One of the biggest pieces of advice for cafes is to create an outdoor seating area for the summer. People want to outside and make the most of the good weather. Offering comfortable seating and al fresco dining is the way to entice customers into your café whether it is just for a drink or for a meal.
Are you not sure where to start when it comes to a café outdoor seating area? Here are some tips to get your café ready for the summer.
Think About Food and Beverage Storage
One thing to realise is that opening up an outdoor seating area for your café is going to lead to serving more customers. So, you need to think about whether you are going to be able to cope with the demand for more food and beverages. In particular, do you have the storage capacity for this? If the answer is no, this does not mean that you have to give up on this summer idea. Instead, you have to think how you are going to move forward. For example, you can hire a fridge trailer for the occasion. This is going to give you the extra storage space you need and allow all of your food and beverages to remain fresh and safe for consumption. All you have to do is hire it over the summer when your seating area is going to be in use.
Invest in Suitable Seating
An important consideration to make is what tables and chairs you are going to purchase. Of course, you want them to be comfortable for your customers and allow everyone to relax and have a good time. But, you also want them to be weather resistant and easy to clean. After all, the weather can change very quickly and the furniture will get wet and be exposed to constant use. For example, some businesses like metal for its durability. Plastic can also be a more affordable option that can cope with any surroundings. If you have a larger budget, you could invest in garden-style furniture.
Consider the Pet Policy
A lot of people want to bring their furry friends on outdoor adventures. But, they will have to stop for a refreshment and bite to eat. Thus, you want to think about your pet policy and make it welcoming if you allow dogs. For example, you may want to create a dog-friendly area in the outdoor seating area. This can include more space before tables, as well as providing dog water bowls. Often, making your café dog-friendly will be a positive move that will bring in more customers. Indeed, since you have outdoor seating, they do not have to be inside the café.
Provide Some Privacy
You want to make sure that your customers feel relaxed and comfortable when they are enjoying a drink or eating. If your café is on a busy street or there is a lot going on around you, you want to make sure that the guests have some privacy. In order to do this, you do not have to spend a fortune. Instead, invest in some screening that you can put up. There is artificial hedging and trellises you can purchase that is going to do two things. It will allow your guests to feel like they are not being watched and have their own space. It is also going to add colour and a nature vibe to your outdoor seating area.
Add Some Lighting
If you want to keep your café open in the evenings, you need to think about your guests. In other words, you want them to feel relaxed and be able to see when the sun goes down. There are a few ways you can do this. For example, you can add some solar lights that are going to charge throughout the summer and come on at night. Alternatively, if you have a power source, you can buy fairy lights and create a relaxing glow. You can also add candles to tables and create a romantic vibe for guests. Either way, do not forget about the lighting as you want this to provide comfort during the evenings.
Know that it does not have to be complicated when it comes to lighting. All of the methods we have mentioned are budget friendly. After all, if you are only keeping your outdoor café open in the summer, you will not need them throughout the year.