How Restaurant Businesses Can Be Creative While Extending Their Outdoor Dining To Attract Customers
Date : Oct 22, 2020
Author : DR A Zayed
Categories : Business Tips
Sipping coffee while sitting in the extended portion of a restaurant or a café is one of the most enriching experiences ever. But how to attract customers to the restaurant when it starts to rain? Or if the sun decides to shower some extra heart on the earth?
That’s when the concept of outdoor restaurants fails drastically.
It also hampers the business because on a hot sunny afternoon, or even on a very cold winter evening, people refrain from going to a restaurant with an open seating area.
Some restaurants also make space for customers in their outdoor area; however, this fails when the weather conditions aren’t much favourable.
But because the hospitality industry is not just a business, and is also an art, let’s look at some of the ideas applied by UK restaurants to solve the weather issue in restaurants with outdoor seating.
Ideas On Restaurant Outdoor Seating Ideas
The year 2020 had seen a sharp rise in the hospitality business before the lockdown started in different countries.
For a while, the hospitality sector was silent; however, now that the cafes and restaurants are free to run on their own accord, businesses have applied creative ideas to attract customers with restaurant outdoor seating ideas.
One such restaurant outdoor seating idea was to extend their patios so that they could accommodate more people. What else can they do so that the customers can enjoy the outdoor patio, irrespective of the weather? Here are my son ideas:
1. Create A Tent Link Structure
It is a widely known idea to all restaurant owners; however, they can get more creative by putting up twinkling lights to add to the décor and keep the tent warm. Creating an atmosphere is one of the most important parts of the hospitality sector.
Hence, they can choose sheets that match the décor of the restaurant. It helps keep the customer warm during a cold winter evening.
2. Install Heat Lamps/Fire Pits
With winters arriving soon, it is very important to install heat lamps in outdoor patios. Some of the best restaurants in the UK have already started to do so. People love staying warm, so if your restaurant patio has heat lamps, they will choose you over others that don’t.
Moreover, if you don’t have the budget for heat lamps, building fire pits is one of the easiest, coolest, and smartest ideas to keep the restaurant outdoor seating area warm. Nothing can beat fire, and it looks good too!
3. Choose A Greenhouse Tent:
Ever thought of turning a greenhouse into a restaurant? Or even vice-versa?
Suppose you have this burning question on attracting customers in restaurants, especially if you have a restaurant with outdoor seating. In that case, choosing a greenhouse over a tent is one of the most creative ideas that you can apply.
By installing heat lamps inside the greenhouse tent, you can keep it warm. Turn off the heat lamps when not required. Moreover, you can easily take off the greenhouse structure whenever you feel that the day is perfect for people to enjoy in the restaurant patio, without a roof.
Unlike a wedding tent, that gets broken very easily, a greenhouse tent is simply brilliant for your open restaurant.
4. Cheap Bubble Tents Are Also A Thing:
Not every restaurant owner has the budget to buy a greenhouse tent or erect a fancy structure on their patios.
Hence, another restaurant outdoor seating idea is of a cheap bubble tent.
Yes, you thought it right. It feels exactly like you are sitting in a bubble. Moreover, you can ask the restaurant owner to easily take off the bubble cover if you feel like eating in the open air. Such an overhead cabin keeps the inside temperature warmer.
The ultimate answer to the question of ‘how to attract customers to the restaurant when the weather is rough’ is good quality, inexpensive bubble tent.
5. Create An Outdoor Igloo:
Restaurants in the UK have adapted to the concept of plastic domes that look like igloos as restaurants with outdoor seating. It looks great, feels great, and keeps you warm.
In case your diner is on an island, it also prevents any outside elements such as insects from disturbing you while you eat peacefully.
Such domes have a seating capacity of 3-5 people. The only expense related to the same is the cost of building one. But if you the pocket for the same, you sure can attract more customers to the igloo-shaped diner.
Since the inception of this concept, many restaurant reviews sites have appreciated the hospitality industry’s efforts.
Let’s have a look at some of those reviews.
Reviews Of Popular Websites On Creative Ideas For Outdoor Patios In Restaurants
- As per ‘Standard’ which is a popular review website for UK restaurants, “The Garden at The Berkley” is a new restaurant with a Mediterranean style structure. Tables are spaced at a friendly distance and have a roof over every table.
- If the sun is shining bright, then open terrace spaces such as ‘Sam’s Riverdale‘ can be an awesome place to enjoy some delicious seafood.
- A great example of a greenhouse type restaurant is ‘Petersham Nurseries.‘ Although it doesn’t exactly have an erected greenhouse, the roof comes with a glass finish, and the entire structure looks like a nursery. With plants all around and a glass roof, one can remain warm and breathe pure oxygen while eating delicious seasonal food.
- ‘Graffito’, another restaurant review website, also mentioned the necessity of restaurants that require an external seating area. With the patio season at play, more and more diners are choosing to extend their seating space. Moreover, their answer to how to attract customers to a restaurant when the weather is cold and people are worried about? the pandemic is tents, igloos, heat lamps, and all that is mentioned above.
- Many other UK restaurants have spent big bucks creating an overhead structure on their outdoor patios. It’s wintertime in New England, and people do not want to eat in the cold; especially, when there is a fear of a deadly virus that worsens if one catches a cold.
Some More Pointers To Boost Your Restaurant Business In The Pandemic
Apart from extending the seating area to outdoor patios, some more fantastic concepts can help your restaurant business bloom!
1. Revise Your Menu
People are choosing healthy food over spicy ones. Not that you need to remove all the food items from your existing menu; to introduce items such as soups, salads, hot beverages that are healthy can help boost your business.
2. Maintain Proper Hygiene
Although almost every diner follows coronavirus protocols, there is still a need to convince people that they can dine outside, safely.
How Can You Achieve This?
Firstly, keep your kitchen neat and clean. Secondly, make sure that all your staff wears a mask, a head cap, and always sanitize their hands before and after serving/cooking food. Display the same on your website if you have one.
If you maintain proper hygiene, then it will show, and more people will flock into your diner.
1. Serve High–Quality Food Always
Be it a theme restaurant or a diner that serves a specific cuisine, or even if you are an overall player. You must never compromise with the quality of the food. That’s what people dine outside for food!
If your business serves quality food and drinks, then people will surely appreciate you.
2. Donate A Little
These are trying times, and it is the need of the hour to help people in need. People around the globe want to contribute to the betterment of society.
Hence, you can regularly perform a small amount of charity towards pandemic victims. Restaurants in the UK and other people from the hospitality industry have already begun to do so. They have seen a significant rise in their customer base after they are starting serving the needy.
Following the ideology of “the more you give, the more you get” sure does help!
The hospitality industry generates huge revenue for each country around the world. But COVID’19 managed to slow it down.
With governments now removing the restriction of lockdowns, we can see this industry flourish again. Restaurant owners and diners are doing everything they can to maintain safety and quality.
Hence, we must appreciate them while they serve us. They have the disease. After all, they are also at the risk of catching the virus from customers who do not seem to disclose if the deadly disease.
Hotels and restaurants are trying to follow social distancing norms, especially in their outdoor patios. One of the best ideas amongst all the above plans is the cheap tent bubble for restaurant outdoor seating. It doesn’t cost much, ensures that people are seated at a viable distance, can be easily sanitized, and can remove if a customer wants to sit in the open air.