Business Insights

No Dine-In? No Problem.

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With just a little creativity, you can bring your restaurant’s vibe outside. Parking lots and sidewalks can be transformed into pleasant outdoor dining areas and unique experiences.

Al Fresco Dining

To create an enjoyable outdoor space, consider key elements such as tenting, tables, chairs, fencing, flooring, décor and possible lighting. While not all of this may be needed based on your location and your budget, it’s a good place to start.

Many restaurants are working with event rental companies to obtain everything they need to create an outdoor dining space that is a temporary endeavor. However, you may save money by purchasing select items. Quality, reasonably priced picnic tables can be found at home improvement stores. Also, purchasing umbrellas may be better than renting tents, as they can be reused for offsite and special events. They can also add a splash of color, can include a custom logo and are easier to set-up and takedown.

At the Car Hop

If carhop style service sounds intriguing, begin by evaluating your parking spaces to determine if social distancing (every other spot open/closed) is possible and if there is an entry/exit traffic flow pattern that works well. From there, it’s a matter of assigning numbered parking spots and inputting or adjusting your POS system accordingly.

The carhop model will require some additional resources such as to-go supplies, window trays and parking lot signage. And, while serving alcohol isn’t always an option, most other menu items can be served just as you would for takeout.

For either patio or carhop dining, online ordering and touchless transactions are best, but PPE-protected carhops can also offer car side service.

Finally, make sure to check with the local county for necessary applications and permitting and be sure to follow ABC laws and remain ADA compliant.

To get started on either of these outdoor dining options, contact your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative today.

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