Kick Off a Great Summer for Food Service

Spring has sprung in many places throughout the country. That means it’s time to start thinking about preparing your restaurant for patio season. Not only do you want to create a welcoming atmosphere for guests, but you also want to ensure that your outdoor area is functional and comfortable. Read our tips for preparing your food service operation for patio season.

Family people eating at barbecue dinner outdoor - Focus on senior hand holding glass of wine

 1. Clean Up Your Outdoor Space

Over the fall and winter, it’s easy to stop thinking about your patio altogether – especially if you don’t offer igloo or heater options. That means that your outdoor dining space may be in rough shape by the spring.


You have two options: you can assign some of your staff to cleanup or outsource to facilities maintenance crews. Either way, you’ll want to check these tasks off the list:


Leaf and debris cleanup

Concrete, stone, or brick power washing

Landscaping/lawn cleanup


Your space will look refreshed and ready for diners.

Smiling afro american women enjoying food and drinks at an outdoors terrace on an out of focus background. Selective focus: Friendship concept.

2. Check on Your Outdoor Furniture


Food service venues should always feel comfortable and cozy. Take a close look at your patio furniture and ensure it is still in good condition. If any chairs or tables are broken, it’s time to replace them. Look for quality pieces that are durable and designed for outdoor use. This might even be a good time to swap out your color scheme or update your layout.

Think about how to best optimize your space for diners, while still considering comfort. For example, make sure that you have an equal number of tables in the shade and the sun. Additionally, think about the flow of traffic, and make sure there is enough space for guests to move around comfortably. Remember to leave enough space between tables so guests can enjoy their meals without feeling cramped.

Happy friends eating vegan food with wine outdoors at patio restaurant - Focus on center girl face. food service

3. Choose the Optimal Menu


Warm weather calls for a menu update. Food service operators should make sure that they have options that suit the season. Adding lighter fare like salads, sandwiches, and seafood to your menus is a good call. Maybe you want to elevate your cocktail options or add more beers on tap. Diners will appreciate the outdoor-friendly options, especially as the weather gets hotter.


Satisfying your diners during every season is the key to long-term success. Read more tips and tricks in the Foodbuy Foodservice Resource Center.

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