Winter has been clinging on for what seems like an eternity this year. But with spring finally arriving and summer just around the corner, your restaurant’s garden is going to become the centre of attention.

Here are a few tips to help you optimise the way you use this space, giving customers the best experience and hopefully boosting sales in the process!

Grow ingredients to serve guests

You might not have a lot of room in your garden area for growing, so don’t expect to plant an entire field’s worth of produce to add to the menu.

However, being able to pot up some herbs and veg which can be used in certain dishes is not just a selling point for foodies and a low carbon alternative to ordering them in; it’ll make the place look greener and more attractive as well.

Create an outdoor waiting area

During busy periods your restaurant might become stuffed with people waiting to be seated. But if you have a garden, you could convert this into a place where customers can kick back and relax while they wait for a table to become available.

As well as unclogging the interior of your restaurant, you can serve drinks and nibbles to diners to keep them happy. Finally you’ll be able to harness your garden area effectively even if you don’t want to provide a full meal service outside this summer.

Don’t overlook the weather

British summertime can be a cruel mistress, so it’s best to make sure that your restaurant garden is flexible enough to cope with whatever the elements throw at it.

Umbrellas and awnings can keep off the rain and provide shade from the beating sun, so they’re a good investment. For chilly evenings, patio heaters can make a big difference, creating an inviting atmosphere outside so that you can squeeze in more tables.

Glam up the garden

Not all restaurant gardens benefit from eye-catching views; they tend to be closed-in courtyards composed of bland brick walls.

Turn this to your advantage by adding colour and character in a way that matches your brand identity.

You could install hanging baskets overflowing with attractive flowers. You could commission a mural for one wall, or add a specials menu board to the exterior so that diners can see what’s on offer without having to leave their seats.

Get creative, but make sure that the approach you take fits in with the vibe of your restaurant.

Host events

Your outdoor space is suitable for more than just eating and drinking. Why not mix things up by hosting live music sessions, poetry readings and other types of performance this summer?

This will bring new people through the door and provide an entertaining distraction for regular customers.

Wrapping up

Summer arrives in a flash and leaves too quickly, but you’ve got a great opportunity to make the most of the warm weather with your restaurant’s garden if you act now!