As food service continues to evolve, demand remains compatible with fine weather: outdoor dining. For many restaurants, the outdoor seating area can double, even triple, the amount of dining space offered to customers. Although it is an attractive feature for both restaurant staff and customers, careful planning, staff adaptations and the ability to quickly correct when obstacles arise are required. Here are three outdoor serving tips to enhance your customer experience.
1. Prioritize security
Even if the outdoor seating is removed from the literal restaurant, it is still an extension of your business and requires the same attention to security. Outdoors can offer a variety of new challenges such as:
- Weather conditions: Do you have an overhang to protect customers from rain? Do you have a quick moving-in plan in case that weather suddenly arises? Is your patio properly maintained to take into account precipitation?
- Electrical equipment: Are your cash register systems and lighting fixtures built to withstand the outdoor conditions? Are all potential electrical contacts properly protected?
- Compliance: Are your outdoor layout, exits and entrances designed for the disabled and the elderly? Is your layout ADA compliant?
Read, & # 39; Protecting Your Outdoor Dining & # 39;
Keeping customers safe on your patio comes down to what is within your restaurant's control, and that means strengthening the safety measures among your employees. Security is not a box to check but a matter of maintenance. A patio can be turned into a risk zone due to spills, rain that remains, objects that have not been placed and more.
Read. ‘ Restaurant Safety: Common Back Danger s’
2. Adapt your system to space and capacity
Designing an exceptional outdoor dining environment goes far beyond aesthetic elements and requires careful attention to detail regarding the flow of service and the overall customer experience. Whether you are creating a whole new outdoor space or want to upgrade your current one, it is advisable to plan the layout with both customers and employees in mind.
A proper outdoor serving system should enable a discreet dining experience and enable your employees to provide the best possible service to outdoor visitors. Considerations for creating and implementing an outdoor serving system include:
- Inputs and exits: Borrowers should be able to move from arriving to waiting to eating to departing smoothly. Is your patio self-contained? If not, is it clear through signage and available web hosting? Is there a special waiting area? Can an outdoor customer leave, regardless of whether he leaves or visits the toilet, in a self-explanatory way that does not disturb the guests or staff?
- Equipment: If your facility staff includes servers, have they the equipment placed in a way that makes them optimal for service delivery? If a POS or server station is available outside, is it in the way? Are any designated places for storing money properly protected against theft?
- Kitchen & food management: Is your kitchen ready to handle the influx of more customer orders at the same time in view of the expanded customer housing? Whether it's extra staff or kitchen changes, be sure to address this change in ordering needs. Sometimes it can also be easier to prepare items through sales or limited menus.
- Are there the right ways and staff in place to get outdoor customers hot food safely when it comes to delivering food?
- Cleaning and bushing: Garbage cans and stations for counters or cutlery should be strategically placed in a way that does not break with customers' space but still enables a fast and correct turnover of clean dining areas.
- Provides comfort: In addition to having comfortable furniture that attaches to the elements, are your outdoor protectors positioned in a way that offers as much privacy as possible and space to have fun? Think of things like shade, wind and other outdoor factors that can cause discomfort.
3. Review and Adjustment for Next Year
A restaurant's success depends on its volume, and while outdoor dining will increase that volume significantly, it is important to prepare for the stressors that may come with it. Like all aspects of food and customer service, unforeseen problems can arise beyond your control, so it is important to not only monitor your customers' experiences, but also your staff. There is always room for improvement within any system, and an outdoor dining process, especially if it is linked to seasonality, will have its share of areas to increase efficiency and solve problems.
Society Insurance is dedicated to providing industry-leading restaurant and bar insurance. Your business is your livelihood, and we do everything we can to help you protect it. Talk to your local community insurance agent about your insurance options.