If you have a restaurant with an outdoor patio you have to make a conscious effort to really bring the inside décor and feeling outside. This will make patrons more likely to sit out there and really enjoy their surroundings. Here are a few things we recommend starting with if you really want to have a comfortable and welcoming outdoor patio.
1. Highlighting the Best Parts. Even if you don’t have a fantastic backdrop and your patio doesn’t face the ocean or doesn’t face the street, it doesn’t mean you can’t create a patio that everyone will love. If you have a wall, consider a mural or plants and flowers.
2. Be Prepared For Outdoor Issues. If you own a restaurant down in the city, you might be having issues with the loud sounds from the traffic or even animals problems (pigeons, squirrels etc.). It’s a good time to start preparing for the worst case scenario now so you will be ready for anything if it ever presents itself.
3. Rain – Rain Go Away. No matter how much you try to be prepared, Mother Nature will always have her own agenda! If it’s pouring, you are probably going to have to close the patio down unless you have a full awning. If it’s really sunny you should find products that will keep the sun out of people’s eyes; think umbrella tables, awnings and shade arbors.
4. Dog Friendly. Some places allow people to bring their dogs to restaurant that have outdoor patios. You can make exceptions such as dogs only allowed during certain hours i.e. if breakfast and lunch are more laid back, but dinner is more fancy, you can allow people to bring dogs between 8am to 2pm.
5. Furniture. Make sure that you use furniture that is comfortable! Some restaurants care only about how many people they can fit at a table or an area, but they never consider their patrons being comfy too. Make sure you keep their comfort in mind because even if you get them there once, the real value is making them want to come back time and time again.
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