How to Utilize Outdoor Restaurant Space Efficiently

If your restaurant has an outdoor dining area or if you’re thinking about adding one with the help of a commercial contractor, it’s crucial for you to make the most of it. This space can be more than just overflow seating; it’s a way to increase the number of customers served and offer a unique feature that your competitors don’t have. A restaurant construction company can help you to make the most of this area.

Follow Your Theme

No customer wants to feel like they’re not important enough to be offered the same experience that is offered inside the restaurant, so make sure your outdoor seating area stands up to the inside. You can do this by making sure that the decor of this area matches the rest of your business; If you offer an upscale dining experience, then don’t offer your customers plastic tables and chairs outdoors if you want them to come back.

Invest in Sturdy Furniture

Furniture spending all of its time outdoors is going to be subject to Mother Nature, which means you need to make the investment in solid pieces of furniture that look great and can withstand the elements. You might also want to consider purchasing pieces that can be reconfigured in many different ways. Tables that can be converted into banquet tables from smaller units are a great idea if you find your establishment using its outdoor space to host large parties on weekends, but couples and small families during the week.

Use Your Outdoor Space to Create an Experience

Prepare for the Weather

Next, think about your customers’ comfort. Inclement weather often means that no one wants to dine outside unless you can improve the bad conditions.  High quality awnings that can provide shade and some protection from light rain showers are a must. You might also want to consider adding an outdoor heating and cooling system that can make chilly days and heat waves more tolerable. This system will be an investment, but being able to seat customers outside all year round will give you a huge advantages over other restaurants that only use their outdoor area when the weather is perfect.

Create an Experience

An outdoor dining area won’t do much for your restaurant if you can’t get anyone to sit out there. You have to find ways to draw people outside. Consider installing a bar or beer garden; these features are very popular and are sure to boost revenue. Spice things up by offering a special drink menu for the patio, giving people an incentive to switch up their routine and choose to sit outside. Other special features could include patio games, a fire pit and dance floor with DJ.

Competitive Advantage

Having a great outdoor space available is particularly important if your customers visit your establishment because of its location. Make sure that you build your space to give diners the best view of surrounding beach, mountains and other scenery. If your customers feel comfortable in your outdoor space, they’ll choose your establishment over your competitors who can only offer a poorly thought-out back patio. The key is to take advantage of the great California weather and really make an outdoor space that your customers will treat as a destination rather than see as just an overflow area for the “real” dining area.

If you’re ready to design an outdoor dining area, contact econstruct today. We have more than three decades of experience in the restaurant industry, and specialize in all food service related construction, complete renovations, add-ons and more.