New filtration system is keeping customers coming into restaurants during COVID-19

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

The coronavirus pandemic has changed pretty much every aspect of life. Particularly, going out to dinner at a restaurant is completely different.

“We’re very selective on where we choose to eat,” said Sandra Hogan, while she dined with her husband at Ridgeway Bar and Grill.

“They’ve taken COVID seriously,” Hogan said about the restaurant. 

But many Naples restaurant owners say they have been seeing a decline in the number of people coming in compared to a few weeks ago.

“We did experience quite a spike in business until the pandemic numbers started to dramatically rise and then business tanked,” says Ridgeway owner Sukie Honeycutt.

She adds that spacing out tables for social distancing and requiring masks isn’t what got people back into her restaurant.

“They were talking a lot about airborne pathogens so I started doing research,” Honeycutt said. So she found out about Bipolar Ionization Systems.

“There are positive and negative ions and they’re constantly being shot out of this little piece of machinery through the air conditioning ducts,” said Honeycutt demonstrating what she’s learned. “Basically, they reduce their infectivity. In layman’s terms kills the pathogens.”

Sandra’s husband David understands why she would want to install that. “Well I’m a chemical engineer so I understand the benefit,” he said. 

But when you look around here the airs very open and there’s a lot of movement and were all separated by several feet,” David Hogan said. But, “like everything else its a cost-benefit.”

A jewelry store on Fifth Avenue in Naples uses UV technology. “This actually just kills bacteria,” the owner said.

Anything to make sure customers feel safe inside their establishment.

Since we installed this system and got the message out, our business has gone back up again. Not to where it was but it’s gone up,” Honeycutt said.

The system cost the restaurant about $1500 to install.

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