Being the Best in the Business

Two tips for cafe owners who have set up an outdoor dining area

If you have recently set up an outdoor dining area on your cafe premises, you may find the advice below to be quite helpful.

Inspect the shade cover over the dining area regularly

If like most outdoor dining facilities, yours features a shade cover to protect your customers and their meals from the elements, then it is important to inspect the condition of this cover on a regular basis.

The reason for this is as follows; shade covers can deteriorate over time. If you fail to notice this deterioration and take action (i.e. repair the damage or replace the entire cover), there could be negative repercussions for your business.

For example, if your shade cover develops a small hole and you don't patch it up immediately, any rainwater that pools on the cover could then drip down through this opening and onto your customer's meals or heads. This could spoil their dining experience and result in them leaving a critical review of your enterprise online.

Similarly, if the metal bolts, nuts and other components that keep the cover attached to the wall of your premises rust and you fail to replace them, the cover could collapse and fall down on top of your customers. This could result in them being physically hurt and could cause damage to your outdoor furniture.

Given this, it is sensible to keep a close eye on your shade cover's condition and to call a tradesperson immediately if you notice any significant damage.

Sanitise the tables and chairs in this area more frequently than you clean your indoor furniture

Most indoor cafe tables and chairs are usually wiped down with a damp cloth after each use and then disinfected once a day. However, it is important to disinfect the furniture in your outdoor dining area far more frequently (that is, several times a day). The reason for this is as follows; tables and chairs that are kept outdoors can become unsanitary at a far faster rate than those kept indoors.

For example, it is possible that birds flying past your outdoor dining area could leave droppings on the furniture. If these droppings are not removed with a disinfectant (rather than just a damp cloth), harmful pathogens may be left on the furniture, which could make your customers who then sit and eat off these items very ill.

Likewise, outdoor dining tables are more likely to be visited by flies, who may then lay eggs on them. If these tables are not routinely sanitised, these eggs may hatch, which could then lead to maggots crawling on the furniture.

This could deter customers and create an unsafe environment for them to dine in.