Outdoor seating is very popular with diners. They like to enjoy the weather as they dine with their friends and family. Many diners love people-watching, too, so they prefer seating outdoors rather than in the sometimes-claustrophobic indoor space of restaurants. It is not uncommon, for example, to see people dining along roads in big cities such as New York, Sydney, Paris, Rome, and Los Angeles. It is an effective advertising strategy for restaurants that want to attract new customers.
Aside from outdoor seating being preferred by diners, restaurants with alfresco dining options tend to earn more than those without. Outdoor dining brings in a lot of revenue since the restaurants can maximize the space they have. However, since the pandemic began and people need to practice social distancing, competition in the restaurant industry has been tougher. That also includes every restaurant upping their alfresco game to attract more diners.
Manage the Space Well
Whether you have a big or small space doesn’t matter with the right layout. Work together with the guys over at websites such as justpatios.com.au because they are the experts in designing patios such as those you find in homes and restaurants. Make sure that there is adequate spacing between tables to be compliant with government regulations on social distancing. The tables should be well-spaced, too, because people don’t like to rub elbows with strangers.
Add Atmospheric Lighting
The cheerful lights will attract more customers to your restaurant. You’ll want your place to be welcoming, but at the same time, you don’t want the lights to be too bright that they almost hurt their eyes. The point of having well-lit outdoor spaces is so that you can operate even at night. Make sure all corners are evenly lit, so your diners will feel safe even at nighttime. Be careful with the lights you use. Go for soft lights to create that romantic hue. LED string lights are always a great way to bring life to any space.
Choose the Right Materials
The outdoor furniture should be right for any weather. Unless you want to change furniture every change in season, you should choose a material that can weather through rain and summer. Of course, don’t ever sacrifice customer comfort. While wooden benches are the practical choice, they are not ergonomic, and they may make the diners feel uncomfortable. You can put a cushion on wooden and metal chairs but remember to remove them when the weather seems to be bad.
But make sure that the furniture you choose outdoors will also complement the furniture indoors. You don’t want your alfresco diners to feel like they’re not being taken care of well. Make the outdoor space as comfortable and appealing as the space indoors.
Think About the Weather
What if it rains? What if it’s windy? Always have a plan B for these occasions. One of the things you can do is to have those large umbrellas ready in case it rains. You can also install an awning to block the sun and rain. During colder months, bring out heaters to keep your customers comfortable. When it’s too hot, make sure there are coolers and fans on standby.
What if the weather suddenly turns bad as your diners are eating outside? Your restaurant staff should have a ready plan for these instances. They will need to accommodate the people indoors. Perhaps, a small area of the indoor dining area should always be reserved for this kind of emergency.
Play Music Outside
If you want to create the perfect alfresco ambiance, make sure you have music playing outdoors. Whether it’s live, recorded, or streamed, music will give your alfresco dining the right elan. This is especially important if the outdoor dining is situated along a busy street. Music is a nice distraction from the noise of urban cities. Imagine sipping a margarita in the middle of the day and hearing a cab driver honk his horn insistently.
You may consider hiring musicians who can play live. This will attract more diners. In fact, you might even attract passersby to stop and look at your menu. Just make sure you have the necessary licenses to play music in your restaurant. Some producers are very sensitive about their music being played in public.
Delicious food and great service are no longer enough to improve your restaurant’s chances to succeed. You must compete in terms of restaurant design. And not just indoor design, too. Your outdoor seating must improve, too. After all, before diners can sample your dishes, your restaurant’s curb appeal must attract them first.