How To Make the Most of Outdoor Dining For Your Guests
Outdoor dining has always had its charms, but the pandemic took it to a whole new level. While the height of the pandemic may be leveling off, 82% of diners want restaurants to continue outdoor seating options. It looks like the dining public hopes increased outdoor dining is here to stay. How can your establishment make the most of an outdoor atmosphere?
Start Where You Are Now & Gradually Grow
Instead of simply retreating back indoors, why not capitalize on the outdoor investments you’ve made? You likely used the most economical options you could to get you through the closure period, and now that you know diners like it, why not ramp it up? Consider more climate control comforts like fans, mists, or heaters. Consider ways to improve ambient lighting.
And what if you never really got into outdoor dining? It’s not too late to start. As more establishments meet the demand for it, outdoor options will become more of a norm, and most diners like the option. If for whatever reason you weren’t able to get on the boat before, there’s still great value in getting on now.
Embrace Your Surroundings
Look at the natural surroundings of your establishment and try to capitalize on them. If you’re in an urban area, you can maximize a hip vibe, or you can contrast it with more greenery and floral to create a garden party oasis. Outdoor dining can help transport guests to a restaurant that doesn’t feel like it’s in the middle of the city, suburb, or town where it’s located. Really, any theme at all can accomplish this.
Don’t Forget Health and Safety
Stay on top of current ordinances and laws with regard to distancing, mask wearing, and sanitation. Just because it’s outside doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. This is especially important to remember in light of the fact that customers who prefer to eat outside are likely to be more risk averse with regard to the pandemic. Along those lines, make sure to clearly communicate the expectations for customers as early-on as possible.
Adjust Your Menu As Appropriate
One idea to offset the initial transition to a primo outdoor dining space is to modify your food menu. It won’t do any harm to scale things down slightly until you’ve gotten a new serving rhythm down. On the flip side, you can also add seasonal items or items that match your outdoor theme.
Customers are liking outdoor dining, and the foreseeable future doesn’t suggest that will change anytime soon. These strategies have helped restaurants seeking to help their business capitalize on the outdoor dining craze, and they can help you too!
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