Dining outside has become more popular during the COVID-19 era, as outdoor spaces promote better air circulation and lessen the virus's spread. Many restaurants that have never served food outside are suddenly in the market for new outdoor dining ideas. Whether you've offered outdoor dining for years or months, try these eight ways to maximize your outdoor space and improve your guests' experiences.
1. Offer Outdoor Specials
Mix up your menu so that guests who visit your outdoor space experience something new. By serving outdoor exclusives, you will draw the attention of regular customers eager to try different food. You will also excite new customers who just want something tasty.
2. Add the Right Furniture
Dining outdoors is only enjoyable with the right equipment. You need tables and chairs as well as other items to maximize your guests' comfort:
- • Umbrellas: A 7.5-foot blocks the sun from your diners while they eat, plus you can have them customized with your restaurant's colors, menu and other designs.
- • Tents: Tents also block the sun during warm weather. Get customized tents with your restaurant's name and graphic designs on them and line them up outside for a branding opportunity your guests won't forget. These tents look sleek but also serve a practical purpose.
- • Custom trash can cover: You need lots of waste bins outside, so take the opportunity to decorate them. Trash can covers can brand your business and ensure people have somewhere to toss their trash when they finish eating.
3. Market Your Outdoor Dining
If people don't know about your outdoor eating opportunities, they may skip your restaurant. Spread the word by investing in fun outdoor advertising methods, such as Air Dancers® inflatable tube men and giant inflatables. When people see these big ads, they are more likely to stop at your establishment.
4. Increase Your Social Media Presence
You can spread the word about outdoor eating options by posting pictures on your social media channels. Posts with images tend to attract more attention than those without, so line up a perfect shot of people eating outdoors, making it look irresistible. Share shots from each meal to display how many people are at the tables, reassuring possible visitors about the safety of your restaurant.
5. Put Your Menu Outside
Display a large version of your menu outside, so passersby don't have to go into the restaurant to find out what you serve. You can also promote special dishes, such as gluten-free or vegan options.
6. Add an Outdoor Daily Specials Board
Your daily specials attract people off the street to dine with you, and you should advertise them each day to draw a crowd. Choose a simple sign that you can update daily without fuss.
7. Go Green Where You Can
Adding pops of green to your outdoor dining space can help diners feel at home. Add planters with shrubs or flowers, or consider letting grass peek through parts of your outdoor "floor." The soothing color of nature can put every diner at ease.
8. Keep Your Outside Space Spotless
Cleaning up indoors is less challenging than keeping an outdoor space tidy. Winds can blow over drinks or topple dessert trays. Your staff should stay vigilant for possible interruptions and address messes immediately. Cleaning up quickly is also critical to keeping critters away from your outdoor space. Ants love outdoor dining, and keeping your spaces neat and tidy can discourage these unwanted guests from showing up.
Contact LookOurWay for More Outdoor Restaurant Dining Space Ideas
By marketing your outdoor dining and adding new touches to your outdoor seating area, you will attract a growing business. Do you have questions about equipment or advertising? Contact LookOurWay for our expert insights.