Offering take-out, contactless delivery, and outdoor dining are all common ways that restaurants have acclimated to the new normal. As the social distancing efforts across the United States show no sign of slowing, it is clear that additional measures may be necessary to keep restaurants bustling, especially as the seasons change. Differentiation from competition is a huge factor in driving patrons to restaurants during this time where people are still reluctant to leave home and are extremely sensitive to the health and safety practices carried out by eateries.
Popular establishments may be thriving with their regular clientele. Smaller, or predominantly indoor businesses could be seeking ways to attract diners to keep up momentum for the balance of the summer and moving forward. With coronavirus cases resurgent and flu season around the corner, restaurant owners should begin to implement plans for operations that pair safety with distinction.
Make Guests Feel Safe in Restaurants and Stand Out from Competition
Offering outdoor or semi-outdoor seating has always afforded dining establishments with differentiation. People just love being outside or the feeling of being outside. If a restaurant has not thought about allocating space to accommodate outdoor seating, this is the wake-up call that should entice owners to consider creating a patio space. Makeshift setups only do so much. Open areas should be designed with pavers or decking and finished with a type of "roofing" to create a true outdoor eating space.
Restaurants with an already established outdoor setup or ones which commit to moving in this direction, can offer entertainment for the diners outside. This is always an extremely popular add-on that drives patrons to make dining decisions when looking for fun or relaxing night out. Even better, many performers may be extremely grateful to be booking gigs now. It's a win-win for all. Remember, it's all about the ambiance – this is as important as the outdoor area itself. Outdoor furniture for restaurants and lighting also make the space. In the current time, just as important as ambiance are the safety measures for restaurants.
Never before has a menu been more important. In order to prevent the spread of germs, replace menus shared from table to table by offering scannable QR codes that will allow customers to review the menu by using their phone. Making changes to menus by adding new items, family meals, or offering specials that deviate from standard fare can entice customers to revisit. With take-out and delivery still being major contributors to revenue, throw a special thank-you card in the take-out or delivery bag or box to tell your patrons how much you appreciate their business.
No matter the transaction, contactless payments are appreciated by customers. Any contactless payment solution will reduce the need for customers and staff to touch surfaces that are frequently used by many people. Lastly, if patrons are coming inside to place orders or use restrooms, floor decals for social distancing can be applied to keep people from standing too close together.
Start Preparing for Upcoming Seasons
Indoor capacity continues to be limited or non-existent and that will carry over into the foreseeable future. Making guests feel safe at restaurants is paramount and the best way to do this is by continuing the use of dedicated outdoor space. There is plenty of time to start looking into outdoor heating solutions for restaurants that could be utilized to keep guests warm when it gets chilly. If looking to make arrangements for indoor seating, think about how tables can be configured to maintain distance between customers. Creating surplus space by constructing additions, especially with outdoor views, cannot only facilitate the spacing between tables, but also add that special look and feel that people will crave when making dining reservations.
It is never too early or too late for any restaurant considering an upgrade or new implementation that will improve their business. We are always available to discuss outdoor seating solutions or other creative options for social distancing that align with marketing strategies for restaurants. Contact us at 888-270-3546 to start enhancing your business today.