Outdoor dining has become so popular and lucrative that many restaurants in the US are now offering year-round outdoor or patio dining. While al fresco dining has proved to be a hit during warm weather, the colder winter months bring new challenges for restaurants, especially those that rely heavily on outdoor dining.
As the temperature drops, restaurants should make additional considerations in their existing outdoor dining arrangement – something that can ensure customers’ comfort as well as the profitability of the business.
Keeping guests comfortable is the key to enjoying al fresco dining. If you want to offer outdoor dining during the chilly fall and cold winter, you should consider investing in restaurant tents and reliable heat sources that help keep your customers warm and cozy. Many restaurants also use blankets, fire pits, and heat lamps to keep guests warm and offer a cozy dining experience.
Cover the area with outdoor dining tents
The most obvious challenge for winter outdoor dining is the weather itself!
When taking dining to the open, you must be prepared for the weather to play spoilsport irrespective of the restaurant location or time of the year. Cover your patio or outdoor dining area with outdoor party tents or canopies to provide necessary coverage from the rain, wind, or snow to your staff and patrons. While some customers may be okay with cold spaces, high wind or wetness can be a stumbling point.
You can also add sidewalls if you like. However, at least two sides of the tent should remain open to ensure better airflow and circulation.
Make sure all outdoor party tents are anchored properly to the ground to withstand winds and drizzles common during the winter season.
Don’t hesitate to experiment and get creative with design and incorporate elements your customers love to provide a wonderful outdoor dining experience. You can add cozy blankets and comfy pillows to your outdoor party tent and complement the ambiance with some pretty hanging lights. Your customers will surely adore the safe and private outdoor dining experience!
You can also decorate your themed outdoor dining restaurant tents with seasonal decorations on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, etc., to add a fun and festive vibe to your restaurant in winter.
You can choose a star tent or pop up restaurant tent of any size depending on your budget and the outdoor space.
Comfortable dining experience
It is not uncommon to see people sharing photos of their outdoor dining experiences on social media. Offering outdoor dining in custom outdoor canopy tents during the chilly winter season has become trendy, and people love to show it off. In fact, outdoor dining in these unique, attractive structures has become more in demand than indoor options for some restaurants. Many restaurants use their patio space and parking lots to serve more diners.
Perfect for family dining, the outdoor canopy tents offer a unique and pleasant dining experience where children have more freedom to move around. These structures also add some privacy to your space, making them a perfect outdoor dinner date idea for couples with some soft lighting, romantic music, and an elegant table spread.
With custom printing options, the canopy tents provide a smart way to promote your brand. You can print your company logo, slogan, and product/service details along with colorful graphics/artwork to enhance brand visibility.
Make it warm using outdoor heaters
You can create a more intimate setting using proper heating solutions inside restaurant canopy tents with sidewalls. The walls on three or all sides will allow you to keep the heat in and cold air out, keeping your guests warm and cozy so they can fully savor the experience.
Keep your outdoor restaurant tents warm and cozy inside using portable propane heaters. While this may demand an upfront investment – usually higher than electric heaters – propane gas heaters are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and more efficient than electric ones.
Another option to heat your outdoor tents in the wintertime is infrared heaters. The invisible infrared light from the heater is absorbed by the body and feels a lot like warm sunshine. The heaters are easy to use and do not expose your customers to potentially dangerous open flames or fuel lines. However, the coils that give off heat may get extremely hot, which may have safety concerns for young kids.
You can also try getting a gas fire pit in your outdoor dining tent for a sophisticated look and a sense of warmth.
Plan strategically but know when to shut down
Every extra seating you add to your outdoor dining space will be a potential revenue source, so you must plan strategically for maximum benefit. Start with determining the size and quantity of outdoor dining tents you will need. Let the customers know through social channels and banners about all your arrangements to make the dining experience safer and more comfortable.
Winter comes with bitter cold, winds, and snow in some places. If the weather forecast is terrible and there have been continuous gusts of wind, it is good to act proactively and take your custom outdoor canopy down to avoid any damage or injury. If the weather gets worse, your tent might just blow away or tear apart.
Investing in outdoor restaurant custom tents provides a unique customer experience to uplift brand loyalty and credibility while boosting sales. Customers who enjoy outdoor winter dining would appreciate your efforts and even reward you with word-of-mouth marketing.
This winter, introduce outdoor dining with pop up canopy tents or star tents in your restaurant set-up to stand out from other eateries that can’t offer an outdoor winter dining experience.