reducing the hardness of the water, which can have a number of benefits for restaurants.
Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can leave behind mineral deposits and cause scale buildup in pipes, appliances, and fixtures. This can lead to reduced water flow, increased energy consumption, and decreased equipment lifespan. By installing a water softener at the point of entry for the water supply, these issues can be effectively addressed.
Water softeners work by using a process called ion exchange to remove the minerals that cause hardness from the water. As water flows through the system, it passes through a resin bed that is charged with sodium ions. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are attracted to the resin bed and exchanged for sodium ions, effectively removing them from the water.
Water softeners are typically installed at the point of entry for the water supply, such as in the basement or utility room of the restaurant. The system is connected to the main water line, and a pre-filter may be installed to remove large particles and sediment from the water before it enters the water softener.
Once installed, the water softener will treat all of the water used in the restaurant, including water used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking, and even improve the water used in restrooms. Removing this calcium and magnesium helps to improve the taste and quality of the water, extend the life of equipment and appliances by reducing the amount of scale buildup and mineral deposits, and softens the water for workers and customers (who use the restroom).
In addition to water softeners, point-of-entry water filtration systems may also include other types of filters, such as carbon filters, sediment filters, and UV sterilizers, to provide comprehensive water treatment. These systems may be customized to meet the specific needs of the restaurant, based on factors such as water quality, usage patterns, and equipment requirements.
At Houston Water Solutions, we can help you with a wide range of solutions for your restaurant including both point-of-use systems and whole-facility water filtration. Contact us for a free consultation today. We’ll come out to your facility and test your water, getting you the results fast. Then, we’ll talk about your specific needs and customize a water filtration solution that works for you.