Summer is now in full swing and after an up and down spring I can feel that consumers everywhere are ready for the patio experience again. This means that the hunt will be on for the best spot to hang out in the evening or on the weekend. If you want to get in on this hot trend then you need to start thinking about how you can create a patio that will make patrons want to bring their friends back just to enjoy the atmosphere. With that in mind here are a few tips on creating a restaurant patio that everyone will love.
If you don’t have a great view or stunning backdrop to your patio, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a great space. It just means you have to be a little more creative. Turning a concrete wall into a mural for a few grand could be the difference in thousands more than that in summer patio sales every year. Adding your own plants or even trees is a great way to spice up your patio and make sure everyone can tell there is something unique about your summer hot spot.
Tip 2: Make the Furniture Make Sense
One trend (And I am not happy about it) that seems to be getting a lot of attention on patios today is bar seating. The reason is simple for owners: you can fit more guests. It doesn’t make sense to the guest however. It’s less comfortable and makes me feel packed in. When you are trying to bring the people in you need to make sure that your patio is at least more appealing than seats inside. This means making them comfortable, spacious and accommodating.
Tip 3: Accommodate Larger Groups
When you spread out the patio furniture, you give yourself a lot more opportunity to accommodate larger groups. If you stick to a patio that matches your restaurant décor it can be harder to move. By having a variety of furniture you can meet the needs of more groups and functions. This is just good business.
Tip 4: A Few Extras Go a Long Way
There are two things I look for in a patio that goes the distance. In some places it’s both, but typically you only need one or the other. Of course, I’m talking about heaters or misters. St. Patrick’s Day was not warm in my locale and the only thing that saved the castle overflow tent I spent a wonderful day in was portable heaters. Without them the guest number at my favorite Irish pub would have been cut by over 50% (Just a guess from the capacity increase).
Tip 5: The Menu and the Patio
The last tip to making a patio that everyone will love is in the way you serve items. One of my favorites is to have a barbeque out there and cook a portion of the food from it. This is a great way to bring the dining experience together and really up your patio status.
When it comes to drinks, it’s also important to step up your looks. Remember, this is the part of your business on lookers really see. Adding a bucket with ice for a pitcher to sit in (whether its water, beer, or something else) to keep it cold might just be the thing no one else is doing.