Last week, our blog excitedly acknowledged the forthcoming return of warm weather. At this time of year, restaurant owners, all over Canada, are preparing for patio season. So, we offered up a few tips on how to do just that. We listed developing a strict cleaning routine, creating a patio-exclusive menu and removing shareable items from tables among things to put on your to-do list.
You’ll notice that a couple of those tips have the health and safety of your customers in mind. This week, we will take a deeper look into how to safely re-open your patio.
Reach out to your customers online.
First things first – promote your establishment! Does it even need to be suggested that you utilize the internet to advertise your eatery? We think it’s a point that needs to be driven home regularly. So allow us to remind you that it’s vital you use your social media profiles and email account to reach out to your friends, followers, subscribers and customers. Let everyone know exactly when you plan to open your patio and what treats await them when it does!
“When you’re ready to welcome customers back through outdoor dining, make sure they know about your reopening,” agrees Dana Krook on TouchBistro.com, “Spread the word through social media, email, and your Google listing. Include new rules and safety procedures in these announcements so that customers know you’re committed to their safety.”
Prepare a pest control plan.
Most people just love sitting outdoors in the warmth and sunshine while enjoying their meals. However, what people don’t love at all is being bothered by pests. It’s inevitable that the odd fly or bee is bound to buzz around your patio’s guests. But are there measures you can take to minimize the pest-related disturbances on your patio? On RestoBiz.ca, Doug Radkey recommends that you take the time to meet with your pest control vendor and discuss your plans for outside.
“They can suggest safe bug repellents and means of keeping away other animals and critters like mice, squirrels and even birds,” he informs, “Sanitation is a critical component in any restaurant and the patio cannot be overlooked. Put a preventative action plan in place to deter any bugs or animals from potentially ruining a guest’s experience.”
Be prepared for poor weather.
The spring and summer are bound to have rainy, windy and potentially chilly days. Is there a way to still operate your patio in the event of inclement weather? If it doesn’t provide adequate coverage from the elements, it will be important for you to have a plan in place to ensure the comfort of your customers.
“In the case of rain, determine whether it would be possible, safe, and legal for you to move customers inside,” encourages Krook, “If that’s not an option, create a plan to quickly wrap up customers’ food to go. Consider putting large patio umbrellas on tables, as long as they don’t create an enclosed space.”
Allow your customers to order online.
With Unity Payments’ commission-free online ordering system for restaurants, you can offer your customers a QR code that they can scan with their handheld devices. It gives them quick and easy opportunities to order food and beverages and pay when they’re done! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-661-3761 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.