Imagine soft laughter, the clinking of glasses. Touches of sunlight illuminate plates of fresh food. A light summer breeze weaves between tables, but not just any tables, these are your tables on your restaurant’s outdoor patio. And these tables are full of happy customers enjoying the great outdoors all the while paying for drinks and food.
Offering al fresco dining is so much more than just expanding your seating capacity or increasing your curb appeal.
So how can building an outdoor patio boost your profits? Because it gives your customers more space for special events, shows off your restaurant from a distance, and gives them a comfortable spot to stay longer and keep the good times going.
Here are just a few of the benefits that your restaurant can take advantage of by integrating an outdoor patio into your business plan.
Patios add more space. By having a patio space, you not only have room for more activities, but also an opportunity to offer a breath of fresh air to your restaurant.
This is all depending on the environment around you. The empty lot next to your restaurant could be your future bustling patio. But acquiring space is not always the answer, sometimes you can make better use of the spot you already have. If you’re short on space but have some room in front of your restaurant, adding sidewalk seating can be an option and create a café vibe.
If you have a flat rooftop that you have access to, you’re in luck! Rooftop bars are very trendy and give a secluded feel to what are often crowded city bars.
Having a patio can give you room for exciting events like live music, games, or a fire pit for chilly evening dining. More involvement at your restaurant can lead to more people having a reason to stop, staying longer, eating and drinking more, and therefore, increasing your profits. All of which can happen right in the outdoor space you may already own.
Patios are free advertising to foot traffic. Making a successful outdoor patio space could be your best advertising asset. Depending on the way that your restaurant is set up, it may be the very first thing a customer sees.
If your location is by a landmark, attraction, or even just a beautiful landscape, having an outdoor dining area should be a given for your restaurant.
The sight of current customers having a great time and the scent of fresh food can bring potential customers from the street that would have maybe not chosen your restaurant. It’s like a free sneak peek of what customers can expect when they come to your restaurant, and can be used to your advantage.
While customers are having a wonderful night out with friends and family, make sure you have your social media hashtags and Snapchat usernames in plain sight. If guests take a picture and post it, they will know exactly what location to tag. With that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to create a Snapchat filter exclusively for your business either.
Creating a patio that is visually-stimulating can attract and keep potential and current customers coming back for more. More traffic means more sales for you!
Patios relax customers, leading them to spend more. If you already have a happy hour, make it a patio-exclusive. Patios are a great way to give happy hour guests an exclusive area for drinks and appetizers, making it feel less stuffy than trying to crowd them in with those enjoying a meal. Having a patio-only happy hour can make guests feel relaxed and can lead them to staying longer, which often means the drinks continue to flow.
By allocating happy hour to your patio space, you are giving guests a place to gather together and increase your sales simultaneously. With profit margins on bar drinks being anywhere from 60-85%, depending on the beverage, you can still make a pretty penny on patrons that are ready to blow off steam after work.
Just make sure you have a bar that is fully-staffed and ready to roll in your outdoor area to reduce staff having to run back and forth.
Once your patio is up and running, keep these tips at the top of your mind to ensure continued success.
- Maintain your patio. Keep your furniture clean and floor space free of garbage. If something spills, clean it up. Don’t use your extra outdoor space as a graveyard for uneven tables and less than supportive chairs. The patio can be a goldmine for increasing your profits, so make it look like that.
- Keep up with outdoor trends. According to the National Restaurant Association, you should be updating your patio every five to seven years to keep it looking modern, similar to your dining room. Your outdoor patio is an extension of your restaurant; don’t let the average passersby think otherwise.
- Staff appropriately. You don’t want your indoor crowd to suffer at the hands of your outdoor patio, especially at peak dining times.
Depending on what stage your patio is in (fully-functioning, needs improvement, or non-existent), will give you a ballpark of how much you need to pour in to make it a successful space. Having a patio space will not break your business, but it certainly could help make it.
Let our customer care representatives guide you on your journey to furnishing the perfect outdoor patio at 1-800-986-5352.