How To Winterize Your Restaurant’s Outdoor Seating

How To Winterize Your Restaurant’s Outdoor Seating

The cold winter months will be here before you know it. If your restaurant is relying on outdoor seating to get through limited capacity restrictions and mandated dining room closures, do you have a plan in place for when the cold finally hits? Here are some ways you can continue to provide outdoor seating to your customers without freezing them.

Make It Comfortable

Eating outside in the middle of winter doesn’t sound like a very appealing way to enjoy a meal so you’ll need to find ways to ensure your customers stay warm as well as their food. Here are some things to consider incorporating into your outdoor dining space before cooler weather sets in.

  • Install heat lamps throughout the space. Make sure they are placed in positions that will keep the guests warm but not blasting them in the face while they eat either.
  • Add a screen around the perimeter of the area to help keep the elements out. Adding some plexiglass barriers in key spots where the wind may blow in will be essential too.
  • Heated seats anyone? Adding heated seat pads to the chairs is a sure way to keep your guests nice and toasty while they eat.
  • Remove any metal furniture that the customers will be using and replace them with more outdoor friendly furniture that won’t freeze your customers while they are resting their arms on the table.

Update The Menu

If your customers will be eating outside during the winter, they probably don’t want cold foods. Update your menu with hearty soups and plenty of warm breads. Don’t forget to add plenty of hot drinks for them to indulge in too. Hot apple siders, hot chocolates, coffees and teas are great options to add to your menu.

Make It Fun

Now that you’ve ensured your guests won’t be miserable while eating outdoors, you should also think about the experience they will be having. Winter months tend to get darker earlier so ensure there is plenty of lighting for your guests. Maybe you could add a few bonfire pits for guests to sit around while waiting for food. Or, add smore options to your menu for guests to enjoy making their own desserts while they gather around the fire.

Make It Exclusive

Want to peak your customers’ interest in dining outside? Offer them exclusive menu items or experiences that only outdoor diners can receive like an outside smores bar or certain meals cooked by the fire in front of them. Making it entertaining, along with exclusive is sure to draw the crowds and get your reservations booked up quickly.

While the thought of sending your customers outdoors during the winter may seem like a terrible idea at first, this could actually give your restaurant the opportunity to branch out even more and create a new spark in your restaurant again. Staying optimistic as well as being a little creative will go a long way while we all try navigate what’s to come in the next few months. If your restaurant could use working capital in order to make these changes to your outdoor seating area, we’re here to help. We are continuing our mission to provide restaurants the financing they need in order to thrive during these hard times.

Contact your local loan consultant to learn more about the custom loan options that we have available. Or, if you’re ready to see what you qualify for right now, you can complete our online loan application to receive an instant quote. After submitting your application, your personal loan consultant will contact you to go over your options that best fit your needs.