Outdoor seating at restaurants has taken off. Even as restaurants are beginning to open their indoor dining rooms back up, many customers are more comfortable sitting outside. And as the weather in some areas cools off, eating outdoors is a popular option.
Restaurant Hospitality magazine reports that more than half of casual and fine dining establishments have outdoor patio features. Setting up your outdoor dining area requires some tweaks, including making sure that you have enough servers, keeping pay and drink stations nearby, and designing the area in an appealing way. Here are some things we’re seeing in the outdoor dining trend that can be incorporated into your restaurant or bar.
Incorporate Natural Woods
Using natural woods can help with the outdoor feel of a bar or restaurant. While some woods, like oak, don’t work well outside, others like teak are perfect materials for various weather. Also, consider using rattan which holds up well too.
Bring in Color
Having pops of color on your outdoor patio can help customers feel invited so they spend more time eating and drinking. Colors are known to invoke certain emotions, so be sure you’re selecting the correct ones to go with your brand. Warm colors like yellow and orange are inviting, as is red, which is said to make people feel hungry. Pastel colors can uplift moods rich blues make you feel empowered. Dark colors like blacks and gray might make some feel depressed, but they’re also associated with sophistication. No matter what color theme you choose, make sure your cushions and pillows are treated to be water and spillproof for quicker cleanups.
Dining domes are popping up around the country and are a unique way to set your restaurant apart. Air-conditioned or heated, these domes seat two to four guests for a secluded meal. Providing social distancing, the domes also provide privacy outdoors in case customers desire an intimate location while still dining in the fresh air.
Keep Customers Comfortable
Speaking of heating and air conditioning, an important aspect of dining outdoors is having fans, outdoor air condition units or standing propane heaters scattered throughout the dining area. Depending on where your restaurant is located, and what time of year it is, you may need one or all of these systems to regulate the air surrounding diners. Eating outdoors is great until it’s too hot or cold to enjoy a meal. Providing heating or cool air helps guests feel comfortable and makes sure you don’t have any wasted serving space during certain months of the year.
Are you ready to see how outdoor seating and dining areas assist your restaurant with increasing profits? Take our free Restaurant Assessment to find out how Randal Retail Group can help.