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an outdoor area of the restaurant

Get your restaurant ready for patio season.

2022/04/21
By Nadine Hashem

We finally made it to spring and outdoor season.

 

 

Restaurants should be ready to reopen their outdoor areas.

 

Opening patios and outdoor areas at restaurants increase revenues regardless of the concept of restaurant that you run.  

 

This goes back to different reasons and the most important is the warm weather that attracts more people to restaurants and especially outdoor seating and to the fact that more tourists visit countries during warmer weather.

 

People are finally getting out of their winter caves longing to see the sun and enjoy their favourite food and drinks with their families and friends.

 

 

What does this mean to you and your restaurant?

 

 

If planned correctly, it means a lot.

 

It means that you can make up for the slower periods of the year where all restaurants and pubs were struggling in.

 

How to prepare for the outdoor season and make the most out of it?

 

Clean, clean and clean

 

Spring cleaning highly differs from winter cleaning. Spring means more dust and more dirt left on tables and chairs even the decorative setting that you have.

 

Make sure you throw your restaurant a deep cleaning service after the lockdown and opening the outdoor area.

 

You won’t like to eat out at a dirty restaurant.

 

Well, guess what?!! No one does.

 

Even if your kitchen is clean but your seating area is dirty, customers will unconsciously relate the poor cleanliness in the seating area to a poor food safety.

 

Poor food safety decreases the chance of customers visiting a restaurant by 21%.

 

Deep cleaning should cover all the areas of the restaurants including the kitchen and the bathrooms.

 

Everything should look fresh just like spring season.

 

 

Prepare outdoor space

 

You might have old furniture, ripped couches or cushions, broken wooden chairs or faded furniture colors. Make sure you observe all of these issues before opening.

 

Furniture should be appealing to customers and looking and clean.

 

If possible, add chairs and tables on the sidewalk to increase your capacity.

 

Offer a seasonal menu

 

 

You want to do this for many reasons and most importantly to add seasonal vegetables and fruits to your menu that optimize your food costs.

 

Seasonal menus increase revenues since 59% of customers are more likely to purchase an item if it was chosen from a “seasonal menu.                                                       

 

Change your soup menu, remove certain items from salads and replace them by seasonal vegetables and fruits. Change some of your side dishes to decrease your cost and offer new flavours for customers.

Adding seasonal beverages to the menu can boost sales and help increase customer loyalty.

 

Pest control

 

Nobody likes to be eaten by mosquitoes and flies while eating out and enjoying some warmth.

 

Having food outside attracts insects so make sure you’ve taken all the necessary measures before opening like pesticide spraying performed by professional.

 

Cleaning, removing garbage, using mosquito-repelling plants and lanterns are also essential in controlling this problem.

 

Increase your staff smartly

 

You are going to be needing more staff at the restaurant but you have to consider the lower capacity as well.

 

So staff up smartly.

 

Sometimes, the outdoor area gets less attention than the indoor one. Don’t do this mistake.

Have a staff ready to serve outdoor areas and assign different ones as well to handle specific tables.

 

The manager on duty should also visit the outdoor area and ask for customers’ feedback.

 

You should have a smart POS that takes customers’ orders directly to restaurant to reduce waiting time.

 

Check BIM POS for smart options.

 

 

Freshen up the décor

 

Adding some spring spirit to your dining area attracts more customers.

 

Consider adding plants, colorful flowers, change your advertised menu platters on the glass doors and placemats.

 

Add some lighting to the area. You have ti make sure that outdoor lighting is sufficient.

 

Stay ready for weather changes

 

Spring is usually hanging between a dry and a wet season so make sure you are for both varieties.

 

Tents to cover from the heat, plastic shields and commercial umbrellas to protect from the rain showers.

 

You might want to keep some heaters outside since it might get cold at night.

 

If you have removed your fans, you should install them back because like we said, spring weather is variable.

 

Hot weather deliveries

 

Don’t ignore travelled food. Salads, some desserts and plates should be kept in a cool area.

 

Make sure your delivery vehicle is equipped to have some ice or cooling methods because the last thing you want is to deliver soggy food to your customers.

 

Create a pet policy

 

Many people start to go out with their pets and might want to stop by for a bite with their pets.

 

Make sure you’re clear in your policy on whether you allow pets or not. If yes, you may want to limit the time of your pet friendly area.

 

Don’t forget that some people might have allergies so you need to have adequate space for pets.

 

 

Warmer seasons are way more fun than colder seasons. People are all out trying to benefit from the sun so make sure you give them the best service they can have to stay loyal to you.

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