The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, patio season is just around the corner! Is your patio ready to open for business? If you haven’t used your outdoor space since you closed it for the season, there’s likely work that needs to be done before your customers can dine and drink in the great outdoors again.
Once the below tasks are done, you can feel confident patrons will have a good experience in your outdoor space. Let’s get started…
Do a Deep Clean
Have a cleaning party with your staff during off hours, the more hands on deck, the more quickly this can get done. Work from the ground up by cleaning the floor, moving onto furniture (outdoor furniture cleaning guide) and umbrellas, and then doing walls or sides of your building that’s visible in your patio space. If an inside wall had stains of any kind you’d clean it, so make sure to extend this care to your outdoor space too. Make sure to have plenty of cleaning supplies like paper towels/rags, Lysol, Magic Erasers, Bar Keepers Friend, or anything else you need to get your patio sparkling again. Don’t forget to add routinely cleaning the patio back into daily maintenance.
Inspect Your Furniture
Manually inspecting each piece of furniture can prevent bigger issues in the long run! While you’re surveying, go around to each piece of furniture and tighten any screws that have come loose while being in storage. Keep an eye out for any broken or weakened pieces you may come across. For example, if you notice a chair has started splitting, creating sharp edges, it’s best to throw it away and start a list of replacements. Anything broken or on its way to being broken can be a liability to your customers and business.
Check the Lighting
If you haven’t used your patio regularly since the fall, you’ll definitely want to check your light and power sources to make sure they’re in good working condition. Take care of any lights that are blown out or broken and arrange for replacements as soon as you can. Customers may want to eat under the stars on your patio, but they don’t want to dine in the dark!
Repel Insects Naturally
While summer brings good weather for dining outdoors, it also brings pests that make dining outdoors not as enjoyable. Nobody wants to get bit up, your staff included! Try picking up citronella-infused tiki torches or candles, as well as planting lavender, marigolds, rosemary, mint, or basil to ward off insects. Before patio season kicks into gear is a great time to get these solutions started for your outdoor space. Not only do these torches, candles, or plants get the job done, they can also add to your ambience!
Replenish Your Stations
Now that it’s getting closer to having customers back in your outdoor space, it’s important to start stocking supplies there once again. Keep your POS or hostess stations stocked with menus, silverware, straws, napkins, crayons, etc. to prevent your staff from going out of their way to set tables or if an extra is needed. Having these in the outdoor patio space ready to go will make it easier to provide customers a streamlined experience and less waiting.
After the above tasks are complete and your patio seems ready, do a walk-through with your managers to see if there’s anything glaring that needs attention. If your patio is clean, free of broken furniture, lights are working as they should, bug prevention is in place, and your staff is equipped to seat and wait on customers, your patio is ready to open and it’s time to start planning that opening weekend bash to celebrate the return of patio season!