May 28, 2024

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Preparing for Seasonal Increase in Outdoor Dining

tables for outdoor dining

Warmer weather means more demand for outdoor dining at restaurants. To handle the influx of customers, restaurants need to prepare and plan ahead. There are strategies that restaurants can use to ensure an enjoyable restaurant outdoor dining experience for customers during this seasonal shift.

Evaluating the Outdoor Space

To prepare for outdoor dining, restaurants must first evaluate their outdoor space. This includes checking for necessary repairs, like damaged furniture. Additional seating may be needed to meet demand. The outdoor area must be clean, organized, and inviting for guests.

Preparing for Inclement Weather

Warm weather is coming, but unexpected rain or cooler temperatures can still happen. Restaurants with outdoor dining need to prepare for bad weather with extra umbrellas, blankets, or heaters. Have a plan in place to move guests indoors quickly if needed.

Updating the Menu

Restaurants need to update menus with seasonal items and refreshing drinks for warmer weather. This can attract customers seeking new and exciting options. Cold drinks and desserts should also be available to help guests cool down on hot days.

Training the Staff

Restaurants face increased demand and must prepare staff for extra workload. Training is necessary for outdoor dining, including setting up and breaking down furniture, taking orders, and serving. Staff must also be knowledgeable about seasonal items and able to make recommendations to guests.

Communicating with the Customers

Restaurants must inform customers of their outdoor dining options. This can be done by updating a website and social media pages with relevant information. An email blast to their mailing list is also a good idea. Additionally, targeted ads can be used to promote outdoor dining options and seasonal menu items.

Adhering to Safety Guidelines

As the weather warms up and outdoor dining becomes more popular, restaurants with outdoor dining need to take extra steps to ensure that patrons remain safe. Restaurants should create a plan for seating guests outdoors that maintains adequate distance between tables, as well as providing appropriate PPE for staff. They should also consider having a hand sanitizing station outside, spacing tables, and limiting the number of guests at any one time.

Offering Entertainment

Restaurants can boost outdoor dining by offering entertainment. Examples include live music, trivia nights, and outdoor games. Such offerings can attract customers and create a fun atmosphere that encourages them to stay longer.

Optimizing the Online Ordering System

To handle increased demand, online ordering systems must be optimized. This means easy-to-use systems and accurate, timely orders. Restaurants should update customers on their order status.

Offering Delivery

For customers who may not feel comfortable dining outside or who prefer to dine at home, restaurants with outdoor dining can still consider offering delivery services. This can help expand the restaurant’s customer base and provide an additional revenue stream.

Being Flexible and Adapting

Finally, it’s important for restaurants to be flexible and adapt as necessary. With the uncertainty of the changes in weather patterns, it’s important to be prepared to pivot as needed. Restaurants can create a plan in place for unexpected closures or changes in hours. Staff should also be updated on any changes to be able to answer any questions.

Discover more from Ronn Torossian

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