With the warmer weather on the way, many businesses are thinking about how to keep their customers coming through the doors when the sun is shining.
While summer temperatures may have folk flocking to the beach or heading out on day trips with picnic baskets, there are ample opportunities, with a little creative thinking, for businesses to capitalize on the season.
So, whether you’re a restaurant wondering how to entice your diners in on a gorgeous, warm blue-sky day, or an office wondering how to keep your staff motivated on a mid-summer afternoon, keep reading to discover the ways that similar businesses have adapted, allowing them to thrive even when the temperatures outside are soaring.
Creating Beautiful Outdoor Dining Spaces
If you run a cafe or restaurant, then the most obvious way to keep guests coming through your doors in the summer is to ensure you have a beautiful outdoor seating area available.
But this may be easier said than done if the outdoor space you have is limited.
Where this is the case, successful eateries have adapted to make the most of the space that they do have available: adding a table or two outside the front of their establishment, for example, and making the most of balconies, connecting courtyards, and even roof terraces to create unique dining spaces that’ll tempt guests through the door on even the most gorgeous of days.
The Practical Stuff
Before going full steam ahead to create a magical outdoor dining space, you’ll need to ensure you get all the required permissions and licenses to operate safely and legally.
Think, too, about how best to arrange the space so that diners have enough room to sit and eat comfortably while also giving a view (even if it’s a brief glimpse) of at least part of your outdoor area to tempt passers-by.
Choose the Right Furniture
Look for restaurant furniture that will tie in with the overall aesthetic and ambiance of your eatery but that is also strong and durable.
These tables and chairs need to be able to withstand the weather, be easy to move, and be comfortable, too, so choose with care.
The restaurants and cafes that have been most successful in the design of their outdoor space are those that know the power of adding ambiance to create a unique and magical guest experience.
Again, think about what matches the aesthetic and vibe of your establishment.
Fairy lights, hanging lanterns, sculptures, water features, and plants in vibrantly colored pots can all be used to add charm, romance, character, excitement, or whatever mood you wish to incorporate.
Provide cozy throws in wicker baskets for your guests, or consider adding outdoor heating elements to keep diners happy to stay even once the sun goes down.
Outdoor Office Space
And it’s not just the restaurant industry that has found ways to successfully adapt and thrive on making the most of the sunny weather.
Offices, too, are increasingly incorporating outdoor spaces – largely fuelled by the pandemic, courtyards and other outdoor areas have been transformed into oases of peace where staff can recharge on their breaks or even work or hold meetings.
Research has shown a clear link between time spent outside in nature and better mental health, and this, too, has encouraged many business owners to create outdoor areas for their staff to use.
As well as promoting the well-being of your team, access to outside working spaces has even been linked to enhanced productivity, so it’s a win-win situation!
Some of the businesses that have created the best outdoor work and rest spaces for their staff have planned the design of these areas carefully to maximize their usefulness.
As well as ensuring the practicalities are taken care of, such as ensuring access to power and a sufficient number and variety of chairs, tables, and benches, ‘zoning’ has also been provided, by using planters or trellising, for example, to differentiate spaces into, say, meeting, relaxation, and collaborative working areas.
Adapting to Heat
Whatever type of business you run, making a few key changes as the temperatures rise can keep your staff happy and ensure that trade keeps coming through the doors.
Keeping your indoor spaces cool with air conditioning or fans is vital, and if you have outdoor areas, ensure that shade is provided in the form of large patio umbrellas, for example.
You could consider providing a water dispenser for your customers in the summer; if you’re a retailer, this could make the difference between a browser leaving to get a drink elsewhere…or staying and filling their basket.
In summer, many businesses are also now choosing to stay open later into the evening to make the most of increased footfall; when temperatures are at their hottest, in the height of the season, this is the time when people may be more amenable to shopping.
The key to a business adapting and thriving in the summer months is to think about the experience of the guest, customer, or staff member and the challenges – or opportunities – that the season affords to put in place innovative solutions that will benefit all.
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