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Tips to Make Outdoor Dining Pleasant

As the lofty waves of the COVID-19 pandemic pick up the pace and die down to rise once again, the prospects for many businesses don’t look that great. Restaurants have received the hardest hit here. If you’re a restaurant owner and have been subject to closing your restaurant's doors and sustaining your business on takeaway and delivery services, then you are not alone.

However, there is a route that many restaurant businesses have made use of i.e. outdoor dining. With the surge in outdoor dining for restaurants, this aspect of non-price competition has become the talk of the day in the restaurant industry. After lockdowns and social distancing measures becoming part of the new normal, many people want to meet their friends and loved ones in person - the video calls just don’t cut it anymore. And, what better place to reconnect and embrace the physical presence of another human being than an outdoor dining space? One which offers the best comfort meals and the pleasant environment too of course. This is what every restaurant owner is determined to deliver on amidst the ongoing pandemic.

If you are a restaurant owner, wanting to give this experience to potential customers, then you have come to the right place. Here are a few tips for outdoor dining for restaurants that are sure-fire and certain to make your outdoor dining pleasant. So, read ahead.

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Embrace The Surrounding Environment

Embrace The Surrounding Environment

Blending in with the surrounding is what you want to aim for. Choosing the right mix of colors, choice of music and lights can do wonders to attract customers. For instance, if your restaurant has a brick wall exterior, opting for more mellow and monotone colors along with subtle lighting can add more depth and dimension to your outdoor dining. Moreover, invest in the right outdoor dining furniture and seating. Pick out items that are comfortable and compliment the overall look.

In addition, step out and view your restaurant from a distance, observe and analyze the surrounding location. Brainstorm ways to set up an outdoor dining space that gels in well without being too overpowering or in a clash with the ambiance. Observe other restaurants in the area and see what style they’re going for as well. And remember, don’t overdo it!

Provide Heating, Cooling, and Shade

The perfect outdoor dining space is the one that can cater to all kinds of weather. It is flexible enough to mold itself to the changing atmosphere, be it the winter snow, the hot summer, or lively spring flair.

This is what helps retain customer loyalty and keep them coming back for that delicious bowl of spaghetti every season. For the winter, make sure to place outdoor heaters strategically to create a bubble of warmth and love. In the summer, add in extra fans to add on to that cool summer breeze.

Also, providing shade during peak lunch hours should be the first on the list. You don’t want your customers to get a heat stroke on their way back to work or sweat profusely before an important meeting.

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Bring in Some Freshness with Plants

Bring In Some Freshness With Plants

You can never go wrong with greenery. Adding plants to provide freshness will give your outdoor dining space the boost it needs. We all know plants help in uplifting the mood as well. And, this is exactly what customers prefer when opting for outdoor dining, especially after a tiring day. You can even add some color and brightness with flowers. It makes the outdoor space Instagram worthy as well and helps create the snowball effect. This is where people flock in after seeing their friends or followers post a picture of your beautiful green wall sprinkled with bright flowers. No one wants to miss out on eating besides this stunning sight.

Revamp Your Menu

Adjust your menu to the seasons and the outdoor setting. Hot soup for lunch during a hot summer day? Probably not a good option to go for, especially for outdoor dining. Keep it available for dinner instead. Instead, focus on cold summer drinks, fresh fruits, and greens to make the overall experience a favorable one.

Put up a specials board with cuisine and snacks that complement well with people’s mood. This makes sure your customer has a variety of options to choose from and caters well to people of different age groups and tastes.

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Be Mindful Of Different Types of Customers

Though it may be controversial, adjusting outdoor dining spaces for people who smoke can be a challenge. For many restaurants, the outdoor seating option is solely for people who smoke. But, with the entire dining experience being shifted outside, it’s best to designate a specific zone for this purpose. Some people may mind the smell of smoke and some may not. So, make sure to ask the customer what their preferences are before having them seated in the right area.

So, What Is It Going to Be?

There you have it, the ultimate guide for outdoor dining for restaurants. Now you know exactly what to do to give your customers the experience they want and make use of the changing weather outside. The return on investment here is pretty high, especially for outdoor dining furniture, so get on it as soon as possible.

Everyone likes enjoying the nice summer breeze with a glass of chilled lemonade – make sure your restaurant is well equipped to create this circumstance any day! You won’t regret it.

To learn more tips on how to manage your restaurant business and stay up to date with the latest restaurant trends, visit our website. We provide multiple guides via blogs, videos, and even personal consultancy services to make your restaurant’s customer experiences worth it.

For further information, you can even give us a call at 0203 916 5199 or drop an email at [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.