Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pacific Grill Goes Green[er]

[why we made the switch to battery-powered candles] ..........At my daughter’s recent wedding at the W Hotel, Seattle, I noticed they used battery-powered votive candles in their trendy bar…I started asking myself some questions.
Why would this premiere boutique chain of Hotels risk the ambiance of a real flickering flame for a “fake” one? But once I wrapped my brain around the fact that the 'W' could do it, I started realizing all the benefits it could bring to Pacific Grill, and our attempt to try and go greener. As it is, we recycle all of our cardboard boxes, paper, all glass from liquor, beer and wine.

About a month ago we made the switch to the battery-powered votives and I am never looking back!

First of all, the battery powered tea lights are provided to us free. We only purchase the batteries (which are recyclable). The batteries last up to 55 hours whereas the tea lights that burned oil lasted much less than that, so that the entire votive tea light fuel cell was thrown out every day and a half or so....And the LED lights last 17 years!!!
We have about 60 tables so you can see what a tremendous waste it was and contributes to the landfill problem. Plus the toxic fuel oil would get on waiter’s hands, and also into the landfill.

The LED votive batteries are recyclable. It also works out to be less labor intensive, as they are changed much less frequently.

Other benefits include less labor cleaning the votive holders than before. No wax mess, no dripping, no soot entering the air our customers are breathing. Less breakage. No fire hazard (many customers have accidentally set fire to a menu that got too close to a live flame in the dining room, and one customer’s clothing even caught on fire)!

Ambiance-wise I cannot detect any difference.

The LED flickers realistically, and the candles give off a nice authentic look. We did have to get frosted glass so that you cannot see the candle is ‘fake’. The battery powered candles' wicks continuously vary their random fluctuations mimicking the behavior of fire burning candles.

Oh-- and did I tell you they save us about $700/month!? Hopefully some other restaurants will adopt this modest change.


Nick said...

(Borat voice) Great Success!

Thats great!

Jen said...

Wow. Where can one get these tea lights?

Heather said...

Jen, you can probably find them in Tacoma somewhere, but I know for sure that "The Keeping Room" a wine and gift shop in Gig Harbor has a big selection of these candles.

ChefGordonNaccarato said...

If you are local in Tacoma our source for the battery powered votives is Peter Moynihan. He can be reached at:

Accent Table Lighting Co