HOW TO CREATE A PROFITABLE OUTDOOR DINING AREA

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Could your outdoor space do with a makeover? Do you have redundant area that’s collecting weeds rather than customers? With the sunshine finally making an appearance and longer days making way for balmy evenings, maybe it’s time to start thinking of how you can make the most of your outside space to attract more customers and boost profits.

LAWS & REGULATIONS

There are a few things you’ll need to check first, like planning permission, alcohol permits, and decibel limits. You will also need to decide whether it will be dog-friendly and if you’ll allow smoking.

DEFINE THE SPACE

The first step is to clearly define the space you have to work with. This will help you to plan and make the most efficient use of the available space. If you have a large outdoor patio, you could consider partitioning it off into different zones – perhaps a dining area, a lounge area and a children’s play area.

MAKE IT COMFORTABLE




Once you have defined the space, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make it more comfortable for your customers. This means considering things like comfortable outdoor furniture, parasols and heating. For patio furniture, you could opt for a traditional table and chairs or perhaps some more relaxed bean bags or floor cushions for patio seating. Parasols are a great way to provide shade on hot days, while heaters can extend the use of your outdoor dining area into the cooler months.


ADD SOME AMBIENCE


To really make your outdoor dining area special, it’s important to add some ambience. This could be in the form of lighting, music or even a water feature. Candles or fairy lights in jars are a great way to add some romantic lighting, while a Bluetooth speaker can provide the perfect soundtrack and an inviting restaurant patio. A small water feature can also help to create a relaxing patio dining experience.


MAKE IT SPECIAL




It’s important to make your outdoor dining area special. This means adding those all-important finishing touches that will really make it stand out from the crowd. Consider things like table decorations, bunting and flowers. You could also add some personalised touches, such as placemats with your restaurant’s logo or menus printed on them.

CREATE AN OUTDOOR-ONLY MENU

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your patio or outdoor space and please your guests with speciality themed menu items and an al fresco dining experience along with the usual dishes and light foods. When developing this menu, it’s important to consider a few things.

First, aim for quality over quantity. A small selection of well-executed dishes will leave a lasting impression and encourage guests to come back. Second, think about which items will make a profitable patio space. The outdoor-only menu is the perfect opportunity to promote food and drink pairings or special patio cocktails. By offering a selection of high-margin items, you can make outdoor dining more profitable while also providing an enjoyable experience for your guests. You could also open a takeout window close to the entrance and offer a to go service or even arrange to deliver food.

OUTDOOR COOKING