Restaurants in the Californian municipality of Carmel-by-the-Sea have rolled out the Verified Clean Air programme in an effort to support the local restaurant scene and bring the community together in a post-pandemic world.
It has been enabled by Wynd technologies, developer of artificial intelligence- (AI-) powered indoor air monitoring and purification technologies, and Bay Area consulting and engineering company, AirByDesign (ABD).
Digital twin technology
To rebuild confidence in the safety of indoor dining for patrons, workers and residents, the Verified Clean Air programme leverages advanced technologies and techniques. The process begins with an initial assessment by ABD. Digital twin models are developed for each restaurant, followed by the design of customised air quality improvement plans.
From there, Wynd’s proprietary Halo air quality product suite is installed to actively sense, monitor, and purify each space in real time. Equipped with advanced artificial intelligence models, which can identify pollutants in the air, the Halo can dynamically control Hepa-grade Wynd Max air purifiers to keep the air clean.
The initiative was mobilised as a collaborative endeavour between the two companies, local business leader and philanthropist Bill Hayward and Carmel Cares, a volunteer organisation dedicated to keeping Carmel “beautiful, safe, and inviting”.
“As diners begin to move indoors again, the Verified Clean Air initiative assures locals and visitors to Carmel that our restaurants care about the safety of their staff and customers”
Carmel Cares, led by president and “chief caring officer” Dale Byrne, conducted outreach to the city’s business owners to develop an integrated programme that supports restaurants in this world-renowned seaside destination. Hayward, CEO of the Hayward Healthy Home Initiative, had previously worked to implement Wynd’s air filtration monitoring system at the Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar Restaurant in Big Sur.
“As diners begin to move indoors again, the Verified Clean Air initiative assures locals and visitors to Carmel that our restaurants care about the safety of their staff and customers,” said Byrne. “Our restaurant partners have been instrumental in developing this unique end-to-end solution, and the early adopters are now seeing the benefits of this seamless approach to improving inside air quality.”
Restaurants are signing up for the programme, undergoing facility scanning, equipment installation, and staff training on how to educate customers about the system benefits. Blue window decals reading: “Verified Clean Air; This business has invested in your health and safety” are displayed to let customers identify participating restaurants that are using the monitoring and purification system.
To further facilitate visibility of the programme and its mission, Wynd and ABD also provide restaurant owners with customised QR codes on every tabletop, allowing customers to not only view their menus but also see the live air quality reading in the restaurant themselves on the web. Additionally, a grant programme has been made available for restaurants that need financial assistance for programme participation, covering most of the first-year charges.
“As a California-based company, we’re immensely proud to have helped improve the overall public safety within a municipality that prioritises the health of its residents and visitors the way Carmel-by-the-Sea does,” said Dora Du, CMO of Wynd.
She added: “Our mission has always been to raise awareness around the importance of indoor air quality in addition to solving for it – and the results of our partnership with AirByDesign and Carmel Cares are a case study for what can be accomplished when businesses and local communities work together.”
“By scaling the application of this technology to larger cities and metropolitan areas, the implications are amazing for the recovery of the retail and service industries nationwide”
Andrew Limcaco, CEO of ABD, added: “Carmel-by-the-Sea presented the ideal scenario for our team to collaborate with Wynd – it’s already a world-renowned tourism destination due to its scenic beauty, charm and intimate atmosphere.
“With more than 50 full-service, locally owned and operated restaurants in one-square mile, it has more eateries per capita than any other small city in the country. By scaling the application of this technology to larger cities and metropolitan areas, the implications are amazing for the recovery of the retail and service industries nationwide.”
Since the programme’s launch three months ago, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s participating restaurants have reported immediate improvements, not just in air quality, but also guest satisfaction and revenue. This is being complemented by reductions in employee turnover and pandemic-related operational expenses. Data collected by Wynd estimates that the cost-savings and increased profit from improved air quality add up to more than $17,000 per year on average.
Carmel Cares partners closely with the City of Carmel’s Public Works Department and other non-profit organisations to make a positive difference in their community.