Developing the Best Outdoor Dining Space for Your Restaurant

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor dining spaces have grown more important to restaurants. In a recent article from Fast Casual, author Steve Starr offers some considerations for getting the best return on investment out of your outdoor dining space. He draws on extensive research that he and his team did regarding the best methods and metrics for developing and using this type of space.

Starr recommends that you start with the following considerations:

  1. Develop a clear idea of the purpose of your outdoor space. Restaurants can have many different goals for these spaces, such as increasing capacity, offering an alternative experience to the indoor dining room, hosting parties, and more. Understanding your goal for the space will inform your design choices.
  2. Understand your restaurant’s limits and capacity regarding the outdoor space. This involves paying attention to what your back-of-house and front-of-house staff can realistically support in the space. Ask questions such as, “How far is the outdoor dining space from the kitchen?” and “How many guests can comfortably enjoy the space at one time?” Be careful not to sacrifice a good guest experience in order to chase increased revenue.
  3. Learn about what features contribute to a fantastic outdoor dining environment. Considerations include types of seating and furniture, amenities such as gaming or lounging areas, appealing scenery and décor, and ability to control for less-than-ideal weather conditions, including heat, cold, and precipitation.

For further details, click here to read the article in full at Fast Casual.