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Polar King Walk-Ins: Hurricane Tough

There are many things restaurant operators have some control over, such as the menu and staffing. But there are also things they have no control over, like the weather. Few operators know that as well as Patrick King.

King is franchisee of a Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill restaurant in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Flanigan’s is a 23-unit casual restaurant chain in South Florida renowned for its local seafood dishes and baby back ribs. Operating in an area that’s often hit by storms, King has direct knowledge of how weather-related issues can affect restaurants.

image2The Polar King walk-in cooler is set in place before construction on an outside deck.Last year’s Hurricane Irma, for example, “was a very nasty storm and had a negative impact from a power outage standpoint,” King says. “Damages weren’t that significant but the power outages created quite a problem for all our locations because we were without power for various amounts of time.” In some locations, King says, three days’ worth of business was lost. By moving food from the restaurants in the storm’s path to other locations that still had power, King managed to save much of his food stock.

One of the reasons why King’s restaurants were able to withstand the storm is the stringent building and equipment codes imposed by the Miami-Dade County authorities. “They updated all their codes [for equipment] to withstand 140mph winds,” King says. “Those stringent codes actually helped a lot of operations be able to withstand glancing blows from hurricanes. Obviously, once we get a category 5, all bets are off. But being able to withstand a category 3 hurricane is very significant, whether you’re in Miami or Melbourne.”

Even in good weather, King’s equipment has to withstand tough treatment from the elements. That’s just one of the reasons why he has gone with Polar King for his walk-in coolers. The fact that Polar King coolers are made from durable fiberglass was just one of the things that sold King. “I didn’t find any other cooler manufacturers who offered that material,” he says. “We have several other walk-ins and they’re not fiberglass. They require all kinds of maintenance and they don’t hold up to the elements. Anything you put near the beach, if it’s not fiberglass it’s going to rust, corrode and deteriorate over time. A year into it, I can’t see any blemishes on the Polar King cooler.”

image1Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill in Deerfield Beach, Fla.Polar King’s complete line of walk-in coolers and freezers successfully passed the rigorous testing required to gain Miami-Dade County product control approval. Miami-Dade’s Product Approval System, viewed by many as the benchmark for code-related building product approvals, is directly related to the structural wind resistance of buildings and building components. This approval further demonstrates the quality of the seamless construction methods used to manufacture Polar King walk-in units.

Whether you’re in a hurricane zone or not, the durable construction of seamless fiberglass Polar King walk-in coolers and freezers will help you withstand whatever Mother Nature can dish out.