Dining al fresco is popular all around the world, and many restaurant owners have incorporated this concept with their usual indoor dining experience. Outdoor dining is perfect for customers who want to soak in the sun during the day and feel the evening breeze during a humid summer night. Enjoying a meal outdoors offers guests a relaxed dining experience that cannot be achieved indoors. Not to mention, an outdoor dining area can help you attract more customers and have a noticeable impact on your profit margins. Here are a few top tips to help you provide an enjoyable outdoor dining experience for your customers.
- Choose the Right Furniture
When it comes to outdoor furniture, you want to make sure it complements the theme of your restaurant and is comfortable too. Does your eatery rock a contemporary look? Slick metal chairs complete with seat cushions in a neutral color palette can help you capture the vibe. On the other hand, long wooden tables with matching benches are suitable for a sociable dining experience for large and small groups. However, if you decide to furnish your outdoor area, make sure the pieces are durable and weather-resistant.
- Be Prepared for All Weather Conditions
Speaking of the weather, it is essential that you prepare for all climates—especially if you want to maximize your space and use it all year round. A long-lasting solution for precipitation is an electric awning or a manual canopy that you can extend during a rainstorm and retract easily in good weather. However, if your outdoor space is small, you can protect your customers from light rain with strong parasols over your tables. Gas radiant heaters are a great choice for outdoor areas. They are available in many different designs and will keep your customers warm when there is a chill in the air.
- Provide Plenty of Shade
If the location of your restaurant benefits from plenty of sunshine, you will need to provide adequate shade to protect your customers from direct sunlight. From compact patio umbrellas to extensive pergolas, there are plenty of options to choose from. As with your furniture, make sure you match the style and design of your shade of choice with the theme of your restaurant.
- Keep the Critters Away
As a customer, one of the major drawbacks when eating outside is the persistent critters that tend to linger around your food. If you want to provide the ultimate outdoor dining experience, you need to make sure you keep the pests away. Make sure your employees take away plates as soon as possible and clear up spills immediately. From crawling insects to opportunistic rodents, crumbs and spilled beverages can attract unwanted attention quickly. In addition, your outdoor area needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized properly at the end of each working day. Maintaining live greenery can also help reduce the number of critters attracted to your outdoor area. Finally, equip your al fresco dining space with bug repellents, such as zappers, ultrasonic repellers, and discreet fly traps.