The proven success of creating alfresco dining areas for your establishment
Alfresco dining may all sound very fancy or Mediterranean, but it’s one of the best trends in the F&B industry to embrace. No matter what type of establishment you may run, be it a small cafe up to a fancy restaurant, an outside or alfresco area is almost certain to bring you success.
There may very well be many reasons behind the proven success of creating alfresco dining areas for your establishment, but one above all stands out - it is just far more relaxing. Relaxed customers take longer to dine and drink, which in turn translates into more sales for your business.
When customers can only dine inside, they feel rushed and are more conscious about their privacy. They feel other customers can listen to their conversation, or somebody may be pushing them to release the table.
By creating alfresco dining areas, a more relaxed and pleasurable atmosphere is immediately created. Of course, the weather may play a big factor, but as most British people will tell you, it only takes the sun to peep out of the clouds and everyone wants to hang around outside to make the most of the decent weather!
Much is made of the ‘cafe culture’ of Europe, whereby customers stay outside to drink and dine in the streets throughout the day and evening, and it’s rapidly becoming more popular in the United Kingdom.
However, it is up to the owners of establishments to entice customers outside, and in some cases, to even take a risk in creating an alfresco dining area. Maybe it’s a fear of spending money in business, or maybe it’s just to easy to find reasons why not (the weather, usually!) but when the cold hard facts of increased sales are to be had, then it’s time to seriously consider creating alfresco dining areas.
How would I create an alfresco dining area though?
Whilst this is a common question, the answer actually is far simpler than one may think. With a few small items such as cafe barriers, a delightful alfresco dining area can be created inexpensively.
See, establishment owners often overthink the concept of creating an alfresco dining area. They think they need to buy umbrellas, lights, tables, extension cables, tables, chairs and a multitude of accessories, and this is why they’re often disinclined to the merits of alfresco dining.
However, the simplest solution is often the correct one - just create an area with the bare minimum, and see how customers take to it. One table, a few chairs, and a simple set of cafe barriers to enclose (and entice) potential customers.
Think about it - two or three cafe barriers well located, customers notice and will be tempted to try out the new area, if only to get away from other customers. Remember what we said earlier about privacy? It’s human nature, if there’s an area where people can find ‘their own space’, they will often take it.
Cafe Barriers don’t just build your business, they brand it also
Alfresco dining is a proven way to increase business in food and beverage establishment as we’ve seen. Increased area of dining brings more customers, dining for longer, resulting in more sales.
But suppose we said there’s also another way alfresco dining areas can earn money and prove successful for establishments? Could you guess what it may be?
How about sponsorship, advertising and branding?
Think about a cafe barrier - which often is sometimes as simple as two posts holding a horizontal panel between them.
Firstly, why not use this area for sponsorship or advertising? There may be a business that’s looking for terrific venues like yours to advertise at, and will be keen to pay you for space that you’re already using for other reasons. A great way to bring increased revenue, hey?
What about the branding aspects also? If you’ve a current brand and theme in your establishment, cafe barriers are a great way to build on that, either by colours, graphics, or text.
- Perhaps you could use the barriers to advertise another venue you own?
- Perhaps your cafe barriers could tempt customers to share your wares on social media, in the hope of going viral? After all, that’s free advertising for your establishment right there!
Suppose you own a takeaway or sandwich shop, and at busy times people have to queue outside? By setting up a queue system alongside the wall outside, not only do you keep the footway clear but it’s a great opportunity to advertise the outside world - perhaps your telephone number or social media contacts for delivery requests?
Conclusion: cafe barriers used to create alfresco dining areas prove easy wins!
Cafe barriers are an excellent way to build business for food and beverage establishments.
Not only do they entice more customers to stay longer (thus spending more money!), but they complement a business by branding and marketing, or even advertising opportunities.
In these days of increased focus on health and safety and user experience, creating an outside dining area is a winner for efficiency too. Venues are less crowded, queues are more organised, and inside venues are less hectic due to more space being available.
Don’t worry about cafe barriers seeming expensive, as they’re available in a variety of styles and to suit every budget. As we’ve already mentioned, if you were thinking about opening up to advertising, you could perhaps even get the acquisition costs offset or even covered by external advertisers!
Finally, cafe barriers are not just for outside dining establishments though (despite the name). As they are immensely practical and popular, more and more companies are using them at conferences, shows, festivals and exhibitions to demarcate and promote.
So with all this good (increased sales, marketing and advertising benefits, and improve efficiency and health/safety) isn’t it time you looked into cafe barriers for your establishment?