In today’s competitive hospitality industry, restaurants are doing what they can to find new strategies to best the competition.
One of those strategies is the roof top bar. In this article, we look at roof top bars and how to achieve the heights.
Today’s diners and drinkers want to congregate. They want to get to know the people they’re with and spend time together.
Because roof top bars provide extra ambiance, they are inviting spots for diners to linger. Think fire pits, twinkling lights, tables as well as sofas, chairs, and conversation areas.
What’s more, roof top bars provide great views, whether they’re looking out over a city skyline or a country landscape.
More and more restaurants are adding roof top bars because they recognize their revenue-generating potential.
Because people often linger longer in a roof top bar. Not only are they drawn to a restaurant with this offering, but they often stay longer and spend more.
By adding a roof top bar, you increase the overall customer experience and give diners something unique.
Now that you know why roof top bars are tending, let’s look at how you can go the distance to make one work for your restaurant.
When you decide to add a roof top bar, you want to make sure you’re giving your customers the ultimate experience. This is what will keep them coming back time and again. (tweet this)
Just being up on a roof top is an experience in and of itself, usually because of the view and how it makes people feel.
But what are you going to do to make the experience unique and different? What is your draw?
Consider creating a story in your roof top bar. This your concept and what sets your bar apart from others. Then, build your design, food menu, and drink menu around it.
Before creating your story concept, get to know your target audience. What are they looking for? Roof tops are usually popular with groups of people, so do your research and provide the right food and ambiance.
This is important because if one or two people in the group are looking for something different, the whole group may leave.
Ask yourself what you want to be known for. You may already know this if you have a restaurant, but once you add roof top space, you can expand your concept. Some ideas for your roof top restaurant design include:
Do remember that people like to be outside because it makes them feel good. Depending on your weather, you’ll most likely want heaters and/or fire places to add warmth.
Your customers head to the roof top for something different. Give it to them in your seating arrangement. (tweet this)
Consider creating multiple seating areas. This might mean low, comfortable conversation areas or a group of pub tables.
You’ll find some people want to sit around a bar, while others want a more intimate setting where they can hear one another talk.
Other ideas include picnic style tables, communal tables, banquettes, traditional sofas and chairs, and lounge seating.
You can’t always count on the weather, and in some locations, it can turn rather abruptly.
Think about investing in some awnings, strong umbrellas, retractable canopies, fire pits, and even convertible glass roofing. Not only are these helpful in rainy weather, but they’re also great when it’s too sunny and hot outside.
You also want a contingency plan because you won’t always be able to use your roof top bar if the weather is inclement.
It’s also a good idea to add in some natural shade. This is for comfort and aesthetics reasons.
Greenery in the form of potted plants adds protection from the elements as well as atmosphere. You’ll also find that plants can hide things such as electric units and not-so-pretty neighbors next door.
It softens your aesthetic and adds a great piece to the customer experience.
It should be easy for your customers to get up to your roof top bar.
If you have a restaurant below, you don’t necessarily want people traipsing through your dinner crowd.
In addition, think about access for your elderly patrons and those with disabilities.
It should be clear on all your outside marketing material as well as with signage on location how guests should get to your rooftop.
If you take reservations, make sure you send not only directions but tips on accessing your roof top bar.
This should flow seamlessly with your design concept and story. But, how will you get your food to the roof?
Some restaurants may have a large kitchen on the same floor as their rooftop bar, making it easy to serve food and replenish stock.
Yet, other restaurants won’t have it so easy. If you don’t have a dedicated kitchen area with your roof top bar, make sure your bartender has everything needed for the shift. You don’t want staff to leave the roof unattended to restock items.
You can also tailor your menu so that it isn’t so hard to get food to diners from you restaurant kitchen below. You might have a smaller menu or simply do appetizers. A buffet is another option.
Have you heard of the Instagram-mable moment?
This powerful, visual app can provide you a great marketing boost if you can get your patrons to post about it and hashtag your restaurant.
Our final tip for roof top bar trends is to encourage your patrons to share photos and videos of your space on their Instagram pages while mentioning you.
This translates into thousands of free marketing dollars for your bar. Not only does it introduce more people to you, but it helps you achieve the heights by providing social proof.
Create some marketing collateral to hand out encouraging photos and posts. You might even offer a contest for the most post likes or @mentions. Reward the winner with something free.
Use these tips for your roof top bar and watch your sales increase and your rooftop bar grow.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to all your restaurants and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!