Top Tips to Keep Your Patio Profits Going Up This Season
Bars and restaurants around the world just went through one of their most challenging years yet. It’s safe to say COVID-19 shook the industry to its foundation.
And despite the recent lockdown, the rapid distribution of vaccines continues to offer a glimmer of hope for restaurant owners that they may still get to benefit from patio season.
The ongoing pandemic has left your customers craving in-person experiences, which means it’s essential to make the most out of this year’s patio season.
So, what can you do to maximize your patio’s potential? Read on to discover actionable tips that can help you make the most of this upcoming season.
Make Guests Feel Safe
COVID-19 guidelines continue to change almost daily. Whether it’s a new lockdown, additional cleaning requirements, or something else—you need to create an environment where your guests feel safe.
You don’t want to be seen as a restaurant that is openly breaking COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Plus, following these guidelines ensures your patio is safe, spotless, and more attractive to guests.
You can give them that sense of security by adhering to the current health and safety guidelines outlined by your local government. Post signs reminding patrons to wear their masks and maintain social distancing, install and top up your hand sanitizer machines, install elbow handles on restroom doors, collect names and phone numbers from streamlining contact tracing, and use arrows to control the flow of traffic.
We also recommend being as transparent as possible. Should a customer or staff member contract COVID-19, you must notify anyone who may have had contact with them. Remember—the safer your restaurant seems, the more likely guests will trust that you have their best interests in mind.
Make Your Place Post-Worthy
Young people these days love to take pictures and short videos of everything they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to show off a little and create a stunning, post-worthy patio.
Creating an experience-driven space that’s known for being “cool” or “fun” is one of the most effective forms of free online advertising available to you.
You may consider adding mood lighting to build the atmosphere. There are various options available to you, like globe lights, fairy lights, and many more. The key is not to overdo it and make your patio look tacky.
Another option is to spruce the space up with natural features like a flower wall. Not only do flower walls add to the decor, but they are also a subtle way to do your part for the environment.
Create a Personalized and Comfortable Experience
You need to make sure your guests are comfortable if you expect them to have a positive experience. Whether you accomplish this through comfortable chairs, benches, tables, and booths or using atmospheric elements like music and light—comfort should be at the top of your list.
It’s also essential to keep the focus on the guest experience. Busy patio rushes often lead to missed orders, long wait times, and other mishaps. Encourage your waiters to check in with your guests frequently. This is one of the best ways to personalize your guest’s experience and ensure their needs are being taken care of. You can also use this as a valuable opportunity to upsell drinks, appetizers, and other high-margin items.
We also recommend using canopies and umbrellas to stay on top of any weather challenges you may experience. After all, sitting in direct sunlight on a patio isn’t an enjoyable experience for anyone.
Keep Unwanted Pests Away
Food, drinks and people are all magnets for flies, wasps, bees, and mosquitoes. These pests are the worst. They can turn a great experience into a forgettable one. That’s why it’s your job to keep them away from your guests.
Keep all ingredients in tightly sealed containers when not being used. After food has been prepared, keep it moving or monitored until it’s on the guest’s table.
If you have to install any trash cans outside, make sure they’re closed trash cans. Waiters should also bring unwanted food and waste to an indoor disposal bin as soon as possible to minimize pests.
Keep Your Bar Stocked
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. But given the unprecedented times, you should ensure your bar is stocked and ready to go.
Think about it like this. Your guests are looking for experiences, and nothing screams experience more than a few drinks on a patio with your friends.
We recommend stocking a few extra bottles of your more popular drinks—that way, you never run out during a busy night.
Are You Ready for This Year’s Patio Season?
This year’s patio season may be one of the best ways to make up profits lost due to COVID-19. While COVID-19 guidelines are always evolving, open-air patios are one of the best ways to drive profit to your business while staying compliant with COVID-19 protocols.
If you follow these tips, you shouldn’t have any problems offering a safe and memorable experience to your guests.