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Outdoor Dining Tips

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

By Society Insurance

In the restaurant industry, spring means the beginning of outdoor dining. The outdoor dining season is much anticipated because not only is it enjoyable for diners, it also benefits restaurant owners and employees by vastly expanding the amount of dining space available to customers. To take advantage of outdoor dining to the fullest, restaurants must carefully plan, adjust staffing and maintain the ability to quickly correct when obstacles arise. Here is a quick list of outdoor dining tips to enhance the guest experience while benefitting your business.

Prioritize Staffing – Often with more seating available comes an influx of guests. It is important to plan ahead in terms of staffing and scheduling. Be organized and create schedules in advance to prevent staffing shortages on busy nights. Make sure every employee is up to speed on seating charts because you do not want an outdoor table to be forgotten when things get busy inside.

Take weather into account – The beginning of spring and fresh outdoor seating can be exciting but being prepared for colder nights and sudden rainstorms can make or break your guests’ outdoor dining experience. Investing in tents or covers, outdoor heaters, fire pits, mosquito treatments and umbrellas for particularly sunny days will be worthwhile in the long run.

Invest in safe electrical equipment – The safety and wellbeing of guests should be the number-one priority of all business owners. Be sure that lights and equipment are built to withstand outdoor conditions. Electrical issues could prevent business from running smoothly or end up putting staff and guests in harm’s way.

Consider layout for practicality – Create a seating arrangement that is practical and comfortable. If your business has an outdoor server station, be sure to put it in a place that is out of the way for guests but convenient to reach for employees. If guests need to be seated by a hostess, clear signage of where to find the stand will prevent any seating mishaps and make them feel at ease when entering your business.

Flexibility is key – The restaurant industry moves fast, being flexible is the name of the game. Create a solid game plan at the beginning of the outdoor dining season, but do not be afraid to re-evaluate and adjust as the season goes on. There is always room for improvement.

Society Insurance is committed to helping businesses open and operate in a safe and practical way. Learn more business best practices by visiting

This information is provided as a convenience for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute legal or professional advice. It is provided to assist you in recognizing potential unsafe work problems or conditions and not to establish compliance with any law, rule or regulation.

Society Insurance is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in providing superior restaurant and bar insurance custom-tailored to fit the unique needs of each operation. To learn more, visit

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