Chili’s, Docomo partner up to introduce Aura Air system to the restaurant industry

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Docomo's Aura Air smart air purification system in use at Chili's Restaurant. (PNC photo)

Although restrictions have eased for the restaurant industry on Guam, the local Chili’s franchise is leaving nothing to chance.

They’ve embraced technology to gain an edge to keep customers and staff safe.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, air circulation and air quality, have been key concerns for any enclosed area.

Along with now standard practices such as social distancing and regular sanitation of customer and staff areas, Chili’s Guam decided to try and gain a technological advantage.

The restaurant partnered with Docomo Pacific to employ the Aura Air system.

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Aura Air is a smart air purification system that monitors air quality in real-time and provides data and recommendations to users.

The manufacturer claims that it can target and disinfect 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, mold, and volatile organic compounds in the air.

Chili’s Guam Managing Director Marcos Fong says Docomo reached out to Chili’s about the system sometime last month.

“When we first looked at it..the first question I had was ok, how does this work in a restaurant environment? Because that’s where a lot of people seem to have a lot of concern. And at the time they didn’t have any data specific to restaurants, they had some pilot testing done in clinics, hospitals, and I think hospitality, so hotel rooms, things like that. But nothing in restaurants. So that led me to propose the idea of how about we install the system and we would go into a pilot and provide them with some data that they can use as a case study,” Fong said.

Fong says they’ve also deployed the system in a Subway restaurant in Saipan as an additional case study.

Fong is also Managing Director of Subway in Guam and Saipan.

He says after learning about the system’s capabilities that the response from the Chili’s staff has been overwhelmingly positive.

Fong says he hopes customers will feel both safe and empowered by the Aura Air.

Especially since, with the help of their smartphones, they’ll be able to access a portal to read the system’s data in real time.

“And so there’s a high level of transparency. That’s what we want to be able to give our guests as well. Not just to say, ‘We’ve got a pretty picture, and what’s behind it, who knows?’ We really want to be transparent. We really want to make sure that everybody’s safe. And it’s the same thing with team members, as well. We’re not just telling team members ‘Hey you see that thing right there? It’s keeping you safe. Okay.’ We really want to make sure ‘Hey, if you want to look at the data, you want to look at it, we’ll provide you with everything you need.’ So that you feel real safe. And if something doesn’t look right, or you have questions, we’re happy to answer that,” Fong said.

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