Outdoor seating areas like patios prove popular with customers as well as restaurant owners. Especially for restaurants that are in areas with colder winter weather, restaurant patios can be a great way to attract more guest to enjoy the sunny weather and your delicious dishes. Outdoor space allows restaurants to seat more guests and drive revenue, all while providing visitors with an enjoyable dining experience.
Customers are driven to visit restaurants with outdoor seating, either because they want to enjoy the ambiance or because the sights and smells of your food serve as effective advertising. Restaurants with outdoor seating bring in more revenue than competitors, so you’ll want to make good use of the patio space you have available. Apply these five tips to improve your restaurant’s patio space and boost revenue in both the short and long terms.
1. Add Atmospheric Lighting
If you’re hoping to serve more guests in the evenings, you’ll want to ensure that your restaurant’s patio has adequate lighting. Make sure all corners of the space are evenly lit to make the dining experience more enjoyable for guests and encourage picture-taking after the sun goes down. Soft lighting creates a relaxing atmosphere that attracts guests at any time of day. LED string lights and lamp posts are a great way to jazz up your patio’s lighting. Adding adequate lighting to your patio can help encourage guests to stay longer, which gives you the perfect opportunity to promote your late night menu options.
2. Choose Appropriate Seating
For your outdoor seating area to be desirable, you’ll want to choose restaurant patio furniture that can withstand the weather without sacrificing customer comfort. Wooden picnic tables and bar stools are a thing of the past., invest in seating that will improve your restaurant’s patio. If you want to attract customers, you’ll need to give them a picture worthy patio. Adding attractive seat cushions to outdoor metal chairs will allow you to strike a balance between practicality and luxury. Comfortable seating can make your patio look more appealing and encourage more guests to sit outside, freeing up space in the dining room for people who prefer to eat inside.
3. Accommodate for the Weather
The weather isn’t always ideal for outdoor seating. Keep your patio usable by making accommodations for the weather — install an awning to block the rain, set up colorful umbrellas to shade guests from the hot sun, and invest in outdoor heaters to extend your outdoor dining season into colder months.
You should also have a plan for dealing with sudden bad weather. Set your staff up for success by creating an inclement weather plan for guests who are enjoying the patio and need alternative seating options when bad weather hits.
4. Bring Music Outside
Music plays a vital role in creating a restaurant’s atmosphere. It can also distract from noises like car engines if your restaurant is in a busy urban area. Set up a speaker system that reaches customers outside so that everyone can hear the music. You may also consider hiring live music to attract passing customers and increase revenue on slower nights, but make sure to acquire the necessary licensing to play music at your restaurant.
5. Use Technology to Your Advantage
A great outdoor seating area comes with increased traffic, and managing this traffic can present challenges for restaurant staff. Our tableside ordering feature, OrderPad, allows your restaurant to take orders and process payments with CAKE’s OrderPad, inside or outside on the patio. A cloud-based Point of Sale (POS) system could help you operate more efficiently and increase profits.
CAKE’s all-in-one POS system helps restaurant staff take orders quickly and serve more guests. When it’s integrated with our Guest Manager, this POS will enable you to build and edit floor plans, reduce walkaways, and increase table turns by six percent. Learn more about CAKE’s Guest Manager system and schedule a demo to see how you can use technology to make the most of your restaurant’s patio space.