Listen to this Episode of Restauranttopia for Pro Tips from Bret Roth to make your patio amazing.
- HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM
During the summer, outdoor seating is practically a must-have. No matter where you live in the country, the weather can be unpredictable. That is where a heating and cooling system comes into play. Heating and cooling systems allow customers to sit on the patio and not have to worry about the weather. Therefore allowing more people to dine at once, and enjoy themselves without feeling constrained indoors dining. These systems also increase the possibility to keep outdoor dining open for much longer than usual.
- PHOTO BACKDROP
When people go out whether it be for a special occasion, or just for a fun dinner with friends, they want to be able to commemorate it. Usually with a fun photo. Providing a fun photo background gives them the opportunity to do that, and an opportunity for the restaurant to receive more traction when those pictures are posted. Make the backdrop fun, it could be just green shrubbery with neon light. Or fit it to the theme of your restaurant, if you have a Caribbean restaurant, have a beach theme. Make sure to include fun props that the diners can take photos with! Lastly, add the restaurant’s name or Instagram on either the backdrop of some of the props so that when the photo is posted other people can find the restaurant!
- OUTDOOR BARTENDER WITH A SPECIALS DRINK MENU
Having a bartender outdoors can draw a ton more customers to a restaurant. Not only having an outdoor bartender but also having a special drink menu to go with it. Make the drinks fun, presentable, and one of a kind to your restaurant. Pair them with what you are serving as well, for example, if you are serving salmon with a blackberry sauce, maybe make a blackberry margarita to go with it. Having an outdoor bartender would only amplify the summery feeling that a patio already brings.
When sitting outdoors, maybe with your kids, or with your friend while waiting for your food there isn’t much to do. So adding different life-sized games like Jenga and Connect 4 would add not only a fun aspect to the patio area but also something to occupy guests. I’m positive that life-size games will be as big of a hit with adults, as they will with kids.
- CASUAL SEATING AROUND A FIREPIT
During the summer, the day may be warm and nice, but the nights grow chilly. Something that tends to remind people of summer nights is bonfires, it brings back that warm fuzzy feeling they had as a kid. So to keep people outdoors during the night and not crowd the indoor dining area from crowding have some seating around a firepit. Guest can take their appetizers and finger food there, or just sit and chat while they wait for their orders to arrive. Either way, it is a must-have for restaurant patio season.
- GREAT PATIO FURNITURE AND UMBRELLAS
Make sure to decorate your restaurant patio in a way that attracts more customers. It takes more than just a couple of plastic chairs and a fold-out table to make an outdoor dining area. Whether you choose to have all white furniture, as different floral arrangements to bring in pops of color. Or to go rustic and have different woods everywhere, or have a pop of color everywhere a diner could look, it is important to have those aspects brought to life on the patio. The patio is an extension of the restaurant, making it look better than an afterthought is a must. If your patio is in front of your restaurant, having good patio furniture will draw in more people to come in and dine.
- MUSIC, COMEDY, OR TRIVIA NIGHTS
Entertainment can draw customers to the restaurant that it may have otherwise not have had. Whether it be a comedy night once a week, or a different live music event, entertaining customers is more important than ever. If it is a Trivia night you can even do prizes, like a free round of drinks for the table or a free dessert. Either way, it is a draw and one that every restaurant should have.
- SPECIAL PATIO MENU
People enjoy feeling special, it is just human nature. So how does one bring that into the restaurant world, other than providing them with amazing service? Give them a special menu. If sat on the patio, provide a special menu, it does not have to be every day, maybe just once or twice a week. Provide it enough though that it gives people a reason to want to go and sit out on the patio. And don’t keep in the same specials menu every time, switch it up, make in a surprise, it’ll draw the crowd in.
- GREAT LANDSCAPING, LIGHTING, WATER FEATURES, AND FLOWERS
- HANDHELD POS