Dining alfresco is a delightful way to connect with the outdoors while gathering with friends and family. Though many traditional restaurant experiences involve eating indoors, outdoor dining spaces are sweeping the industry and creating a fun way to enjoy meals. However, without temperature control, outdoor dining is only possible during specific weather conditions.
Outdoor dining is hardly a new concept, but many businesses are beginning to reimagine the experience. What was once a practice limited to mild, sunny days has become a year-round pastime.
In Arizona, you can draw more potential business and encourage your regular customers to visit even more frequently by offering temperature-controlled dining experiences. There are many ways to incorporate temperature control into your business design to satisfy your guests and create a comfortable atmosphere. Keep reading to discover how temperature-controlled dining can enhance your restaurant.
What Is Temperature-Controlled Dining?
Temperature-controlled dining refers to eating spaces with innovative technology to keep customers comfortable while enjoying a meal outside. For locations that experience cool weather or chilly winters, this could mean adding fire pits, space heaters or small enclosures over the tables to keep guests warm in fall and winter. For restaurants in Arizona and other areas that experience high heat, temperature-controlled dining could involve adding fans, shade structures and similar features to an outdoor dining space to keep guests cool from the sun.
Temperature controls make it easier to enjoy outdoor dining spaces throughout the year and during nontraditional outdoor eating hours. For some businesses, this also creates a more desirable area for customers during peak seasons.
For example, many people enjoy dining outside during the spring and summer to experience the warm weather and bright sunshine. However, in areas like Arizona, where temperatures can reach past 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, this can be uncomfortable for prolonged periods. Temperature control lets you satisfy your customers by offering a shad y, refreshing reprieve for them to enjoy.
Advantages of Temperature-Controlled Dining in Arizona
Commercial outdoor dining spaces offer many unique benefits. The fresh air is a welcoming environment that can create a relaxed atmosphere. Guests may come to meet with friends, celebrate birthdays and milestones or casually read while enjoying a delicious meal. A warm, soothing breeze encourages people to connect with nature while enjoying their favorite foods at their go-to stops. As the weather changes, your guests can have a different experience every time they dine with you.
More benefits of temperature-controlled dining include the following.
- Creating more seating space: Long wait times often turn guests away from a restaurant. Limited seating options can make it challenging to satisfy every diner who walks through your door. Incorporating outdoor dining allows you to multiply your available seating, giving your guests much more flexibility and empowering you to serve more people. The temperature control will be especially beneficial during blazing hot or frigid days when people may otherwise be unwilling to eat outside.
- Increasing foot traffic: Businesses in busy, high-traffic areas can attract more potential customers by creating an outdoor dining space. While passersby are shopping, running errands or walking to their car after work, they can see guests having fun at your establishment. The smell of your delicious food can waft through the air and compel them to dine with you. If you’re the only place offering a temperature-controlled environment on those hot Arizona summer days, you might see many more people stopping to try your food.
- Offering more revenue streams: You can host events in your outdoor space. Clear some tables to make room for a live band, contests, trivia game nights, giveaways, fundraisers and more. These additional events can help you stand out against local competitors and draw more members of your community through the doors.
- Creating varied dining experiences: Temperature-controlled dining spaces empower you to create different areas to reach new customer bases. For instance, families with small children or pets may feel more comfortable eating outside than in the dining room. Offering a cool spot for their pets or children to nap or play can make your business more accommodating and welcoming. You can appeal to a new audience while still providing a quiet, indoor experience for those looking for traditional eating options.
- Designing an appealing space: As an extension of your restaurant, your outdoor dining area should reflect your brand and message. You can adjust your business’ look and feel while staying consistent with your vision. Furthermore, you can adjust the tables, booths and chairs as needed to fit larger parties and events that may feel cramped in your dining room.
- Creating a year-round retreat: Whether you’ve offered outdoor dining for years or are beginning to explore the idea, you can stand out against competitors by providing temperature control. Encourage people to dine outside during rainy spring afternoons, scorching summer days, crisp fall mornings or airy winter evenings. Create a comfortable space throughout the year, so your guests can enjoy the fresh air regardless of the season.
How to Design the Space
Before creating your outdoor dining area, familiarize yourself with your municipality’s legal requirements. Whether you’re adding a patio, parking lot, sidewalk or another type of space, contact local authorities to discover the permits you need to obtain and what regulations you must abide by.
For example, you’ll need to determine whether you can add elements like running water and lighting and understand the local ordinances for pets, smoking, outdoor dining hours and noise. These features and functions will be a significant factor when determining which pieces will be essential for your space and which can wait. After learning these rules and regulations, you can begin planning how to use your area.
Designing the Floor Plan
You want to offer the best alfresco dining experience for every guest. Your floor plan will play a significant part in delivering that. As you plan, be sure to accommodate for plumbing, appliances and electrical work. If you plan to host events like concerts, comedy shows or contests, consider buying movable objects for the stage area or keeping this space clear for easy maneuvering.
Your guests’ comfort is a top priority in any dining experience, so determine how to create the best atmosphere. Your guests will want an easy path from their table to the restroom and other features. Additionally, you’ll want to design an air flow path that will help cool your guests on those hot, sunny days. If you’re incorporating fans or other cooling appliances, consider placing them in spots where multiple guests can feel the air.
Choosing Interesting Elements
Consider ways to make your outdoor area stand out. Many restaurants offer outdoor bars or server stations for easy drink filling and quick food service. Some places offer seasonal menu items or food choices guests can only get outside. For example, you could provide popcorn, pretzels and pizza in a casual dining space with many events and activities.
You can also offer guests an engaging experience by arranging tables near cooktops where guests can watch as your team prepares their food. Doing so can add a fun, entertaining element that increases your guests’ trust in your food quality and ingredients.
Another feature to consider is a self-ordering kiosk. For instance, tablets placed on each table will allow your guests to order food and beverages without requiring full tableside service. They can request refills and stay hydrated in the sun while your staff goes outdoors less frequently in the heat.
Furnishing the Space
Once you’ve envisioned your outdoor dining space, you can have fun deciding on the furnishing you want to complete your area. If you plan to create different sections, such as a lounge area and a separate casual dining space, you’ll need to evaluate which furniture will create a cohesive look. You can also add plants to immerse your guests in the outdoor experience.
One of your top considerations for outdoor furnishings is whether they’re durable enough to withstand the bright sun and extreme weather all year. Prolonged sun exposure can cause fabrics and similar materials to fade quickly, and rain or other moisture can degrade wood and wicker.
Weather-resistant chairs and tables will be the best bet for your outdoor dining space, especially if you want to use them for more than a few months throughout the year. Metal tables, high-tops and chairs look great outside, but be sure to incorporate some shade structures, so the metal doesn’t get hot enough to burn guests’ skin.
Part of your furnishings will include the temperature control you use. During hot Arizona summers, table umbrellas, commercial shade sails, cantilever shade structures and similar pieces are perfect for maximizing your space while spreading the shade. If you anticipate using your area during the fall or winter when you may encounter crisp breezes, space heaters and fire pits are excellent seasonal additions you can rotate in or out as needed.
Ways to Incorporate Commercial Shade for Restaurants in Arizona
There are many ways to incorporate commercial shade structures into your outdoor dining space. Depending on your intended use, customer base and available space, look for styles, designs and colors to fit your theme and tone while supporting your brand. Check out these ideas for incorporating shade structures into your Arizona outdoor dining space.
Patio and Sidewalk Areas
Patio and sidewalk spaces are elegant opportunities to get in touch with nature. Wineries and breweries can capitalize on these, as they offer guests a chance to see where the delightful drinks come from while taking in the fresh air. During peak wine and craft beer season, when people want to explore new options and tastes, an outdoor patio is a beautiful haven. A refreshing glass paired with a striking sunset can create a serene experience your guests will love.
Patio spaces are a perfect setting for large-scale shade structures. An arch-truss structure provides a unique look while maximizing the beautiful view. These are excellent choices when you want to invite your guests to admire rolling hills, natural landscapes or the city skyline. You can minimize the columns and physical barriers that impede sightlines while ensuring each table is comfortable and relaxing.
If you offer private tastings and tours at your venue, a single-post pyramid can offer a more personal experience. Whether you have a bar under each shade structure or want to spread out your tables while providing a breathtaking view, these shade structures are the way to go.
Eating areas for quick-service counters are an opportunity to have fun and get playful. Many of these businesses cater to families looking for a casual experience. Though your guests may not have time to sit down for a multi-course meal, you can encourage them to interact with your business for longer by adding an outdoor dining area. You can also give them a reason to keep returning to the counter by offering small snacks and delicious beverages adults and children love.
These spaces offer a fun, friendly atmosphere. Flower petals are excellent for areas catering to families and kids. The engaging designs and bright colors will help you create a vibrant space where the little ones can run and play while their parents stay cool. With USA Shade, you can mix and match our three different design options to create an ambiance with distinct advantages.
A two-post sandton is a top choice for quick-service businesses with benches and picnic tables. These shade structures work well with dining spaces requiring more room. For example, if your company offers a play area for children, having adequate room between each table or bench can give each family privacy. Even in smaller spaces, you can fit multiple structures without crowding.
If your business has a distinct branding tone or message, you can also get creative with custom shade structures. Give your business a competitive edge and create a space that blends seamlessly with other visual aspects by requesting personalized service. Whether you want one large structure or multiple small ones to dot your landscape, you can be sure to find something your guests will love.
Rooftop Bar Locations
Opening a rooftop bar is an incredible way to maximize your space and draw in new customers while offering a different perspective for your regulars. With stunning views and a reduced footprint, you can create a memorable space that keeps guests coming back for more. Plus, moving upward instead of outward is a savvy way to minimize property costs.
A mariner peak structure can cover your tables and outdoor bar without obstructing the view of the city or natural landscape. With a multi-sided shade, this shade structure offers a visual appeal that people can marvel at from the street.
You can also consider a structure like a three-point sail to create a space that allows ample light gaps while providing tons of shade. This structure is an excellent choice if you want to offer elegant views at specific times. For example, your guests can stay protected from the sun during the day and marvel at the moon and stars at night.
Formal Dining Settings
More formal dining settings can also benefit from an elegant shade structure. Moving your quiet, indoor atmosphere into nature can appeal to a broader range of customers and offer a refreshing, sophisticated experience. Incorporate plant life, wood, stone and neutral colors to create an upscale area for relaxing, unwinding and gathering with friends.
A slanted cantilever is an attractive option for large formal settings. You can cover your entire dining space and let every guest escape the sun while eating. The slanted design offers an interesting perspective where customers can still enjoy the view without worrying about sunburns and heatstroke.
High-end restaurants can also create luxurious lounging areas. With comfortable chairs or couches and a beautiful table, your guests can relax in style while enjoying their food. A shade structure like the Sahara is an ideal secluded lounging space that can become your go-to for private events or a fashionable place for large outdoor gatherings.
Get a Shade Structure Quote for Your Arizona Business
USA Shade is an industry leader in engineering and designing shade structures for restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, playgrounds and more. With more than 30 years of experience, we know all about creating the best shade structure for your business to expand your offerings and make guests more comfortable.
Our unyielding commitment to excellence and innovation has empowered us to become a groundbreaking, visionary company ready to meet your needs. We use cutting-edge software to bring your dreams to life. We always offer each client comprehensive resources to create lasting partnerships and successful project designs and installations.
With specialized equipment and tools, we fabricate high-quality pieces that last. We can handle every part of the process, from engineering and manufacturing to project management and construction. With USA Shade, you’ll find top-of-the-line services that make your goals a reality. We’re your one-stop solution for commercial shade structures. Our experienced, well-equipped and trained professional team members are always available to guide you through the process.
When you partner with USA Shade, you can put your trust in a customer-first company that pledges to uphold the highest standards of quality, integrity, service and creativity. Request a quote from us today and bring shade structures to your Arizona business.