Case study | Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Longboat Key, Florida, USA
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill increases revenue by installing bistroSchwank heaters.


About the facility

Outdoor dining is extremely popular in Florida, particularly in the Sarasota Bay area. One of the restaurants catering to this need is Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, an upscale casual restaurant located in Longboat Key, Florida. Featuring panoramic views of Sarasota Bay, this restaurant is well known amongst locals and tourists alike for its succulent seafood. The location has two levels of dining with a total of approximately 150 seats including a dockside patio outside with a seating capacity of 40. Dry Dock typically seats customers 3-4 times at lunch as well as dinner with an average ticket price of $20 per person.

The issue

Prior use of the portable mushroom heaters took up a lot of valuable space on the ground, which posed a challenge to the servers who had to navigate around the heater bases. The mushroom stand-up heaters were also not effective as they would heat only one side of a table, leading to disgruntled customers. Additionally, these heaters were also very difficult to control since every customer is different and prefers a different level of heat. Being located next to the water, another concern was the maintenance of a heater system that could deteriorate over time because of the salt air.

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on the bistroSchwank

Longboat Key, Florida, USA

“I would definitely recommend patioSchwank heaters having had the experience of previously using mushroom head heaters, there’s just no comparison.”




Schwank proposed a system where the heaters would be mounted to the ceiling, ensuring comfortable temperatures and free up aisle space in the dining area. Six 2-stage bistroSchwank 2152 heaters were installed with 2-stage switches to allow for a low and high heat setting. Each heater has its own switch, which the servers can easily control depending on customer requests and how cold it is. These heaters are encased in a Marine Grade stainless steel weather-resistant enclosure, which adds to the aesthetics of the patio. Built-in gas lines eliminate the need for portable propane tanks, making the patio more efficient on gas bills and safer for customers.


Customers love the dual heat settings and now request to be seated on the patio even when it is cold outside. The ability to control each heater individually allows Dry Dock to provide the perfect amount of heat for each customer. Dry Dock’s revenue has increased now that they are able to seat more customers and extend their patio season. Their servers no longer have to navigate through the mushroom stand-up heaters which took up a lot of space on the patio and created a tripping hazard. The bistroSchwank 2152 2-Stage outdoor patio heaters effortlessly heat Dry Dock’s patio to a comfortable dining temperature so that customers stay longer and order more.

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