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Let's Go Outside: Maximise Outdoor Space

Let's Go Outside: Maximise Outdoor Space

With the onset of COVID-19 maximising your outdoor area, be it a restaurant patio or a venue, can mean lucrative business. Customers want Instagram-worthy moments they can tag and share prompting FOMO among their friends with the bonus of increasing your digital footprint. Consider every customer who dines with you to be an online influencer because, in reality, every person is to some degree.

How can you create an outdoor space for photographic appeal? How can you encourage your guests to post their pics on social media?

Let’s talk ambience. First, create a secluded private patio space by separating your seating from the street with fencing or decorative wall planters. You will want this to feel like a room with a view! One that is a sanctuary of escape for your customers. Ditto at venues. Instead of rolling fields of space, think a little more intimate—with social distancing in mind—of course!

The Right Outdoor Furniture For The Job

Selecting the right furniture for your outdoor space is open to a world of options that are not only functional but visually spectacular as well. Outdoor commercial furniture is made to be weather resistant and is available in a variety of styles. Choose from solid or mesh topped tables. 

Reward Hospitality | Aruba Tub Chair by SiestaAs for chairs, armrests help customers to relax back and stay for a while. Chairs are available in vibrant colours, so do not be afraid to add some punch. The Air Chair by Siesta is no ordinary plastic chair. It is a one-piece injection moulded polypropylene, with fibreglass reinforced legs for stability. Perfect for outdoor seating, this weather-resistant design is available in black, white, red, orange, green, taupe, mango, or anthracite.

If space allows, consider a conversation area with casual seating or club chairs. These wide roomy chairs married with a coffee table offers customers a space to lounge with drinks. For a rattan look, think injection moulded resin chairs with non-metallic frames. These Aruba Tub Chairs are designed to handle the outdoors as they are UV stable, weatherproof, and fade resistant.

Add some greenery with potted plants or hanging baskets; And remember to add some twinkling lights to sparkle into the evening. Patio heaters and outdoor fire tables are a comfort for your guests on chilly nights. They’re the perfect addition to creating an ambience for all to enjoy!

Dining Outdoors

Once diners enter your outdoor dining room, it's time to wow them at the table. Table decor like placemats, crockery, glassware, and platters don't need to be any less beautiful outside than those used for indoor service. Look for eye appeal and unique pieces that complement the surroundings. Bedazzle your customers so they can’t pass up the opportunity to take snapshots for online updates.

Of course, functionality is key, and Lisah table runners and placemats are perfect solutions for outdoor entertaining. These perforated and disposable rolls are available in 12 colours. Consider decorating your tables with a pop of colour in deep red, golden yellow and burnt orange. These colours, psychologically speaking, are a triple threat. They stimulate enthusiasm, excitement, and hunger. They also stand out in photographs and would make the perfect backdrop for your Instagramable menu. Don’t be afraid to mix colours. Dare to be bold.Reward Hospitality | Lisah Table Runners

It's Always Happy Hour When Dining Outdoors

Whether you’re hosting a high-tea overlooking a botanic garden, an ocean-fronting buffet, or an urban dining experience at the doorstep of your restaurant, trendy glassware is always a must.

When it comes to drinkware, sometimes a classic elegant look is required. Think Hollywood circa 1930. The Vina Juliette glassware collection has every drink covered, from highball to old-fashioned glasses, wine glasses or even a champagne flute - perfect for all those social media posts your guests will be sharing.

Plating It Right

When it comes to table service, you will need beautiful plates, and serving dishes to show off exquisite foods. After diners are served their arrival beverages, they are already thinking about appetizers. There are a wide variety of small serving vessels to create visual appeal. 

When it comes to platters, leave the china inside the dining room. What is on trend for patio dining? Wood, wood, and more wood. Bamboo, acacia, and gorgeous mango wood serving boards come in round, oblong, square and rectangular. For cheese, charcuterie and bread try a paddleboard

If you are feeding a crowd, a creative food stand is a conversation starter. It can be a three-tiered metal round stand with plates on each level. Showcase your menu on the riser or display stand.  Has a tiered dish ever not been photographed before being eaten?

Reward Hospitality | Riser Display Stand
The main course is a big-ticket item, so make it plate-worthy. Showcase your food and put a spotlight on your menu with the Graze range of plates and bowls. This dining ware is available in earthy colours, perfect for any outdoor occasion. They're also functional in that they're stackable, and made with commercial-grade porcelain, perfect for any busy restaurant or cafe. 

Reward Hospitality | Buffets and ServeriesThe Buffet Service

Outside on your restaurant patio or event venue, you may decide not to offer table service at all. Thinking buffet? Well, we have you covered!

The standard buffet table no longer makes the grade. Make it elegant. Consider a buffet table with built-in risers, to present food at various heights. If your space is small, it may be wise to invest in a corner unit. Or bring the kitchen outside, with a modular buffet induction station.

Make the chef part of the fun! Remember everything is a photo-op!

Tag, Share, and Like

Now, that you have the perfect outdoor space, ambience, and food, be sure to encourage customers to tag, share, and like. Include your Instagram account, Twitter and Facebook handle on menus and business cards, as well as signage. We have even seen it on signs in the washroom. No joke!

You may want to offer gifts or special promotions for shoutouts. Promote photo challenges, complete with hashtags, enticing your customers to compete for prizes, like gift certificates and free meals. You’ve put all this effort into making their outdoor dining experience spectacular and Instaworthy. Don’t be afraid to prompt them to share your efforts with their community suffering from FOMO.

Going that extra mile will create special moments for everyone. So let's go outside and create memories customers will want to photograph and share on social media. It is great for business!

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