At the heart of every Culver’s restaurant is a welcoming, home-like atmosphere. Back in 1984 when Craig and Lea Culver, along with parents George and Ruth, opened the very first Culver’s in Sauk City, Wis., the family determined that, although the business is centered around the food, it is really about the people. The family believes that welcoming guests is what makes Culver’s truly delicious.
Although more than 790 Culver’s locations in 25 states specialize in perfecting its ButterBurger and rich, creamy frozen custard, an equal focus is on creating a welcoming feeling from the time customers enter the restaurant parking lot.
“Since day one, Culver’s knew it had to take care of its guests, and that’s why we try to make everyone feel welcomed as soon as they drive onto our property,” says Mark Johnson who owns the Culver’s franchise in Marysville, Ohio. “From dusk to dawn, we have to make sure Culver’s maintains its warmth and operates efficiently, which means meeting our energy-efficiency standards. Unfortunately, our previous exterior lighting system was not meeting our needs.”
As is the case with all the other Culver’s locations, the visibility of the approximately 30,000-square-foot Marysville restaurant is important. That means providing good lighting throughout the restaurant with its 23-foot-high walls, as well as its parking lot, which includes 60 stalls, and two entry and exit points capable of handling up to 30,000 average daily customers.
To make sure the Marysville location was properly lit for the safety of its customers during early morning and evening hours, Culver’s turned to veteran lighting specialists Lenny Garrard and Mitch Geise, general manager for Dickman Supply Inc., a full-service electrical and industrial supply with four locations, including a facility in Marysville.
“Our primary goal for the new lighting system was to ensure the safety of Culver’s guests when accessing and exiting the building,” says Garrard. “We also wanted to reduce maintenance cost, while increasing energy savings.”
Doing their due diligence, Garrard and Geise investigated several lighting systems from a variety of manufacturers. Since foot traffic is essential to the restaurant’s success, they investigated footcandles per watt rather than just lumens per watt.
Based on their evaluation, Garrard and Geise specified EarthTronics Adjustable Wall Packs for the perimeter of the restaurant. Geise explains: “We selected the wall packs based on three major factors. First, the EarthTronics wall packs are compact and not visually obtrusive during the day. Second, we are able to focus the fixtures exactly where light is needed. And finally, we found that the EarthTronics wall packs were actually made of higher quality materials than similar competitive products.”
The lighting specifications included 11 20-watt and six 30-watt EarthTronics Adjustable Wall Packs. The 20-watt wall packs operate at 105 lumens per watt and provide 2100 lumens, while the 30-watt wall packs operate at 100 lumens per watt and provide 3000 lumens. Both deliver 4000K and 5000K color of light and a high 80+ CRI that provides bright illumination.
EarthTronics Adjustable Wall Packs can be locked in to any angle ranging from 0° to 90° for precise exterior security illumination. With a durable powder coated, die cast aluminum housing designed to maintain the fixture appearance for years, the adjustable wall packs have a long 50,000-hour performance life backed with a 10-year limited warranty.
The EarthTronics Adjustable Wall Packs were installed by Brett Short Circuits LLC, Marysville, using the 20-watt models around the front of the restaurant and above the entrance. In addition, 30-watt adjustable wall packs were placed around the sides of the building and near the commercial doors for added security lighting visibility.
Substantial Energy Savings
“We knew the new lighting system met all the illumination needs for the surrounding area around the restaurant,” says Garrard. “However, we additionally discovered two huge benefits. First, the wall packs provided about 15 footcandles on the sidewalks around the restaurant, which makes it easier for customers to enter and exit the restaurant. That is approximately 400 percent more light on the ground around the building. Second, and even more amazing, is the fact that the new lighting systems saves 70-plus-percent more energy than the previous lighting system. It is a win-win situation for our customers and Culver’s.”
Johnson adds: “The lighting system helps make the dining experience at Culver’s enjoyable from the moment customers enter our property to when they leave the parking lot. This enables us to continue our legacy for hospitality, which dates back to the time of Craig’s mother, Ruth Culver, who had a special way about her that made every guest feel welcomed like a guest in her home.”