outdoor eating
outdoor eating

Jun 2, 2022

How restaurants with an outside seating area can increase sales and efficiency

TL/DR: By including digital elements in service, your restaurant can free up time for the staff to focus on what really matters, increase average ticket size, and give your customers a better overall experience.

As the spring turns into summer, the outside seating areas are getting busier. Among many restaurants, the summer season can result in a 300% increase in the number of guests. The downside, and challenge, that many of these restaurants face is keeping the service level high. Here, digital ordering solutions, such as a web or app are fundamental to be able to serve more guests, ease the pressure from the staff, and offer an overall better experience.

This article will list some tips and tricks on how restaurants with an outside seating area can become even more profitable by serving more guests, in a shorter period of time.

1. Order to table – the QR code re-revolution

During the pandemic, the QR code made a strong comeback when restaurants swapped to digital menus and ordering. News outlets were reporting on a massive 750% increase in QR code downloads over the preceding 18 months. For restaurants the implications are clear, having a QR code on the table means that the guest intuitively uses the phone to order and pay. The restaurateur can expect up to 30% higher order value per guest as they are more likely to add sides and larger overall orders.

2. Pick up at counter with order ready boards

Having a pickup window facing the outdoor seating area is an effective way to get food delivered to the guests, without having to rely on staff to serve the guests table by table. The concept is similar to the one above, only that the guests pick it up by themselves. Here, an order ready board that tells your guests the status of their order can be beneficial to preventing line build up.

Read more about order ready boards here.

3. Better service – letting staff focus on what matters

By taking advantage of digital ordering solutions, the staff can focus on what really matters for the guests, instead of manually placing orders on a POS. For example, keeping the outdoor seating area clean and socializing with guests, making the dining more personal.