Summer is here which means patio season is back! There’s no better way to attract more guests, build customer loyalty and bring in higher profits to your restaurant or bar than by creating a world-class patio experience.
Outdoor spaces allow your restaurant or bar to seat more guests, all while providing visitors with a completely new, and enjoyable, dining experience. In turn, this helps your business to drive revenue.
Building a patio season is a huge opportunity for restaurants. It represents a chance to make the most of what is a very busy and profitable season, offering an experience that is superior to your competitors.
The perfect patio will become a guest destination, but how do you create that 5-star bar or restaurant patio experience that keeps customers coming back? Sculpture Hospitality has listed five tips to help.
1 - Create a memorable experience
The most important aspect of your patio is to decide the type of atmosphere that suits your brand. Do you want a quiet or loud space? Are you serving a casual or high-end audience? There’s a difference between the atmosphere of a bar patio where people are typically coming to drink, or an intimate restaurant in which people are visiting for amazing food and good company.
Once you understand the atmosphere you want to create, your patio can be boosted by additions such as atmospheric lighting, high-quality (weather resistant) outdoor furniture, plants, music and much more!
2 - Forecast your growing demand through strategic inventory management
The addition of a patio means increased business. To ensure you are optimizing profits, it’s crucial you are properly planning your menu and strategically ordering the right amount of products into your restaurant or bar.
To do this successfully, you must fully understand your restaurant or bar inventory usage. Food and beverage inventory management requires knowledge of how much inventory you are buying each accounting period, how much you are selling and how much you are actually using.
Without this data, it’s likely that your business is losing a significant amount of profits from product shrinkage and poor inventory control. A bar or restaurant inventory management system will give you clear visibility into how your inventory is performing and where you can optimize profits.
3 - Make your patio feel like its own little world
The key to an amazing patio experience for some restaurants is to make your patio feel like its own little world. Is it possible to tuck your patio away in an intimate space, such as on a rooftop, somewhere with an incredible view or hidden away in an alley?
You want your guests to have all the same comforts of home, but with the luxuries of indulgence at the same time. Your patio should feel like an intimate space for your guests, where they come to enjoy good company, a great experience and delicious food.
4 - Offer a unique experience with special menu items
We’re not talking about a completely new menu here, but simply adding an extra dish or two, or even just creating a new signature cocktail, can boost the excitement that customers have in your patio.
5 - Be prepared for less than ideal weather conditions
The weather isn’t always ideal for outdoor seating, but that doesn’t mean your guests don’t want to come to your restaurant. Unfortunately, since summer is your busiest time and you have already expanded your seating capacity with the addition of the patio, it’s likely you can’t simply move those guests to an indoor table if it starts raining.
Instead, it’s your job to accommodate for the weather. Install a cover that will protect your guests from the rain, invest in outdoor heaters for those cooler evenings and set up umbrellas to shade guests from the sun on those hotter days.
Want to learn more? The Sculpture Hospitality team of food and beverage inventory experts would love to help. Contact us today!