Nothing puts off customers more than waiting in line at a restaurant. They’re starving, tired, and, most importantly, impatient. In addition, the country’s quarantine limitations aren’t making dining at restaurants any better. Thankfully, restaurant owners can solve both problems by including outdoor seating in their business.
Outdoor dining, also called alfresco dining, is a surefire way to elevate the customer experience by expanding the capacity of the restaurant. The potential for higher revenue is often the most important benefit of installing outdoor seating. However, it’s more than that. Here are a couple of reasons how your restaurant can benefit from alfresco dining.
Outdoor Seating Attracts More Niche Customers
Adds Atmosphere and Comfort
Dining outside the restaurant gives customers a new environment to enjoy their stay. Restaurants with alfresco dining get more positive customer feedback when they experience your well-decorated outdoor dining area. After all, nothing encompasses fine dining than eating under beautiful natural light amongst lush gardens.
You can further improve alfresco dining by installing structures that comfort customers to an extended degree. Fixtures such as retractable patio awnings can elevate the patron’s experience by providing adequate shade from the sun and protecting them from terrible weather. Let customers dine with fresh air and enjoy the environment in the comfort of your restaurant.
Customers with Pets or Children Prefer Dining Outside
Traditional diners often bar patrons with pets from eating at their establishment. On the other hand, restaurants with outdoor seating can offer them a safe area that their pets can rest. This scenario is perfect for customers that are unwilling to leave their pets at home.
Parents with children often order at home or order at drive-ins since their children can run amok and ruin the evening of other customers. Luckily, with outdoor seating as an option, parents can choose to dine outside and not be afraid of their children knocking over expensive glasses in the restaurant. Plus, you can add a kid-friendly atmosphere by installing swings or a play area beside the outdoor dining area.
Attract Customers with Curb Appeal
Patrons aren’t always on the search for fine dining. Sometimes, they want to bask in the daylight and relax while eating. With an outdoor dining area, you can promote to customers by embellishing an outside patio where they can enjoy food outside. Plus, you can attract new patrons by displaying your current customers that are relishing their time at your restaurant outside.
Outdoor Seating Can Improve Your Brand
Canopies and Awnings Can Provide Advertising
The restaurant’s awnings are often the first thing customers will see. By adding outdoor seating to your restaurant, you gain access to awning and canopy signages that can signal your brand when customers walk past your restaurant. Plus, you can install advertisements in the outdoor area without the additional cost of renting advertising space.
Another way outdoor seating can advertise your restaurant is by strengthening its brand. Customers often view restaurants that have outdoor dining as fancy and sophisticated. Plus, you can redecorate the outdoor space that fits your brand the most. For example, during winter, you can decorate the exterior with Christmas ornaments such as a Christmas tree, wreaths formed in an arch, and more. All of which are perfect for customers looking for the best holiday dinner.
Increased Customer Capacity = Increased Revenue
It’s no secret that the more customers you can serve, the higher your profit goes. With an outdoor space, customers have the option to dine indoors or outdoors. Thus, shortening your waiting list and letting you serve more customers in the process. Outdoor seating also allows you to hold special events inside the restaurant and serve regular customers outside—a win-win situation for many. Having access to serving parties in the restaurant also increases revenue by letting you charge a service charge whenever they exceed the party size limit.
Restaurants with Outdoor Seating Reopens Earlier Than Others
The pandemic that defined the year 2020 has caused many restaurants to shut down, dealing a significant blow to both owners and employees. Even with the lockdown easing up, some restaurants are limited to take-out, severely limiting their customer count. Thankfully, many states are now allowing restaurants that can serve customers outside to open first. This can broadly affect your daily revenue by having access to dine-in and take-out customers. Plus, you can up the ante when you offer drive-in services amongst the services above.
There’s no mistaking that an outdoor dining area can provide customers enhanced experience in your restaurant. However, installing outdoor fixtures along with landscaping can be costly. Hence, it would be best if you considered alfresco dining as an investment that pays itself off in a couple of months.