Friday, May 26, 2017

Candlelight will improve your dining mood

For the restaurateur, happy guests are gold. Happy guests are repeat customers who spend more money and share their great experiences with their friends.  Finding ways, especially easy ways, to delight restaurant goers should be on every operator’s mind.  

Next to a smile, adding a candle to the table might be the easiest and least expensive way to positively impact customer mood.

There is a scientific explanation as to why candlelight improves your state of mind.  There is also a spiritual validation.
First let’s explore the science

The “quality” of candlelight at the dinner table has a significant impact on the ambiance or visual sensory experience.  In fact the impact of two distinct light properties, Color & Position, create a romantic atmosphere that is only replicated in nature at sunset and dawn.

Candlelight color is the warmest naturally occurring light source; it is akin to the light color of sunrise and sunset.  The golden-amber glow of a live flame has a flattering effect on human skin.  When seated at the dinner table, faces will appear slightly flushed and healthier when lit by candlelight.

The position of restaurant table lighting is most often face-level.  This is another similarity to the setting sun.  

Overhead lighting can result in harsh face shadows and can be very unflattering.  A table lamp at the dinner table provides ideal illumination to the patrons’ faces.  This light position will soften features, minimize wrinkles and mask blemishes.  Your dining partner will appear younger and more attractive.

Cinematographers refer to sunset and sunrise as the “Golden Hour” and the absolute best time for filming.  The position and hue of the sunlight is simply more flattering for their subjects.  A candle on a table creates this golden hour all night long.

So, let’s circle back to mood improvement.  If you are dining at a restaurant with candlelit tables, gazing at your healthier, younger, prettier looking date, there is no doubt your mood will be improved.  By changing the light quality, the smart restaurant owner can scientifically manufacture romance.

Second, let us consider the spiritual influence…

There is an innate connection between man and fire.  Fire is inviting and soothing.  This spiritual bond to fire dates back to the Stone Age and it is a part of our essence.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, an Indian yogi, poet and New York Times bestselling author, wrote this about the spiritual influence of fire…

“…the moment you light a lamp, not the flame itself, but around the flame a certain etheric sphere will naturally happen. Where there is an etheric sphere, communication will be better.  

Did you ever sit around a camp fire?  Stories told around a camp fire have the maximum impact on people.  Receptivity is at its best."

“Fire itself is a source of light, and a source of life in many ways.… The sun is just a big fireball…you cook with (fire)...It is symbolism; (lighting a lamp) is a way of invoking your own inner nature.”

So, according to Vasudev the energy field around a flame, or in our case the candlelit dining table, creates a realm of spiritual relaxation to which humans are drawn.  The subconscious comfort and security we feel encourages freer socialization and acceptance.

So, let’s bring the science and the spirit together…

Scientifically, our moods are improved because the light quality of candlelight affects the way we see our dining partners and the way that they see us: i.e. healthier and younger versions of ourselves.

Spiritually, we are comforted by the energy field (ambiance) around candlelight.  Our deeply-rooted connection to the aura of fire creates a sense of security, comfort and receptivity.

This is good news for the restauranteur employing table lighting.  Guests are happier and they are more likely to enjoy their dinner guests.  They are relaxed and more receptive so they are more likely to agree to stay for coffee and dessert.  Finally, because their dining experience was made more enjoyable, they will be more likely to tell their friends and return for another meal.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Liquid Lamp Fuel and Liquid Chafing Fuel are SAFE!

We recently attended one of our industry's largest international trade shows and met with some of our best distribution customers. During conversations about our liquid lamp fuel, a salesperson from one of our long-time customers made the comment:

"It's too bad that we cannot ship this fuel UPS."

This prompted our Director of Sales to say: "Wait, what did you say? That is decidedly NOT true. None of our liquid wax lamp and liquid chafing fuel items require any special shipping or handling."

It turns out this customer received some erroneous information from their shipping department.

There is a common misconception that items with the word "Fuel" in their names are automatically restricted from certain shipping methods and require special onsite handling and storage.

In our industry, liquid wax lamp fuel is composed of two materials: Liquid Paraffin and Mineral Oil. Both of these substances are classified by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) in the same NONFLAMMABLE category as vegetable oil (Class IIIB). Likewise, the DOT (Department of Transportation) classifies lamp fuel as NONHAZARDOUS.

Therefore, all liquid wax lamp fuel is safe to ship by any method, including express air. Furthermore, Lamp Fuels require no special handling, no special labeling for shipping, no special storage facilities and no extra insurance.

The same holds true for liquid chafing fuels made with DEG (Diethylene Glycol). Most liquid chafing fuels are DEG-based. (All Hollowick liquid chafing fuels contain DEG, exclusively.)

All DEG liquid chafing fuels are safe to ship by any method including express air. Furthermore, Liquid Chafing Fuels require no special handling, no special labeling for shipping, no special storage facilities and no extra insurance.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What's Topping Tables in 2017?

As an industry leader in cooking fuel and table lighting, it's only natural for us to "light the way" into the New Year by exploring the trends currently reigning on tabletops. Here is an overview of the lighting, accents and aesthetics we are seeing. 

1. Industrial. Concrete, galvanized steel and other materials previously zoned for commercial use are now firmly entrenched in hospitality design, including tabletop products. By repurposing no-frills material to warm effect, designers are helping the industrial aesthetic thrive.

2. Vintage. There's always some kind of retro or throwback element at play in tabletop and hospitality design. Right now, tableware and interior fixtures with vintage flavor are riding a wave of popularity. 

Antique brass plumbing piping, Edison filament bulbs, repurposed furniture, and anything that looks freshly plucked from the attic are hot commodities.

3. Hand-made, rough-hewn. An offshoot of the "farm to table" sensibility, items with hand-made or homemade appeal are fashionable now. Think reclaimed wooden tables, hammered copper Moscow Mule mugs, and dinnerware that resembles hand-decorated pottery. 

Chefs and mixologists committed to creating the mystique of "handed-down" recipes and cocktails want to extend this mystique to the dining room and table. The goal is to have the guest swept up in the authenticity of the meal and experience.

4. Brass. Not the garish, overly shiny or slickly polished variety; but rather, antique, mottled and tarnished lighting and fixtures that connect to the style trends mentioned above.

5. Open flame. Even fire is making a comeback. The influx of LEDs and flameless candles into table lighting has been significant, and they do have their benefits; but they lack the degree of authenticity that interior designers and restaurant owners seek today. Can you picture a reclaimed rough-hewn barn wood table set with exquisite antique-cut crystal stemware, rustic hand-painted dishes, and a handsome mottled brass lantern centerpiece... with a fake candle inside? Can you say "disconnect"? Our emotional relationship with candlelight is rooted in our subconscious; it's soothing, inviting, and key to the romantic ambiance we associate with fine dining.