Outdoor Dining Season Approaches

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Lakeside Cafe

The dreary winter season will soon be coming to a close, and we know you
couldn’t be more thrilled! Winter can be
hard on the restaurant industry – from snow storms to constant illness, people
tend to just want to stay in their homes where it’s warm and cozy. But, as spring time approaches, it’s time for
your patrons to come out of hibernation and start frequenting their favorite
establishments again.

Outdoor dining holds a special spot in most frequent diners’ hearts, and
whether your restaurant has it available can be the deciding factor between
your customers coming back or trying some place new that offers outdoor
seating. So, what can you do to make
sure your restaurant is the one they choose? First you must determine whether
outdoor dining right for you and your customers.

Coming Out of Hibernation
When that first day of spring hits, most people want to do one thing, go
outside! Hoards of hungry diners can be
seen all over the country, out searching for a restaurant where they can enjoy
a meal outside in the warm, crisp air of spring. You need to be that location that they choose
to visit! There’s a reason more and more
restaurants are adding outdoor seating areas, and it’s because the demand is

If you want the benefit of your outdoor space all year round, depending on your
location, you can screen the area in, and add heaters for usage during winter
months as well. Obviously, there’s a big
temperature difference between a Georgia city and Fargo, North Dakota – you
have to decide what type of outdoor area is best for your location.

Overhead Cost
Outdoor furniture typically doesn’t cost as much as indoor furniture, and
the atmosphere allows for a more laid back look. You could choose plastic or metal for your
outdoor seating area, both are fine choices and handle changes in the weather
very well. Having an outdoor dining area
can be a huge benefit to your business, and adding one practically pays for
itself within a year’s time.

Your Fare
There are some foods that just taste better outside—hamburgers, hot dogs
and Mexican cuisines, just to name a few—but there are also foods that might
not fare well in the elements. You have
to assess your restaurant and the food you typically serve to decide if it’s
right for an outdoor dining area – if you make fancy steak dinners that
wouldn’t do well in the elements, then outdoor seating might not be for you,
and that’s okay! Knowing your needs and niches is the #1 skill you can possess
in the restaurant business.

In the end, you know what’s best for your establishment, and what will do well
in your location. Feel free to scope out
some local competitors who have outdoor seating and see how they are faring
with their investment. Researching and
collecting data before a big decision is always a wise move for any business