An interview with Gillian Dinnerstein at the National Restaurant Association Conference sheds some light on how to read menus in the dark.
Ben Lack: Well, we’re here with Gillian Dinnerstein of Dine-A-Light from Miami. Thanks so much for giving us some of your time.
Gillian Dinnerstein: You’re welcome.
Ben Lack: So you have a really cool, LED application that I would love for you to tell our audience about. Talk to us about your company and what your company does.
Gillian Dinnerstein: I was awarded a patent for a lighted application allowing readability and ambient light in venues. Put in plain English, basically, people complain, a very common complaint, they can’t read menus and their check in a delightful restaurant as well as their evening out, having to fumble around for pen lights where are not so environmentally friendly. They get lost or stolen and disposable batteries cause even less friendly, environmentally. So I was looking for something that was energy efficient and affordable and low-maintenance, easy-to-use low maintenance.
I customized a lithium-ion polymer battery. The customization was necessary because there is no application on the market thin enough to enter into the module, this teeny module, and not bulk up menu panel. And then for loss prevention, we have it securely locked into the menu panel. It releases with a small key and is placed into the dock for charging. It indicates when a charge is taken.
Ben Lack: Oh, because of the flickering?
Gillian Dinnerstein: As you can see that’s the only light that is charging at the moment because each individual module has its own charge control system., and that is also energy conservative because each one only takes the power that is necessary. It also prolongs the life of the battery and helps with the protection.
So when we want to put the light back into the menu, it just firmly clips in. And then you have two different light. One is a timed thirty-second light application in a low setting. And then a slightly amplified lighting setting in a manual.
Ben Lack: For the customer that just sees the light in there, they’re going to push the button and the light is going to be on for thirty seconds. But then if they want to see the menu actually longer, they can hold the button down, and it’ll show it.
Gillian Dinnerstein: Yes. Or they can put it on, put it off as many times as they want. So it’s completely controllable. This is also very conservative with energy. Say in daylight settings, as night rolls on, Mother Nature tells us when to turn the lights on. And if this were to come on automatically, it would not be necessary for most of the evening. Especially with large windows letting in the sunlight, et cetera.
Ben Lack: And why did you get into the business?
Gillian Dinnerstein: It was something my late husband was always looking for, something to help him read the menu. I always had to sign the check and add the tip, et cetera. And it gave me something to do after his passing. This one’s for you, Elliot.
Ben Lack: Well, thanks so much for your time. We wish you much luck with the concept, and we hope to be in touch soon.
Gillian Dinnerstein: Thank you very much.
Ben Lack: Take care.