For restaurants interested in attracting more diners throughout the sunny days of Spring and Summer, patio dining areas are a priority. This is a lucrative trend but an establishment will only benefit if their decks and patios have the right comfort features. For the latest in outdoor dining comfort, a business strategy will find their clientele's best refuge from the Sun with Cool-Off products.
ROI: When it comes to planning a patio dining area, or to upgrade an existing one, the first step is to prepare a budget. Once the numbers have been crunched, there is one more thing to consider for that final tally, your return on investment (ROI). Industry research reveals that a restaurant with an al fresco dining option has the potential to increase its revenue by as much as 30%. Other restaurant professionals claim an even greater ROI for patio dining, as much as 65%. Whether outdoor meals are seasonal or year round, investing in a patio or deck is smart business. The key is in utilizing the best comfort features available.
Misting Systems: Restaurants located in areas well-known for scorching weather can keep customers cool with a high quality misting system. The effectiveness of a fine mist can be easily integrated into any outdoor dining area's schematic. Install a misting system under an attached canopy that overhangs the entire dining area. Tuck misting fans away in corners, out of the way, barely noticeable, but very effective at delivering the desired comfort effect. For patios with no existing shade feature, misting tents make it easy to provide shade with a cooling mist.
Shade: Areas where frying an egg on the sidewalk is not a talking point during Summer months may not need to invest in a misting system. Effective shade systems may be all that is necessary. However, not all canopies and umbrellas are made equally. Quality of materials and craftsmanship matter for furniture that remains exposed to the elements 24/7. To shade customers with the latest style, shade sails are always popular for a contemporary look. And don't forget to customize your dining areas appearance. Select the right fabric color for a seamless architectural blend that looks like it belongs rather than a construction afterthought.
Mood Matters: A successful restaurant is not considered part of the hospitality industry for nothing. The best management practices cultivate a dining experience that caters to the desired atmosphere of their usual clientele. Creating a mood for patio diners is no less important than the atmosphere indoors. So take advantage of extra seating space outside but don't forget to shape the dining experience by paying attention to the kind of diners who opt for al fresco and keep them comfortable.
View: One of the most important aspects of outdoor dining that will contribute to the created mood affecting diners is the view. Whether the view is urban or scenic, offer a fantastic view experience when arranging the seating area. When considering options such as umbrellas or shade sails, consider how it will affect the view of a seated guest. Remember that misting systems will generate a gentle fog effect.
Update: Even if your establishment has had an outdoor dining area for years, updating regularly is important. It is not just the effects of weather on outdoor furnishings that create this need. An experienced restaurateur knows how important appearance is to diners. Competition in the restaurant industry is fierce. Does your patio look as if its contemporaries have passed it by? Well, diners may be doing that as well.
Recommendations from the National Restaurant Association include updating outdoor dining features every 5-7 years. Just as umbrella fabric can wear out, so do design trends.
To be successful, a restaurant must keep up and stay current. A restaurant's main attraction certainly is the quality of food on the menu. However, patrons want to enjoy their fare in the right kind of atmosphere.
To enjoy all the economic benefits of al fresco dining for your restaurant, partner with professionals with expertise in the highest quality outdoor shade and misting systems available.
As always, stay cool my friend.