Outdoor dining is a spring and summer staple in the hospitality industry, but efforts are focused on patio dining now more than ever as the industry recovers from COVID-19. Thanks to ventilation and proper distancing, outdoor dining has been deemed the safest way to enjoy a meal out. Many are flocking for the first meal out in months, and warm temperatures are not hindering anyone from dining!
Stray from the typical with your menu choices. Diners enjoy the idea of customization when it comes to appetizers, sides, and other combination options. Whether you opt for a create your own entree, appetizer combination platter, or drink flights, people love options! Don’t forget to promote your specials across social media, your website, and wherever your menu is available online.
Serving alcohol has always been one of the biggest money-makers for restaurants, and now is no different. Most of us are well overdue to enjoy a drink, so take advantage of this time and optimize your drink menu! Fun summer beverages might include fresh-made sangria, lemonade mixes, or the classics – Margaritas & Mojitos! Get creative and serve drinks in mason jars, daiquiri glasses, or other fun containers to make them even more irresistible for diners.
Don’t just make what you serve appealing to diners – Deck out the whole space! Again, this is the first meal out in months. People not only want to enjoy good food and drinks, but they also want a photo-worthy experience. Create ambiance by adding string lights, plants, and more. This not only enhances the dining experience for your customers but also allows you free marketing when people see what they’re missing!
If your staff is not accustomed to outdoor dining functions, make sure you prepare them and line up a plan. Have server sections established and clear paths from dining areas to the kitchen. You will also need to make clear standards for sanitation measures for both diners and staff. Establish cleaning methods, mask requirements, and socially distanced seating to ensure diners and staff feel fully protected from the spread of infection.
If you don’t have a secure plan in place for outdoor dining, now is the time to lock one down for Summer 2020! Avery Restaurant Consulting has helped restaurants establish seasonal menus, create a team of well-prepared staff, and maximize profits even when budgets are right. For expert industry advice, call us at (617)970-8566!