Rosnet - Blog Aug 2020

How restaurants with outdoor spaces can maximize profits in warmer months

3 Minute Read

Most restaurants can depend on fairly predictable sales fluctuations throughout the year with higher traffic on some days, lower on others. When the weather is favorable, the game changes – especially for restaurants with patios and outdoor spaces. It’s no surprise that as soon as the temperature warms up people flock to the open-air sections of a restaurant, but it’s also hard for restaurants to best prepare for this influx of customers in a single section of the restaurant.  With the use of technology, restaurants have a better chance at maximizing efficiencies in seasonal spaces.


Bump Up Staff in Target Areas

Restaurants typically have certain areas of the space that are meant for different seasons. Whether that is a patio or a beer garden or an indoor/outdoor section, make sure to increase the staff assigned this area. If it’s a nice day out in a four-season market, assign more servers to the patio areas as those will naturally fill up quicker than the inside air conditioned space. Restaurant operators should also look at traffic trends – do more people show up for happy hours and sit outside for a few drinks after work? The amount of staff should reflect these trends.


Look at the Service Modelpatio

Most restaurants have typical table service with a bar component. On holidays or in the summer when more customers are visiting the space because the weather is nicer, opt for a more volume driven model where you get carded at the door to speed up bar service while maintaining compliance. Furthermore, if you also opt for an “all you can drink” model- think bottomless mimosas, your staffing needs will be greatly impacted. 


Manage Staff Availability

The summer is a great time to hire on additional staff to meet the influx of customers. Bring in seasonal employees and even offer incentives for college age employees who are home for the summer to work at the restaurant when you need the extra hands. When holidays are on the horizon and you are going to need all hands-on deck, block off certain days so that employees are not able to request them off.


Forecasting for the Season and Weather

Utilize forecasting tools to predict sales from summers past. Was there a certain beer that flew off the shelves or are people opting for a crisp white wine during the hot summer days? These forecasting tools can shine light on ordering trends that help operators properly stock their inventory.  Run product mix reports from the last few years and see how your mix shifts – this information will be vital.