Summer is a time for cold drinks, spending time with family, and eating good food. During the warmer season, restaurant owners like yourself are gearing up to compete with the competition and attract guests to your establishment.
One way you can make your restaurant stand out this summer is to take advantage of your outdoor patio by making a few updates.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your restaurant’s outdoor patio this summer.
Know Your Local Laws
If you restaurant does not currently have a patio, you need to take into consideration laws and regulations regarding outdoor patios at your restaurant or bar.
For example, in states like Missouri, guests cannot smoke in restaurants unless it has less than 50 seats or your establishment is a bar. Even then, you need to have clearly placed signs designating non-smoking areas.
You should also be aware of any noise ordinances to prevent complaints from neighbors or any other regulations that could affect a patio dining area.
Save Time With A Mobile POS
When it comes time for a guests to pay for their meal, you could take their payment all the way into the restaurant to process. But why take that time?
Establish A Pet Policy
Not everyone loves your pooch. Some guests may want to dine without the presence of pets while others do not mind.
When opening your restaurant patio, determine if pets are allowed or only allowed during a certain time of day or in a designated area.
If your restaurant has a website (and it should!), include pet information that guests can easily look up and have rules posted in easily accessible locations such as the patio entrance.
Make It Fun With The Right Decor
To make the most of your restaurant patio, you need to create an atmosphere that is an extension of your indoor seating area but with a more casual, fun ambiance.
Get seats that are comfortable, tables with umbrellas an awning to protect customers from the sun, and create a private area away from the public with planters, hedges, or fences.
Light up the patio at night with string lights and lighted signage and choose bright colors and decorations that will attract passers-by but still fits your restaurant’s aesthetics.
Keep Guests Happy With Outdoor Staff
The last thing you want is for guests to be seated on the patio only to be forgotten during a rush.
It is recommended to have a team of outdoor-only staff available to care for patio guests and see to their needs. Train staff to regularly check on patio guests, and when a guest is seated by the hostess, they should be greeted by outdoor staff promptly.
You also need to make sure outdoor staff have proper uniforms so they don’t overheat on a hot day and be sure they are staying hydrated.
Keep An Eye On The Weather & Have A Backup Plan
If a sudden storm springs up, you need to have a plan in place that allows you to respond quickly.
If you have an awning, you’ll probably be fine, but make sure you have a plan – and the space – to bring guests inside and seat them if necessary.
Take into consideration plates that have been rained on and if you will replace them and who is in charge of reseating guests indoors.
Keep The Patio Clean
To keep guests comfortable and using your outdoor patio, keep it clean!
That means wiping it down before and after guests are seated, sweeping away leaves and other debris, and promptly clearing away uneaten food to prevent pests.
Outdoor patios can be a big attraction for restaurants during the summer. Developing a plan and utilizing the right tools can help you transform your outdoor dining area into something that truly sets you apart from the competition.