One of the best things about summer is the opportunity to indulge in outdoor dining. Serving food on the patio is a win-win for guests and restaurateurs: guests love dining al fresco, and increasing the footprint of a restaurant, lounge, cafe or rooftop bar is a great way to add more revenue and gross profit.
Outdoor dining increases restaurant revenues
In fact, according to a study by the Simons Advisory Group, providing outdoor dining can increase revenue by 30% on average – possibly much more if your climate allows for round-year use of open-air space.
What are the reasons for outdoor seating to impact the bottom line with such significance? There are multiple factors involved. Many guests love the alfresco dining experience because the food tastes better and they sense that extra sparkle of freshness. Others come to satisfy their Vitamin D cravings (ideally accompanied by a gentle sea breeze!) and admire the beautiful views while sharing a meal with family and friends.
There are many ways to attract more customers to your restaurant, but outdoor seating definitely tops the list. Offering wonderful views, as Cape Cornwall Club does, is a magnet for guests looking for a respite.
Outdoor dining in bad weather?
Pleasant inside a dining dome
Eating outside is great for business, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
The trickiest part about providing quality al fresco dining? The weather. We know you’ve been there: feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that an outdoor setting can bring.
Starting with staffing, furnishing & decorating to daily routines like setting up and folding down furniture, frantically catching flying menus and napkins when a stronger breeze comes in, securing down patio umbrellas, removing paddles of rainwater from the deck, tables and chairs or eventually heating the space on those colder evenings. It’s constant work and it can be tough.
Yet, it’s usually worth it. Unless, despite all that effort, everything is ruined by miserable weather.
Our climate becomes unpredictable with storms that blast Britain once in a while, and continuous hot and sunny days of summer, when most of the UK experienced several heat waves and temperatures reaching beyond 30°C.
With such weather changes, it’s difficult for restaurant owners to count on the patio seating revenues. Here’s what some of them say about the challenges:
“The biggest challenge of running our patio is predicting the weather and how guests will respond to it. We constantly follow several live weather apps and try to make the best call we can.”
– says Josh Grogan, general manager of Vivace, a contemporary Italian trattoria.
“Weather is always a factor. Is it going to rain, will it stop, and when will we be able to reopen? Sometimes the guests order food and then it starts raining. What do we do then?”
– says general manager Sherwin Levitis at Del Frisco’s Grille.
So what’s the solution? 100% clear & frameless outdoor dining dome. A modern alternative to patio enclosure, awning or gazebo. You can find other ideas for bad weather alfresco dining in our Winter Outdoor Dining Guide.
Continue reading to learn how you can increase your restaurant’s profit with an indoor-outdoor space for all-weather, all-year al fresco dining: