How Outdoor Dining Boosts A Restaurant’s Bottom Line
Al fresco dining provides a fun, memorable experience for restaurant guests. Outdoor dining spaces not only attract more people to restaurants, but also add more seating. More seating equals more guests and sales, which can boost a restaurant’s bottom line. Research conducted by VSAG, an international restaurant and hospitality consulting firm, found that an outdoor patio area can increase a restaurant’s gross profits by 65 percent.
Keep Design in Mind When Planning Outdoor Spaces
A well designed outdoor area can breathe new life into a restaurant and give it a fresh, updated look. It should seamlessly blend with a restaurant’s brand and interior design. If a restaurant’s interior decor is chic and modern then the outdoor furnishings should reflect and complement that same decor. Just like the interior, an outdoor space should feel warm and welcoming. If a restaurant features unique attractions, face tables toward that breathtaking focal point. This allows guests to soak in the spectacular scenery around them. A beautiful, relaxing outdoor ambiance will keep guests coming back.
How Weather Affects Guests and Their Dining Experience
The last thing a restaurateur wants is for customers to get up and leave because the outdoor dining space is too hot or too cold. Invest in weather resistant umbrellas or large patio coverings/awnings that keep out the sun, heat and rain. To make guests feel extra comfortable, invest in outdoor patio heaters to keep customers warm. To cool off customers during hot months, install gentle water misters in the patio area.
Choose furniture that is resistant to extreme heat and rain/moisture. Make sure the furnishings are easy to clean and maintain. Keep that in mind when purchasing furniture and accessories such as chair cushions, tablecloths, etc. Faded furnishings make an outdoor space look outdated and unappealing which can turn off customers.
Offer Outdoor Happy Hours and Special Events
Use the outdoor space to your sales advantage. To attract more customers to dine outside, offer happy hour drink and appetizer specials just for the patio area. During warm summer months, plan outdoor special events such as wine and food pairings and live musical entertainment. Outdoor spaces not only help boost a restaurant’s bottom line, but also create a fun, unique dining experience that puts a smile on customers’ faces and leaves a positive, lasting impression.
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