Due to the current corona measures, many restaurateurs had to focus solely on the outdoor area. But even without a pandemic, the terrace has many disadvantages. The advantages of the outdoor areas promise an increase in demand, especially in summer. So that nothing stands in the way of the start of opening and the perfect outdoor conditions on your terrace, we have put together the most important tips here!
1. Conditions for an outdoor area
First of all, if there is no outdoor area yet, a restaurant permit is required. This is easy to do at the city's regulatory or building authority. If your property does not have a terrace or similar, other options can also be found. For example, with a special use permit for open spaces, you can also use adjacent sidewalks or pedestrian zones. Just ask the city or municipality and submit an application and you're a little closer to the dream of outdoor use.
2. Quiet times and noise protection options
Since it can sometimes be later on a warm summer evening with good friends and delicious drinks, you should think about possible noise protection options beforehand and, in order to avoid stress with nearby residents, observe the quiet times.
One possibility would be, for example, noise protection walls. You can find more information and tips on the noise protection ordinance and avoidance in this article: Volume in the hospitality industry. So it is best to clarify beforehand which quiet times apply in your city and which noise protection measures make sense for your spatial conditions. Or you don't have any neighbors at all and can use your outdoor area extensively? You lucky ones!
3. Protection from wind and weather
Another important basic equipment that should not be left out is protective measures against rain, sun and wind. More and more guests prefer the outdoor area and are willing to accept a little shower as long as they are protected. It is advisable to take appropriate precautions so that not all guests want to switch from the outdoor area to the indoor area when the first raindrops fall.
Be it with parasols that protect against the hot summer sun or rain awnings that save your guests from the typical German showers. Other options are sun sails or pergolas.
For the really hot days, there are also spray hoses that conjure up a pleasant cooling effect on the terrace.
It is best to see which circumstances suit you best.
Our tip: The tables can be arranged better under square parasols and save more space than under round ones.
4. The equipment
Once all the circumstances have been clarified, we can now devote ourselves to the perfect equipment. There are a few things to consider when buying furniture. It is important that the furniture is weatherproof. In the long term, it is always worth investing in high-quality equipment. Due to the location in the fresh air, tables and chairs are directly exposed to the weather. With cheap pieces of furniture without appropriate impregnation or painting, this can quickly become apparent.
Since the outdoor area is often the first perception guests get of a restaurant or bar, it also affects the overall impression and can create a bad impression beforehand. They want to feel comfortable and enjoy their stay as relaxed as possible. Uncomfortable, weather-beaten chairs shouldn't get in their way. A tip: furniture made of wood and dark metal tones with soft upholstery are ideal for a simple but elegant interior.
Despite all this, the functionality of the furniture should also be considered when buying. Can the chairs be stacked easily and is it easy to stow away in winter or overnight? How much storage space do I have? Proper care and protection from the rain will extend the life of the equipment.
5. The light
Also not to be forgotten is the light. What are the lighting conditions on the terrace? Is it north facing and needing more light or south facing and needing more umbrellas? The lighting conditions are particularly important in the dark evening hours. It should be cozy and not too bright, but still provide enough light to be able to read the menu and eat in a relaxed manner.
Our tip: Install different light sources, e.g. with fairy lights and sun glasses. A loving and cozy interior is inviting and brings appreciation and new customers become regular customers.
6. The design
The design of the outdoor area should be well planned, paying particular attention to the combination of cozy and functional. You should also consider all target groups and make them as barrier-free as possible. Ashtrays and regular cleaning should also be considered.
When designing the outdoor area, care should be taken to ensure that a color concept is adhered to. A tip here would be to keep furniture and umbrellas etc. in simple colors and to set appropriate color accents with the decoration. Again, care should be taken to ensure that the decoration is weatherproof.
A narrow vase is in danger of falling over and breaking after the first gust of wind. One possibility here would be to decorate with flower pots and plants. For example, herbs can do a lot as a table decoration and provide a pleasant scent. In summer, you should also make sure that the selected flowers do not attract wasps or bees.
Now everything is ready for the outdoor area! A key factor in a repeat visit to your restaurant or bar is the service. Are there short ways inside or is it made difficult by stairs, for example? Do you also have a view of the outside area from the inside, so that you can easily overlook new customers? Or is it perhaps worth dividing the inside and outside into two areas? If these options are not available, another service station with the card, chilled drinks, glasses, etc. can make sense. This saves time and makes service easier!
A greasy meal is often heavy on the stomach in summer and something light and refreshing is good for the heat. Adapt your menu a bit and offer a refreshing soda or a light salad, most people are happy about suggestions and recommendations. Our plastic-free drinking straws go perfectly with this.