Experts suggest that if people were to dine out during this pandemic, at least, they do so alfresco. That is because enclosed spaces with little to no ventilation exacerbate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you are a restaurant owner, this is a welcome proposition. It means you can finally increase your bottom line by having more tables to fill. After months of what can only be called a drought, you finally have the chance to bounce back and recoup whatever financial losses you have incurred due to the plague.
Remember, you will not be the only one who will grab onto this opportunity. Other restaurants within your immediate vicinity will likely offer alfresco dining, too, for the same purposes that you do. With that in mind, you must compete fair and square. Improve your chances of enticing those diners brave enough to venture out amid a pandemic by maintaining an inviting outdoor dining space. That is on top of serving consistently good food.
Making your restaurant’s alfresco area comfy and pretty is not that difficult to accomplish. All you need are some essentials commonly found in residential areas. No, you do not need to purchase commercial-grade products for this. Here are some ideas.
Sure, Vitamin D is great. It can boost a person’s immunity. But frequent and direct exposure to sunlight can also cause at best, a sunburn, and at worse, skin cancer. Spare your customers from those concerns by installing retractable rolling awnings.
You can choose from three designs: classic, summit, and alpine. You also have an array of fabrics to pick from. Frames come in various colors, too so your awnings can blend just right with your restaurant’s color palette.
People pursue gardening because it is a relaxing activity. Dining areas should be relaxing spaces. Couple those two ideas and arrive at a logical conclusion: plants and flowers in alfresco dining spaces will improve the place’s vibe.
You do not have to waste valuable space for a garden. There is such a thing as vertical gardening where all you need is a trellis. Climbing plants like morning glory and Mandevilla will easily prettify your alfresco dining area.
Homey tables and chairs
Skip commercial tables and chairs. Go for those that look like they belong in your own dining room. Remember that your customers have most likely been quarantined for a long time. They have become used to homey stuff. Provide them the same level of comfort they get from their home. Use tables and chairs that will not remind your customers that they are dining out amid a plague.
You do not have to spend an arm and a leg here. Visit thrift shops and garage sales. You will be surprised by what you can discover from those places.
Is your restaurant open until the evening? If yes, then your alfresco dining space needs a wood-burning stove to keep your customers warm. Use your spare stove at home. Or purchase second-hand online.
While an electric furnace will also do the job, it will not be as great in mood-setting. As for the wood you use, the best options include maple, ash, oak, and birch. They give off pleasant aromas that will keep your customers in their seats, ordering more and more stuff from your busy kitchen.
The presence of flowing water always improves the mood of a place. If your restaurant is not located alongside a river or in front of the ocean, the least that you can do is incorporate a water fountain into the area.
These products come in a variety of designs. Keep it simple because, in the end, the flowing water is the highlight. Not the mechanism through which the water flows. You can even DIY your alfresco fountain if you have enough time and energy to spare.
Place your fountain next to the trellis. Together they will turn your outdoor dining space zen.
In September of last year, a report from the National Restaurant Association revealed that 1 in 6 restaurants have closed up shop either long-term or permanently. If you are fortunate enough to have survived the plague, kudos to you. It speaks of your business acumen and individual tenacity.
However, always keep in mind that the competition will be even stiffer from now on. It pays to always be on your toes, looking for ways to improve customer experience. Keep your customers happy, and the rest will follow.