Hickory Hills, IL
The owners of the recently renovated 100,000-square-foot Sabre Room chose to retain all of its Old World-crafted details that distinguish the dining center, but at the same time, the decision was made to upgrade to the most advanced restroom fixtures to ensure guests a hygienic environment.
"Hygiene, of course, is extremely important to all of us at the Sabre Room. We want to give our guests a clean atmosphere for their own comfort and health," explains Art Golden, co-owner of the Hickory Hills, Ill., establishment. "We've renovated the entire building and the main washrooms. Each has four sink basins, and the electronic faucets and soap dispensers have been great."
The importance of hygiene, especially in the foodservice industry, is immeasurable. While Golden oversees the culinary staff and enforces a strict hygiene protocol, he cannot control the private practices of patrons. However, he can provide sensor-operated fixtures that encourage hygienic hand washing, virtually eliminating the need to touch fixtures that can be populated with countless strains of bacteria and germs.
"When we go out on the town for the night, we appreciate touchless fixtures. During the renovation, we decided we wanted to have them here, too," says Golden of the family-owned Sabre Room. "They're more of an investment, but we were trying to improve something. Money is always an issue when you run a business, but that was not our main concern. Our guests are more important — they deserve the best."
Catering to mostly weddings, theme parties, fashion shows and other entertainment in the 3,000-person capacity facility, Golden says the maintenance for a high-traffic, touchless restroom is minimal. With 2,000 soap applications in the replaceable 1,600-ml. bottles at each basin, Golden estimates he replaces soap bottles approximately every two months. He says prompting by the self-diagnostic LEDs on the Sloan electronic soap dispensers lets him know when to replace the soap bottles, as well as the batteries for the units.
Golden appreciates that there are no messy refills and each replacement bottle comes with an integral soap-feeding tube to eliminate gumming or clogging. Deck-mounted soap dispensers also reduce maintenance since there is not a chance of it being knocked off the wall by over-zealous users, which is a common problem with manual dispensers that require pumping.
Sensor-operated, deck-mounted fixtures also help ensure compliance to ADA standards, which state that manually activated controls must be easily operable with one hand and not require grasping or twisting of the wrist, and can be actuated with less than 5 pounds of force. While manufacturers design products specifically to meet these regulations, there is more to achieving ADA compliance than installing certain types of products. What matters most is how and where these products are installed so that a restroom is truly accessible.
Per ADA guidelines, to provide accessibility to fixtures, a person should not have to reach higher than 44 inches if the reach depth is between 20 to 25 inches. Because most soap dispensers are wall-mounted by the sink's backsplash, which may be deeper than the 25-inch threshold, installing deck-mounted fixtures eliminates any gray area in providing accessibility.
Water conservation is another benefit for a touchless restroom. Normally, a person wets their hands and lathers with soap before drying, grabbing a towel, and then turning off the water. That means during the lathering and drying phases, manual faucets continue to flow water while touchless faucets operate only when the user’s hands are in the active area of the sensor — and only for a pre-determined length of time. Moreover, because people are now so accustomed to sensor-operated fixtures, manual faucets are often left running out of habit.
These advantages — water efficiency, ADA accessibility, decreased maintenance and increased hygiene — have made touchless, sensor-operated fixtures the clear choice at the Sabre Room.
“The main thing is hygienic handwashing," says Golden. "Just like the kitchen, you do not want to touch anything that has been touching something else. The same goes in the restroom with faucets and soap dispensers."
When we go out on the town for the night, we appreciate touchless fixtures. During the renovation, we decided we wanted to have them here, too. They're more of an investment, but we were trying to improve something. Money is always an issue when you run a business, but that was not our main concern. Our guests are more important — they deserve the best.