It’s August already! The month of August kind of feels like the Sunday evening of summer: the last chance to make all of your summer dreams come true before leaves start changing color and pumpkin spice everything takes over our lives. This year, August 31 is National Eat Outside Day, a day dedicated to al fresco dining. We already know that outdoor restaurant seating can increase profits by almost 30%! And there are easy and inexpensive ways to spruce up the outdoor seating area in your restaurant to attract customers and increase profits even more.
Here are four additions to your outdoor seating to help attract customers:
1. Supreme Seating
An easy and inexpensive way to get your customers stoked to sit outside is with comfy seating options. Adding colorful outdoor cushions and pillows is a cheap way to add visual interest and comfort to your restaurant’s outdoor space. Seating made from reclaimed materials such as wooden palettes or vintage mix and match chairs give a hip vibe that will entice customers. The addition of benches can increase seating capacity and offers a relaxed atmosphere that can encourage your guests to stick around and increase their check size.
2. Hip Heating
According to Restaurant Development + Design, diners love the atmosphere that fire creates. Naturally, it creates an atmosphere of warmth while also appealing to the inner caveman and woman in all of us that says “fire good.” Not only do they give your space a cozier feel, outdoor heating features allow restaurants located in cooler regions, such as the Midwest and Northeast, to extend the use of their outdoor seating.
Gas heaters and linear gas fire pits are good investments to keep your restaurant’s outdoor space open for larger portions of the year.
3. Lovely Lighting
When the sun goes down, you don’t want your patrons eating and drinking in the dark. Ambient lighting is another easy way to add visual depth to your outdoor restaurant seating areas. String lights are extremely inexpensive and create a soft, dreamy atmosphere that your customers will relish. Additional soft lighting features such as battery-operated LED tea lights at each table make your outdoor space even more intimate for evening guests.
4. Pretty Planting
Finally, consider adding plants and greenery to your outdoor seating areas. Plants can be used to create natural barriers to set apart your sidewalk cafe from pedestrian walkways or to create a feeling of privacy in tight spaces. Pretty, hardy flowers at each table can give your outdoor restaurant space added color and character, completing the al fresco experience.
Research by the Simons Advisory Group proved that a $200,000 investment in outdoor restaurant seating increased overall sales by $500,000. But improving your restaurant’s deck or patio doesn’t require a six-figure investment. Focus on making little changes that give your outdoor space character and added comfort. Additionally, you can invest in your restaurant technology to create a seamless experience for guests and create more efficiency between front of house, wait staff, the kitchen, and managment. Contact Leebro POS today to speak to a Restaurant Point of Sale specialist.