At my restaurant, the air conditioner stopped working during one of the busiest days of service that I had ever experienced. Hot food combined with heat from outside and heat emanating from people turns the entire restaurant into one big sauna. A company that does HVAC installation in NYC was able to come to the restaurant and put in a new air conditioner before the customers went to one of the competing restaurants with air conditioning. I gave the workers a free meal along with their payment as a way of showing my appreciation for their fast services.
I would have preferred to have the heater stop working in the middle of winter instead of the air conditioner breaking, because at least everyone would have been able to stay a little bit warm with their clothes, and from the heat of the kitchen. You can easily add more clothing to stay warm in the winter, but when it's hot outside and there is no cool air, only removing clothing will make you cooler, and I can't have my employees taking off their clothes in the middle of the restaurant. The customers can't do it either, so it's a big problem for everyone.
I suppose I should be thankful that I don't run an ice cream shop. There was an ice cream shop not too far from the restaurant that had a problem with its air conditioner and the freezer. The ice cream started to melt after 30 minutes, and in an hour, there was nothing but puddles of sweet soup to serve the customers. Some of the customers didn't mind and were willing to eat the soupy dessert, just like a milkshake. Others left the shop and went to one of the fast food restaurants that serves soft serve ice cream.