Outside dining is upon us again. The chance to enjoy our meal outdoors is a deciding factor for many people, including me, when choosing a restaurant. If we’ve gone to the trouble of finding an ocean, we like having dinner beside it. Side walk window shoppers and carefully tended lilies are preferable to walls of art we’ve seen before, even if we love them. Patio furniture grants us the freedom to savor your menu selections while we savor the season.
When choosing patio furniture , consider what you’d need to be comfortable on your patio for an extended period of time. If you can lure us into lingering, we buy desserts, and more drinks. The weather has already given you a head start on this, so you might as well run with it. Not everyone who enjoys fresh air has a tan to show for it, so spacious, well-kept umbrellas are a must. If yours have been folded away since fall’s last perfect day, you’ll need to open and inspect them. You don’t want us surprised by cloudbursts or birds, both in plentiful supply this time of year. Seating needs to be lightly colored, comfy and water-proof. Seats that hold water are useless outside, and when we’re in shorts and sun dresses, we’re careful of scorching our legs on dark furniture heated by the sun. Again, think comfort. Tables need to be lightly colored (same reason) and sturdy.
These are patio basics, but adding a few extras which will increase your business. Many eateries set up striking patios which seem appealing as we walk by wondering what they serve. A wise move would be to invest in plastic menu covers for your patio tables, especially if you’re in a resort or a shopping area where people completely unfamiliar to you are liable to wander past.
Outside special boards help as well, but there’s always the customer who doesn’t eat the special. Keeping a portable wait station or bar outside during lunch and dinner rushes makes clear your intention of providing excellent customer service to outdoor diners. Speaking from personal experience, that’s the area where you’re most likely to fall short. We love your patio set up, but then often feel forgotten on your patio.
We already love to do this. Give us a comfortable spot to eat outside, and a friendly server to bring our food, and we’re there!