How to welcome your restaurant customers back post-COVID
Al fresco is the new normal as Brits return to pubs and restaurants en masse following the easing of COVID restrictions. With drinking and dining still restricted to the outdoors for the next month, restaurateurs are making full use of their outdoor areas and pub gardens, many having invested in expansions or renovations to allow them to serve as many guests as they can safely accommodate - and to let their patrons kick back in stylish new outdoor restaurant furniture.
The past few weeks have given us a taste of what’s to come when restrictions are lifted further on May 17th and diners are allowed indoors once again. It’s also important to look ahead and begin to prepare for a busy summer; it’s possible that many people will still prefer to eat outdoors as it’s a lot safer and we’re potentially facing a very hot summer here in the UK.
After over a year of restrictions, lockdowns, and restaurants restricted to takeaway only, the allure of the full restaurant dining experience (enjoyed with friends and relatives) is unlikely to go away any time soon. If you want to welcome your patrons back the right way and seize every opportunity to make this summer an excellent season for your restaurant, then here are some tips for keeping ahead of the curve:
Revamp your décor – (especially your outdoor restaurant furniture!)
Regardless of the type of restaurant you have, choosing appropriate seating is extremely important. It’s not too late to have an audit of your existing furniture and think about what needs replacing and what can be improved. Creating a chic, comfortable space that patrons want to return to time and again is fundamental to restaurant success. Take this time to invest in your spaces and think about creating that perfect balance between style and function.
It’s especially important to consider your outdoor spaces, if you’re fortunate enough to have them. Outdoor restaurant tables and chairs built for durability and convenience without regard for comfort are an uncomfortable recipe for unhappy guests. Think about making the most of your space by considering folding tables and stackable chairs for versatility. Restaurant picnic tables – a sturdy staple of British pubs, cafés, and restaurants alike – are a great way of killing two birds with one stone and saving some space in your outdoor areas.
Always remember that outdoor restaurant chairs can be comfortable, relaxing, and elegantly designed as well as functional and convenient - durability and ease of cleaning shouldn’t have to trump modern styles and comfortable seats. Don’t compromise on style and quality and your patrons will truly thank you for it!
Know the rules and restrictions – (don’t get caught out!)
No doubt restaurant owners will have been glued to the COVID coverage, eagerly awaiting lockdown restrictions being lifted and paying close attention to the rules and regulations that concern them. As lockdown restrictions continue to lift, it’s critical that you know the ins and outs of the rules and how they affect your restaurant, not only to keep your restaurant out of hot water but, most importantly, to keep everyone safe (including your guests and staff). For all the rules you need to follow, keep yourself up to date with the government guidance as well as the roadmap out of lockdown so you know what’s happening and when.
As rules are continuing to change, your patrons (and staff) will be relying on you to be in the know about the law. Make sure you enforce mask-wearing whenever necessary, keep groups of diners within the required limits, and give breathing space between tables to allow for social distancing to continue wherever it can. If you do your best to keep your patrons and staff safe and within the law, you’ll be able to rest easy.
Be diligent about cleanliness and hygiene – (go above and beyond!)
Not only is cleanliness and good hygiene a fundamental part of serving food at any outlet, but it’s also extremely important for your patrons to see you going above and beyond to keep your restaurant clean in order to help them feel safe and well as be safe. If your guests see you cutting corners, they’re unlikely to feel safe to return and this can harm your business and reputation.
Make sure all of your staff are well trained in best practice and are equipped with the correct protective wear and cleaning gear that will keep them and your establishment as safe as possible. There’s no better time to invest in brand new indoor and outdoor restaurant furniture – quite literally giving you a clean slate to work with.
Make the most of it
The hospitality sector is in need of a well-deserved boost after such a difficult year; seize this opportunity to welcome patrons with open arms (though not literally – social distancing still applies, of course). The public are ready to sink their teeth into the wonderful food on offer at our amazing range of restaurants nationwide and spend quality time with their friends and loved ones, enjoying the much-missed restaurant dining scene.
Here at Seatable, we specialise in restaurant dining furniture and want to help you turn your outdoor dining areas into restaurant nirvanas with our spectacular range of outdoor restaurant tables and chairs and much more…
Explore our range of outdoor restaurant furniture today!