Misting Systems: Keeping Restaurant and Resort Patio Space Profitable During Oppressive Summer Heat

It's 97 degrees outside, and the happy hour crowd is starting to make their way into the bar area at the local watering hole. Eventually the bar area fills up and people are forced to sit outside and wait for a table.

Many restaurants are realizing that this outdoor seating space simply can’t be ignored any longer when oppressive summer heat strikes. These restaurants and resorts are increasingly seeking out cost effective methods to cool their outdoor patios without breaking the bank. The simple solution many of them are finding is a technology that’s actually been around for close to 25 years called an Outdoor Misting System.

Misting systems can cool outdoor temperatures by up to 15 degrees in humid climates and an astonishing 25 degrees in dry, arid climates. So, while the restaurant or resort across the street hands out menu’s to use as fans, many cutting edge restaurant and resorts are giving their customers a cool and refreshing area to avoid waiting in line by providing an outdoor patio misting system that functions almost like outdoor air conditioning!

In an economy where every business owner is looking for the best return on Investment, outdoor seating areas are simply spaces that must be utilized year round. During winter many of these spaces use heaters to keep customers warm on cold nights, allowing them to stay longer and spend more money. The same holds true for warm summer months. By installing these outdoor patio misters, customers can sit outside without getting wet and simply feel the cool misting nozzles spraying the fog towards their table.

Just like any product not all misting systems are the same as you do get what you pay for. Most commercial applications will typically install a high pressure misting system that is powered by a 1000 PSI pump unit. These pumps are similar to pressure washers in how they force water through tubing and out a very small hole called a misting nozzle. These holes can vary in size depending on how high of a pressure the pump is operating at. The higher the pressure the smaller the misting nozzle can be used, therefore creating a finer atomization of mist, sometimes referred to as a fog.

Many resorts choose to incorporate fog around swim up bar areas in pools, restaurants and inside rental outdoor cabanas as well. Some resorts even put misting systems outside their hotel check in for guests waiting in valet parking areas, especially Casino’s in warm climates that have long lines and numerous elderly people waiting outside. NASA Heat Stress studies have actually documented and shown that by providing shade and outdoor misting systems, heat stress levels can be lowered from a level 5 to a level 2.

How much do these systems typically cost? A high pressure misting system kit can start at around $1200 for a 20 foot kit and run upwards of about $3000 for a mist system that can cool about 100 feet. Another option for businesses on very tight budgets is what’s known as a mid pressure misting system kit. These $400-$500 kits utilize the same pump technology as the high pressure misting systems, except they don’t spray as fine of a mist. It’s recommended to mount these mid pressure misters typically 3-4 feet higher as well since it takes longer for these misters to evaporate. These are an excellent alternative for an area looking to cool 20-40 feet effectively and at a reasonable cost.

The bottom line is that misting systems provide an safe, affordable method to cool outdoor space during the warmest summer months and convert dead space into a profitable money making machine for restaurants, resorts and hotels.

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