Your ears might ring, but your hands will dry
Competition among hand-dryer salesmen can get a little heated
At the National Restaurant Show recently, we found that the competition among hand-dryer salesmen can get a little heated. (Chris Borrelli/Chicago Tribune)
We say: Incredibly fun; takes a bit more work than a standard hand dryer, but the novelty of it sucks you in.
Manufacturer: American Dryer
Where: Whole Foods markets, Arby's, Maisano's Italian Restaurant (Novi, Mich.)
What they said: American Dryer's Ebbing showed me a knob on the back, which lowered the speed of the air jets slightly, thereby lowering the volume of the hand dryer: "We're in your library," she said, gradually making it louder, "we're in your restaurant, we're in your airport." Models can also be requested that throw warm or cold air.
We say: The name makes us giggle. Quieter than other models we tried. Resembles a towel dispenser.
Manufacturer: Excel Dryer
Where: Crow's Nest (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Good Life Bar and Restaurant (Boston), Dunkin' Donuts
What they said: Basically, look, we know the thing's loud — but it works. And it does. (And it's loud.)
We say: Unobtrusive looking. It's kind of a cheap amusement park ride, and it certainly felt like the most powerful of the four dryers — we got a rush watching our skin tremble beneath it. Perfect for toweling down wet animals, bathing suits and small bodies of water. However, drying off the armpit area of shirts in July will be quite a chore with this thing.
Manufacturer: World Dryer
Where: Waffle House, Papa Gino's, Subway.
What they said: "We're the godfather of the traditional hand dryer," said Dave Fisher, a manger in World's research and development office, referring to the classic swivel-nozzle dryers no one much likes. "But we want to improve the hand-dryer experience. And it's absolutely an evolving thing. The knock is that it's really loud." He grimaced, because it's true. "In a perfect world, we'd have a hand dryer in the 60s (decibel-wise)."
We say: Classy update of the vintage hand dryer (imagine the nozzle tilted permanently down). Only louder.