Making The Most Of Outdoor Dining
🕐 5 Minute Read
Outdoor dining is emerging as dining’s way forward.
In many states and cities, outdoor dining is making a comeback long before the return of indoor seating. Even in regions where indoor seating is allowed, customers often still feel safer enjoying their meals outside.
Some local governments are working with restaurants to allow them to operate on sidewalks or
in parking lots, which gives restaurants that previously didn’t offer outdoor seating the chance to
legally and safely rework their businesses. Although this provides many restaurants with an
exciting chance to create a fun outdoor dining experience, it also comes with a unique set of
challenges, especially as the weather heats up.
Whether you’ve been operating a thriving outdoor business for years, or are offering outdoor
seating for the first time, a few simple tips can help you keep customers happy, comfortable,
Keep Your Cool
One of the most challenging things about serving customers outdoors is the weather. With
temperatures climbing, it’s important to consider investing in a few key tools to keep diners cool.
Awnings are a great choice to cover patios, but if you need a more flexible option, umbrellas can
help keep tables protected from the heat and glare of the sun. When purchasing umbrellas,
choosing an option that is designed for commercial use and has safety features such as built-in
wind vents can help reduce the risk of an umbrella falling and injuring someone.
This model comes in a variety of colors and tilts to provide shade throughout the day.
In some climates, shade isn’t enough to protect customers from summer temperatures. Placing
fans around your outdoor dining area can provide a pleasant breeze, and installing misters
provides an effective way for customers to cool down. To save space and to reduce the chance
of running into logistical issues, you can consolidate these two items by purchasing a
Don’t Forget the Dogs
Pet owners are often drawn to restaurants that allow them to bring their furry companions.
Allowing dogs on your patio is a great way to attract customers and bring energy and vibrancy
to your outdoor space. Customers will appreciate it if you provide a comfortable experience for
their pooches as well, and providing bowls of water and even dog treats are both small steps
that can make a big impact. These disposable water bowls are inexpensive, biodegradable, and
Bring Technology Outdoors
Luckily, new technology is making outdoor dining easier and simpler for restaurant owners. The
world is becoming increasingly reliant on utilizing technology for contactless ordering for both
safety and efficiency reasons. Using a system such as Adora’s QR Code Ordering streamlines
the ordering process for your customers, your front of house staff, and your kitchen. This feature
allows customers to take a picture of a custom QR code and place their order from their phone!
The order is sent directly to the kitchen, and servers simply deliver the food when it’s ready. This
feature not only reduces contact between customers and staff, but it also saves time. As staff
must now dedicate an increased amount of time and energy towards following and maintaining
safety protocols, using Adora’s QR code can help your business adjust to a new workflow.
Set Your Staff Up for Success
Properly training your staff will ensure they are able to effectively handle the new challenges
presented by outdoor dining. Develop protocols and train your staff on what to do in a variety of
situations such as an unexpected storm. Emphasizing simple steps of service such as staying
on top of providing guests with cold water at all times, can also help ensure your staff are able
to provide customers with the best possible experience. Keeping your outdoor staff comfortable
during the hot summer months is also crucial, and their comfort should be kept in mind when
selecting uniforms or enforcing dress codes.
Choosing the proper tools to keep customers protected from the elements, training your staff on
how to provide the best outdoor experience, and taking advantage of helpful technology will all
help your outdoor business succeed. At the end of the day, the most important thing to
remember is that outdoor dining is fun, and restaurant owners should look at it as a chance to
provide their customers with a positive and happy dining experience.