While it may seem surprising given their name, the Firestick Grill in Tampa, Fla. had a heat problem. Patrons would often complain of glare from the sun that would pour through the 200-foot-long wall of glass that covered the west side of the restaurant. The Grill is located in the Amalie Arena where the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning play. Customers, uncomfortable with their dining arrangements, would ask management to turn up the AC or reseat them.
One issue with honoring requests was that additional seating did not exist. The restaurant was often at capacity during hockey games. Management was also wary about constantly turning up the AC because of high cooling costs.
Originally, the Grill had tried to solve its glare and heat problems by installing wooden shutters, but they did not block out all of the harmful rays. "You could really feel it during the summer months," said Darryl Benge, general manager of the Amalie Arena. "You [could] feel the heat coming through the glass."
To solve their heat and cost issues, the Grill used window films to cover the 4,600 square feet of glass. It not only preserved the views customers loved, but blocked 86 percent of the sun's heat. Customers no longer asked to be reseated because of the glare and the restaurant was better able to manage its cost and temperature.
"You can still see the sun – it's nice and bright, but we're not feeling the solar radiation coming through the windows," Benge says. "The window film has made a tremendous difference."
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