The outdoor patios of bars and restaurants are a popular option during the summer months.
An outdoor bar or restaurant patio can attract new customers during the warmer months. A patio will increase your profits with additional sales of drinks. Try to create a fun and comfortable environment, and combine it with delicious food and drinks. This combination will keep customers coming back throughout the summer.
In this post we continue with some excellent recommendations on how to organize the patios and turn it into a pleasant gastronomic experience for customers.
Prevent pests from invading your patio space.
Pests can be detrimental to your business, so it is important to prevent, prepare and react quickly to avoid dangerous or unhealthy situations. Unlike your indoor dining room, you need to watch out for more than just mice and ants when seating guests outdoors. Common outdoor pests include the following: birds, flying insects, mosquitoes, squirrels, stray animals.
Insects are attracted to sugars and sweets, which can make your outdoor bar especially susceptible to invasion. Be strict with your cleaning routine when it comes to spilled drinks or ingredients. Make sure fresh fruit is stored in containers with secure lids and keep juices covered when possible. If that’s not enough, outfit your bar or restaurant with the right bug zappers or sprays to rid your deck of bees, wasps, mosquitoes and flies.
Animals can be attracted to the smell of food, whether it is being cooked outdoors or just being served to a guest. Be quick to remove food scraps after guests have left, and sweep floors for fallen scraps. If animals become an ongoing problem, call a reputable pest control company to discuss your options.
Create a suitable atmosphere for your patio.
Create a private and secluded space by separating your deck from the public with portable fences, planters or dividers
Keep your patio dining area away from busy areas to create a more peaceful and intimate environment.
Attract customers from the street with brightly colored flowers, canopies, and other visible decorations.
Make your deck stand out at night with string lights or illuminated signs.
Make sure the floor is level or choose furniture to compensate for slight variations.
Store furniture cushions in a safe, dry place overnight or when it rains.
Advertise your patio space.
Your patio space is only profitable if you can get people to come and enjoy it. Just before summer, start ramping up your social media and in-person promotion to get customers excited about your outdoor deck.
One of the easiest ways to advertise your deck is to entice people with an outdoor sign. If your patio is next to the street or on the sidewalk, it will be easier to attract the attention of customers with signs and decorations. Place signs and lights on the sidewalk outside your business, at your entrance, or even inside your restaurant to let guests waiting to be seated know there is an outdoor dining option.
Develop an outdoor-only menu.
You do not have to offer your entire menu to customers who choose to eat on the patio. Developing a separate patio-only menu can help streamline your operations and make your outdoor patio services more profitable while providing a personalized experience for that area of your establishment.
Make a small selection of quality options to reduce analysis paralysis. This will help customers spend less time browsing the menu and more time eating and enjoying themselves.
When choosing what to put on your patio-only menu, think about which items offer high margins. Promote food and beverage pairings or specialty cocktails on the patio to encourage alcohol sales.
Consider which areas of the kitchen are prone to bottlenecks. This will help you select dishes from less-traveled parts of the kitchen to speed up preparation, avoid long waits, and turn tables faster. Include at least one dish that can be easily served right away to provide instant gratification for outdoor diners and ease the burden on your chefs.
Highlight sharing options, which are increasing in popularity, and dishes that pair well with the current season. Food that matches the weather is more appealing to guests dining outdoors and adds to the atmosphere for the outdoor dining experience. Summer, for example, is a great time for light, fresh meals, barbecue flavors, and savory snacks.
Set staff for each space.
The most appropriate thing is that there are waiters assigned only for the patio service. This is the best way to offer a better service and control everything that happens on the patio. It is advisable to reinforce the patio staff at peak service hours.
Do not forget to take into account the skills of your team to place the waiters in one or another space. The patio is an area that requires good people skills, a good memory and knowing how to manage frenetic rhythms.