There is something about eating outdoors, the food seems fresher, the hustle and bustle of the day slows down - you enjoy your surroundings and your food more.
More and more restaurateurs are exploring new and innovative ways to incorporate outdoor dining options to enhance their dining experience. According to Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG), adding a simple deck or patio can increase revenue by up to 30%.
In the Midwest, seasonality and climate does limit how often your customers will be able to dine al fresco. However, once the sun comes out people seek restaurants who have an outdoor dining option. A patio could set your restaurant apart and give it a leg up on the competition. Heat lamps, fireplaces or fire pits can not only extend the outdoor patio season through spring and fall, but add a more intimate mood at the same time. Fire conveys feelings of warmth and comfort, encouraging customers to linger over drinks and dessert.
It’s important to remember to provide ample areas of shade for the comfort of your customers. A mix of overhead and ambient lighting provides a great aesthetic as well as functionality.
Outdoor dining must complement the décor and style of the restaurant; it should feel like an extension of the dining room(s). Landscaping outdoor dining areas with planters of fresh herbs can add ambiance, a subtle fragrance, as well as an association to the kitchen. Vertical gardens are a popular option if you are working with space limitations. Lush canopies of plants and twinkle lights can create an airy yet artful atmosphere.
Patios, whether it be a backyard garden space, sidewalk seating, a rooftop oasis or a traditional courtyard space, can increase your business’s footprint, visibility, exposure and customer satisfaction while adding more revenues and gross profit.