After facing a few challenging years, the restaurant business has come back in full force. Declining numbers of COVID cases across the nation combined with increasing availability of vaccines has resulted in a very different summer dining experience for years to come. This change has created more opportunities for business, especially in food services and their summertime restaurant.

Summer is a season of growth and opportunity for businesses, and for restaurants in particular, it presents a unique chance to maximize success. As the sun shines and people seek out dining experiences, you have the perfect chance to make your restaurant thrive during these warm months. In this blog, we will explore key strategies to help you make your restaurant successful this summer after a few challenging years. From making sure you have a good take out business to providing exceptional service for your seasonal small summer business, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of the summertime restaurant boom.

Go Green

A Walk-Up and Carryout Business as a Successful Restaurant Business Plan

In addition to attracting those dining room customers, walk-up and carryout business can play a significant role in maximizing a successful restaurant business during the summer months. As people enjoy outdoor activities, picnics, and beach trips, providing convenient and delicious options for on-the-go dining can be a game-changer for your establishment.

To cater to customers seeking quick and convenient options, it’s important to create flexible menu items that are dedicated to your takeout customers. This menu should feature items that travel well, are easy to consume on the go, and can be prepared and packaged quickly – also known as fast casual dining. Consider offering portable dishes like wraps, sandwiches, salads, or pre-packaged picnic boxes filled with a variety of items. Highlight your restaurant’s specialties and seasonal favorites to entice customers to choose your establishment for their takeout needs. Having this easy takeout menu will help your restaurant’s success and attract many new potential customers.

With this in mind, one of the best things you can do is increase staffing as needed. While this has been particularly difficult in the restaurant industry, any help – even part-time – will make a difference in your staff management and restaurant success. Also make sure your inventory management is on point and you have enough supplies on hand such as carryout containers, carryout bags, and custom safety seals.

To generate awareness and excitement for your walk-up and carryout restaurant business, it’s essential to market and promote your takeout options effectively. Leverage your online presence, including your website and social media platforms, to highlight your takeout menu, showcase appetizing food photos, and engage with your audience. Use targeted advertising campaigns to reach local customers searching for good food options in your area. By actively marketing your takeout options, you can expand your customer base and increase visibility.

Outdoor Festivals and Events

Outdoor festivals and events offer a unique opportunity for successful restaurants. These gatherings bring together a diverse crowd of locals and tourists, creating a vibrant atmosphere and a high demand for food and beverages. By strategically participating in outdoor festivals and events, your restaurant can increase brand visibility, attract new customers, and increase sales.

Many festivals and events have an opportunity to partner as a vendor. If your business has a food truck or mobile catering, this will make participation easier. If your location is nearby where an event is occurring, it is even better for a successful restaurant business in the summer and a great way to market your existing restaurant as a hidden gem next to the festival.

Consider experimenting with special menus for events. Maybe feature a refreshing cocktail or create a special item that blends with the festival theme. This is a great way to draw in new business and will provide additional variety for your regular customers. Looking at industry trends can help fuel your creative aspirations.

Go Green

Open-Air Markets

Open-air markets offer a safe way to reach a great deal of customers. Many cities have been able to keep farmer’s markets going even during COVID while others have announced plans to resume.

Taking advantage of open-air markets as a vendor is a great way to introduce your business to customers that may not see your typical advertising. This can land repeat business while serving as an option to increase your immediate revenue stream. With farmer’s markets often occurring weekly, participation can be easier than organizing simply for a once a year festival.

Consider using an open-air market to showcase your top menu options. Perhaps feature your best seller each week, accompanying it with a small rotating menu. This will make on-site preparation relatively streamlined while still allowing customers to get to know your successful restaurant.

Go Green

Outdoor Seating

As the summer season arrives, outdoor seating becomes a highly sought-after feature for a successful restaurant. With pleasant weather and longer daylight hours, customers are eager to dine al fresco and enjoy the outdoors. By maximizing your outdoor seating area, you can attract more customers, increase revenue, and create a memorable dining experience.

By now, it’s likely you’ve considered how to best enhance your options for outdoor dining given its importance over the past few years. It’s a safe bet to remain focused on outdoor seating options as a part of your business plan for a successful restaurant, not just for safety but also to allow customers to take advantage of the summer weather. If you’ve done well with outdoor seating, you may even want to consider expanding it.

If you’re wondering how you can enhance your outdoor seating, here are a few tips. First, ensure that your layout allows customers and staff to easily navigate the floor plan. Secondly, ensure that the atmosphere you create reflects your brand. Enhancing outdoor aesthetics will greatly improve the customer experience.

Summer Seasonal Businesses

If you operate a seasonal summer business, you are undoubtedly excited to see your customers again. For this type of business, planning to make the most of the summer season is even more important. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to have a successful restaurant business.

Your marketing strategy has probably been planned out for weeks now for your summertime restaurant, but it’s time to turn up your advertising to the fullest. A well-crafted marketing campaign is crucial for maximizing success with summer seasonal businesses. Develop a marketing strategy that highlights the unique aspects of your business during the summer months. Leverage social media platforms, email marketing, and digital advertising to reach your target audience. Use vibrant and visually appealing imagery that evokes a sense of summer and captures the attention of potential customers.

Incorporate summer-related hashtags, create engaging content, and run contests or giveaways to generate excitement and increase brand awareness. Collaborate with other local businesses or influencers to expand your reach. Your restaurant exists and thrives during these summer months so having a strong and engaging summer marketing campaign will help you attract customers, increase visibility, and generate buzz around your seasonal business.

Another important aspect of establishing success this summer involves your current staff. Get them excited about their work while focusing on instilling how to best represent your brand in the service provided. Employee enthusiasm blending with customer excitement will be a win-win situation for everyone.

A key factor in maximizing success with your summertime restaurant is to prioritize customer experience and engagement. Create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for your customers. If you have a physical location, ensure it is well-maintained, clean, and inviting. Consider adding extra touches to enhance the customer experience, such as providing complimentary cold drinks or offering outdoor seating areas. Actively engage with your customers through social media, respond to their comments and messages promptly, and encourage them to share their experiences with your business. By prioritizing customer experience and engagement, you can build customer loyalty and drive repeat business.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to inventory your supplies and ensure you are well-stocked throughout the season. At Your Brand Cafe, we have a plethora of branded restaurant items for your to-go customers for a successful summer restaurant business. And remember to continuously evaluate and refine your strategies based on customer feedback and market dynamics. With careful execution and a customer-centric approach, your summertime restaurant can thrive and become a staple of the summer experience for your customers.

Final Thoughts

There are many things your business can do to be successful this summer for your summertime restaurant. Consider all the possible options available to you for showcasing your business including local markets, festivals, and events. The food service business is very community-oriented, and your participation is a perfect fit.

Continue to focus on things such as carryout, walkup, and outdoor seating that have been trends over the past few years and will likely continue to see higher rates. For summer seasonal businesses, get your customers excited today! With these tips, you can look forward to a successful summer season.

Ultimately, success in the summertime restaurant business requires a combination of strategic planning, exceptional customer experiences, effective marketing, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By incorporating the strategies outlined, you can create a thriving and prosperous restaurant that becomes a go-to destination for customers seeking a memorable summertime dining experience.

As you gear up for the summer season, take these insights to heart and apply them to your restaurant business. Maximize your outdoor seating, leverage seasonal events, offer unique experiences, and stay ahead of the curve. By doing so, you’ll not only maximize your success this summer but also set a solid foundation for long-term growth and prosperity as a successful restaurant.

Manning, J. Outdoor seating for restaurants: Tips from top restaurateurs.
Open Table.

Kyle Spearin

Kyle is a Boston native with a knack for SEO, writing, and editing content. Over the past three years, he's worked with venture backed startups and small businesses to expand their online presence. When he's not working on content, he enjoys hiking, football, and traveling with his wife.