How to encourage alfresco dining in autumn
Posted on | Posted in Hospitality
Inviting outdoor space can completely transform your venue in autumn. Getting it right puts you on the map and ultimately means serving more covers throughout the colder and wetter months.
People embrace the great outdoors in the sunny weather, so it’s no surprise that outdoor dining spaces for restaurants, hotels and bars are popular during the summer months. But, come autumn, venues often need to take a fresh look at their outdoor space if they want to use it to its full potential.
There are some simple and creative ways venues can tempt more customers to socialise outdoors outside of summer. Keep reading to find out how to put outdoor dining firmly on the menu this autumn.
Cosy outdoor dining space for restaurants
No matter the time of year, if you want to take dining and drinking outdoors, ensuring you have covered space is a must. Whether your outdoor space is a roof terrace, garden, yard or even a car park, an outdoor dining canopy is a perfect choice for year-round shelter.
A restaurant canopy instantly adds ‘wow factor’ to your outdoor space and enables you to make more money from outdoor dining, year after year. it is particularly invaluable during the rainy season and means both you and your guests don’t have to worry about the weather putting a dampener on things.
Get cosy with heating
The cold is probably the main barrier when it comes to tempting your guests to sit outside during the cooler months. Make sure your outdoor space remains profitable outside of the sunny season by ensuring it’s cosy and properly heated.
Electric patio heaters use infrared rays to create warmth and are a popular, reliable option that work well for many hospitality venues. For something a little different, a fire pit can add a natural touch and create a pleasant, cosy atmosphere.
Create an atmosphere with lighting
Autumn naturally means fewer hours of daylight, but dress up your outdoor space with some atmospheric lighting and you can start using this to your advantage. Fairy lights and string lights are ideal for creating an inviting, romantic ambience that will make guests want to stay and socialise well into the evening.
Lanterns, candles, wall lights and softer floodlights can all work towards making a well-lit yet cosy outdoor space. Don’t forget to opt for warm-toned lights to make your space immediately welcoming.
Go creative with accessories
Accessories add the finishing touches to your outdoor space and can transform it into something run-of-the-mill to a destination that people will naturally want to spend time in. Soft accessories like seat and bench cushions are perfect for making sure guests are comfortable, while blankets that guests can wrap themselves in are a fantastic touch for the colder months.
Opt for a traditionally ‘fall’ colour palette for the ultimate in cosiness – think rich coppers, vibrant oranges, warm browns and fiery reds. Table centrepieces can be an autumnal affair, too. Try vases of seasonal autumn flowers, flickering candles on an evening, or even mini pumpkins for a fun fall twist.
Pull in the crowds with events
Once you’ve got your welcoming outdoor dining space ready for guests to enjoy, make sure they know about it. Get online and shout about your space and what makes it so great – particularly if you have some eye-catching imagery to go alongside it. Another option is to plan some seasonal events to tempt more people to try autumn alfresco socialising.
Live music is a great way to create an undeniable ambience that’s sure to pull in the crowds. You could also team up with a local food or drinks vendor to entice customers with something a little different to your regular menu. Hot mulled wine is a no-brainer at this time of year and is always guaranteed to go down a treat.