With the current COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, many dining establishments across the country are turning to outdoor seating in order to entice more customers to their bar or restaurant. Whether you have an existing outdoor dining area or if this is your first time venturing into outdoor dining, we have some tips to improve your curb appeal.
Add Ample Lighting
While the summer sun may provide more than enough light during the day, when the sun starts to set guests will have trouble reading their menus. Make sure all of your outdoor seating area is adequately lit and no table is left sitting in the shadows. By sprucing up your outdoor lighting with trendy string lights or lamp posts, you can create a more relaxing atmosphere for your evening guests. Plus, the lighting will encourage guests to stay later and longer at your establishment.
Prepare for All Types of Weather
While the weather isn’t something you can control, it is important to be prepared for every weather situation. Make sure you have umbrellas or awnings to provide shelter from any rain. These umbrellas and awnings can also double as shade providers for relief from the sun, which can be critical during the summer months. If your local area tends to get cooler in the evenings, consider investing in electric or propane outdoor heaters to encourage guests to relax outside for a late night dinner.
Bring the Entertainment Outdoors
While your entertainment options will be limited by your outdoor space, guests will appreciate some entertainment when they are dining at your establishment. You can keep this as simple as setting up some outdoor speakers and playing background music to keep your guests entertained. Or you can go all out and hire live performers to entertain guests in the evenings.
Entertainment doesn’t need to be limited just to music, of course. Add some fun to your outdoor seating area by bringing out some bags sets or other fun outdoor activities. Plus, you can continue to hold promotional nights (like trivia or karaoke nights) in your outdoor seating area – just make sure that your guests all have enough room to participate and your servers still have room to serve food and drinks.
We know that moving to new outdoor seating plans can be an intimidating challenge for many establishment owners, and we want to support you every step of the way. Check out our other recent articles – Tips for Maximizing Outdoor Dining Profitability or Reopening Your Establishment After the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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