Weather can prevent members from dining outside, but proper precautions are added during the design phase, patio can be enjoyed year-round.
Well designed outdoor dining spaces will always bring in more diners, but what happens during inclement weather and during colder months? If a club designs a patio only for beautiful weather, the club risks losing a large amount of its seating during the off-season, therefore, a club is also losing a significant amount of revenue. Along with the increasing demand for outdoor dining, clubs are now designing their patios to be used year-round rather than sitting empty.
Enclosing a patio space can be an investment, but it also opens up many more opportunities. Whether it offers protection from a summer storm or winter weather, an enclosed patio space allows a club to still seat diners. It also becomes an additional space for events throughout the year along with not needing to cancel any previously scheduled events due to weather. Clubs are designing spaces with retractable roofs, sliding walls, or both in order to keep outdoor spaces in use year-round along with providing an additional ‘wow’ factor if using all glass.
Enclosed or not, a patio space being used in the winter should be equipped with additional heat sources. Providing members with options such as heat lamps, fire pits, fireplaces, or even blankets are great ways to keep members warm and comfortable. Also, opt for furniture that retains heat. Avoid metal furniture that can get cold quickly and provide comfortable cushions on seats for insulation.
With fewer hours of sunlight as the seasons change, ways of lighting the patio should also be considered. Either with string lights, wall-mounted lights, or other unique approaches, make sure the space is illuminated for members. When using the patio during colder weather, consider adapting the menu to feature warmer items. Add or spotlight hot foods like simmering soups and warmer versions of popular drinks. Adding a fireside s’mores corner along with live entertainment on the patio is sure to be a hit among members as well.
Having a patio for outdoor dining is crucial and with the right adjustments, members should be able to comfortably enjoy using a club’s patio year-round with the added benefit of increased revenue.