How to Give Customers the Ultimate Alfresco Dining Experience
With the recent heat wave giving us a taste for that summer heat, it’s high time businesses start thinking about how to capitalise on the glorious weather we’re due to get in the summer months. And whilst British weather is much more temperamental compared to other countries, cafes and restaurants need to be ready to spring into action when that sunny weekend occurs.
Take it outside
Whether it’s warm enough or not, customers are going to want to enjoy what little sunshine we have, so it’s important you give them what they want. Ensure you have the appropriate outdoor furniture for customers to sit in the sun with a slice of cake or enjoy their three course meal.
Whilst simple tables and chairs may be sufficient, it’s also worth considering umbrellas for a bit of shade and patio heaters for when it gets cooler in the evenings but when people still want to enjoy being outside.
Plus, the benefit of patio heaters is that they’ll be popular all year round!
Think about the experience
Some businesses put out the outdoor furniture and leave it at that, but you need to think more about the experience; after all, experience is what many customers are looking for these days. Some rickety old furniture on an uneven and lumpy patch of grass isn’t going to cut it.
Create a designated area for outdoor eaters, preferably where there’s a bit of green for the children to enjoy. Or, why not take it out front? Not everyone has the luxury of a beer garden, so utilising the space at the front of your business could be a key way to capitalise on the good weather.
But if you are going to add an outdoor seating area out front, then think about the impact this might have on your customers. In some locations, there is going to be a high volume of foot traffic close by to your customers who are simply trying to enjoy a drink or some food, so think about investing in some café barriers to divide them from the hustle and bustle; they won’t get trampled and you can add some additional advertising to your storefront.
Offer something special
With you’re a café popular for your coffee and cake or a restaurant offering a full three course meal, simply providing the same options for those sitting outside is an easy solution but offering something special or different will definitely create the ultimate experience.
This could be a special alfresco deal – 2 courses for the price of 1 – or just a nice atmosphere, such as a family-friendly beer garden.
All your competitors are going to be looking to make the most of the sunny weather as well, so you need to start thinking a little outside the box and ask yourself; why should the customers come to you instead of them?
Seriously thinking about your alfresco dining experience will not only help bring in the custom, it will keep them coming back throughout the winter and again next summer.