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Get Ready for Outdoor Dining!

Krystle Kettman
Krystle Kettman | April 12, 2024

As restaurants prepare to open up outdoor dining options, there are several important steps they should take to ensure a successful transition.

Firstly, establishments should carefully assess their outdoor space and make any necessary improvements or additions to create a comfortable and inviting dining environment. This may include setting up proper seating arrangements, installing shade structures and ensuring adequate lighting and possibly heating elements for evening service. Every inch counts, so even consider seating options you could create within your parking stalls, sidewalks and lawn space, etc. With little investment, you can create an enjoyable, attractive area. But don't let limited funds limit your ideas! You can always start small and grow your outdoor seating area over time!

Restaurants should also review and update their menu offerings to cater to the outdoor dining experience. This could involve adding more seasonal or weather-appropriate dishes as well as refreshing beverage options. You could also consider limited menus, if needed. Here are some menu items that work well for outdoor settings:

  • Sandwiches & Wraps: These are easy to eat and can be prepared ahead of time. Options like turkey and avocado wraps, classic BLTs or grilled vegetable paninis are all delicious and portable.
  • Salads: Fresh salads with hearty ingredients like quinoa, grilled chicken or roasted vegetables hold up well outdoors. Consider pasta salads, potato salads or mixed green salads with vinaigrettes, as well.
  • Finger Foods: Items like sliders, skewers (such as chicken or vegetable), mini tacos and pizza are great for outdoor events. They're easy to handle and serve.

  • Charcuterie Platters: Arrange a selection of cheeses, cured meats, nuts and fruits on a platter. This is perfect for casual outdoor gatherings and pairs well with wine.
  • BBQ: Grilled items like burgers and kebabs are classic outdoor fare.

In addition, promoting outdoor dining options and specials on social media, website updates and signage can help generate excitement and attract customers. Think of ways you could increase traffic with outdoor entertainment, from live music to televisions.

By creating a seamless and enjoyable outdoor dining experience, restaurants can effectively capitalize on trend of outdoor dining.

Looking for some more tips? Check out this blog!


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