This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
An outdoor eating area isn’t just a few more tables; it’s an excellent opportunity to expand your business and attract new customers. Here, we’ll offer tips on getting the most out of your restaurant’s outdoor space, from adjusting the seating layout to adding amenities.
Add a Seasonal Menu
When we’re eating outdoors, our tastes and cravings can change more than if we’re eating inside. So pair your new dining experience with an outdoor seasonal menu that emphasizes foods and drinks better enjoyed while outside.
Plus, a limited-edition menu makes it seem more special and enticing to customers. Consider what you’d serve at a picnic or cookout—it’ll make your customers feel at home when eating outside!
If you’re a restaurant owner, we don’t have to tell you the significance of strategizing and optimizing your seating layout. The seating layout is even more significant for outdoor seating since there’s more to consider, like limited space, shade for hot days, and outdoor amenities.
Plus, being outdoors lets you be a little more creative with your seating, so consider using outdoor furniture, like picnic tables and patio tables and chairs.
Outdoor seating is ideal for larger parties since they can become loud in an enclosed space, so ensure there’s enough room to fit a big group in the outdoor space.
Add Outdoor Amenities
Your outdoor space isn’t only an eating and drinking area—it can also become a spot for entertaining and lounging. An outdoor fireplace can boost sales as a comfortable lounge area with cozy chairs and couches for customers to relax on.
A small outdoor stage allows many possibilities for your space, like live music and entertainment! Plus, more people have pets now, so a designated area for pets or toys for pets is an excellent way to attract customers to your outdoor space!
You want your outdoor eating area to have a comfortable ambience that gets your customers to relax and feel comfortable, and some decorative lights are a simple but effective way to do that. Whether you specialize in fine dining or simple, homecooked grub, there are plenty of lighting options to fit your business’s atmosphere like:
- Tiki torches
- Paper lanterns
- Tea lights
- Color-changing LED hanging lights
- Lamp posts
- Edison bulbs
Inclement Weather Preparation
If you want to get the absolute most out of your restaurant’s outdoor space, you’ll need to host customers even when the weather isn’t cooperating. In some circumstances, you can’t do anything, but you still want to consider additions that will let you serve customers even when it’s sweltering hot, chilly, or raining.
Consider investing in umbrellas and fans for hot days and outdoor heaters when the weather is chilly. Some restaurants have even used temporary tents and tarps to cover their outdoor area so that they can serve even when it’s raining!