Now that the weather is finally nice here in the Capital Region, we’re more than ready to take advantage of it! What’s the best way to do so? Dinner al fresco on your favorite restaurant’s patio! Sensory Six has had the privilege of working with some of your favorite spots in the area. Two of our clients, Druthers and The Mill (who’s owners also own and operate Bentley’s Tavern) have both recently made the Times Union’s “Best of the Capital Region 2017” for best outdoor dining! (Read more here: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Best-of-the-Capital-Region-2017-Best-restaurant-11078287.php#photo-10365827) Here at Sensory Six, we design and build restaurant spaces that give your business a competitive edge through creating dining experiences that go further than great food and service, giving your customers a feeling of escape, comfort and indulgence.
Below are items to incorporate and consider in your restaurant’s outdoor space or even in your own backyard.
Weathering the Elements: In the Northeast, restaurant and home owners alike must be prepared for all weather that comes our way; rain, excessive heat and nighttime temperature drops. Tents, awnings and table umbrellas can shield diners from these elements. Table umbrellas will keep guests out of direct sunlight while tents and awnings allow them to dine outdoors when the rain starts to fall. To optimize all months of the year, tents can be enclosed when the temperature drops and controlled with heaters!
Playing with Fire: If you’re restaurant doesn’t have an outdoor fire pit, you’re lacking a major draw! Although it’s warm during the summer months in the Capital Region, nights can get chilly. Not only do they give some extra warmth, they are also attention grabbers. Those driving by will definitely slow down and stop for dinner and/or drinks if they see a fire pit outside your spot. If a fire pit doesn’t work for your space, opt for torches or heat lamps to keep diners warm and bugs away.
See and Be Seen: When day turns to night and the sun sets, make sure guests can see the menu and the guests they are dining with. Many awnings and umbrellas now come with built in lighting systems or you add your own string of battery operated lights. Lanterns and candles also make for great ambiance. If your space allows, stringing lights above the entire outdoor area makes for a magical evening.
Best Seat in the House: If you’re going to sit out on the patio, chances are you’re going to sit and enjoy yourself for a while. The seating on a restaurant’s and home’s patio must be comfortable, almost more than indoor seating. We look for comfy chairs so guests are able to lounge and relax. The use of booths creates intimate spaces that guests feel extra special in, like they're sitting in their own private room. If you don’t have room to implement multiple individual booths, having a banquette that is built-in along the perimeter of the dining area maximizes seating and creates a private, cozy atmosphere.
The Patio heard ‘round Saratoga: Another huge draw for restaurant goers is LIVE music! If your patio hosts live musicians and bands on specific days of the week, guests will regularly come and sing along with you. Who doesn’t loves listening to Rich Ortiz on Saratoga Druthers patio on a warm summer night? Make sure when you are designing an outdoor dining space that you create a place for musicians to set up and perform. The space should be close enough for guests to see the action but far enough so dinner table conversations can be heard. Check out Druther’s Summer Music Schedule here: http://www.druthersbrewing.com/events.
Ready to extend your dining space outdoors? At Sensory Six, we increase customer and employee satisfaction through distinctive spaces within your restaurant’s four walls and outside in the fresh air. We are here to help make your location work harder and your spot the place to be all year long. We understand how businesses work whether they are restaurants or high tech companies. This enables us to ask the right questions and implement the right solutions: How will design maximize the customer experience? How does the space reflect the brand? How will the business grow with the space? In what ways can maintenance and health be optimized? Call us at 518.306.1099 today for a conversation about your commercial space.