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Silver Diner installs new air system to make indoor dining almost as safe as outdoor

Al Urbanski
Silver Diner

Silver Diner has made a commitment to clean air as well as “clean” food in all its restaurants.

The farm-to-table chain, which has 20 locations in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey and is known for its emphasis on healthy eating and fresh, local ingredients, is billed as the first restaurant group in the nation to install a customized interior air filtration and purification system designed to make dining indoors as close it can come to outdoor dining. 

The system, from lighting and energy design company Veteran LED, promises to eliminate 99.9% of pathogens within spaces. It includes germicidal UV-C light, bipolar ionization technology, and HEPA filtration. Air purifiers, mounted throughout each restaurant, work to continuously clean the air by using all three technologies simultaneously.

Germicidal UV-C lights installed throughout the HVAC system work to disinfect air and surfaces inside the system. Heavy duty handheld UV-C light sterilizers are used on high touch areas as part of the closing duties of the staff. At night, when the restaurant is closed, the interior is bathed in germicidal UV-C light to help kill pathogens in the air and sterilize surfaces. The system eliminates 99.9% of pathogens encountered, according to Veteran LED.

“Our goal is to make indoor dining as safe as possible to outdoor dining,” said Silver Diner group co-founder and president Robert Giaimo. “We believe this is the restaurant model of the future. It maximizes the safety of our employees and our guests.” 

Silver Diner, which operates two Silver American Brasserie restaurants, created multiple dining options for customers amid the pandemic that range from low- contact carhop service to tented outdoor cafés. Its menus are currently printed on anti-microbial paper. As it came time when limited customers could dine inside, the Silver Diner executive team researched the market to see if there was anything else they could do. 

“First of all, we wanted our employees to feel as safe as possible,” explained Giaimo. Secondly, we wanted our customers to feel comfortable dining with us. We want to be their home away from home and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to get them back.”

Veteran LED was founded Chris Rawlings, who gained extensive background in building customized lighting systems while serving two tours of duty in Iraq as a United States Marine and has an extensive background in lighting technology.

“This pandemic is forcing businesses, engineers, architects and more, to rethink how proven technology and a little innovation can go a long way in helping to support a safer environment for all building occupants,” Rawlings said. “Air quality and healthy environments are on the forefront of all of our minds right now.”

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