Dining, as we knew it a few months ago, is changing. Post-lockdown, restaurants are reopening in various stages — from takeout and delivery only to partial capacity — in order to ensure a safe experience.
But, as we all know, change can be good and it encourages innovation. Many venues are finding creative ways to adapt to this new environment. If you’re looking for ideas on how to reinvent your venue for reopening, take a look at what these three Tripleseat customers have done.
1. Do a complete revamp of your space
Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, has embraced the challenge of reopening. The brewery has 165 acres and they’ve turned it into a park offering picnic grounds and hiking trails in order to give their guests an enjoyable, socially distant experience in the outdoors.
Guests can visit six different outdoor spaces — including a beer garden and a shaded space next to the brewery’s goats — as well as a two-mile nature trail and the brewery building, with more spaces to come.
Jester King is starting off with reservation-only visits during two time blocks per day, four days per week, and limited guests allowed per time block to ensure safety. Customers will order using a QR code at the table, and will get a text to pick up their order when it’s ready. They’re also closing the venue for an hour between time blocks for sanitization.
2. Increase outdoor amenities
Tuscan Kitchen’s Salem, NH, location already had outdoor dining before the coronavirus, the Tuscan Piazza. But they wanted to provide more outdoor space to allow social distancing and help customers feel safe as they returned to the restaurant.
They transformed their outdoor area into a pop-up al fresco wonderland by adding Il Giardino, a large tented area with a shipping container bar, plenty of room for socially distanced tables, more seating outside of the tent in the piazza, twinkle lights, greenery, and live music.
Like other restaurants, customers need to make reservations to dine in the pop-up area due to limited seating. Tuscan Kitchen has also added sanitation stations, a sanitation team, one-time use menus, and a new waiting system where customers can stay in their cars until their tables are ready.
3. Add virtual event production services
Located just outside Dallas in The Colony, Texas, live music venue Lava Cantina knows that virtual events are not going away anytime soon. The venue had already been streaming their performances long before the pandemic, and continued to provide their customers with shows during lockdown; they added a drive-in to their parking lot to allow customers to watch live shows on a huge screen and dine on items from a special menu from the safety of their cars and some socially distanced tables.
Lava Cantina recently announced their virtual parties and special events services. Event clients have access to the Lava Cantina team and more than $1 million in live broadcast equipment to stream their events throughout the venue and around the world. Up to 500 people can be safely socially distanced in the venue. Event packages also include social distanced seating charts, bar and food packages, live entertainment, photography and videography, and more.
Get creative for your reopening
Whether your venue is making small changes by adding event packages that cater to a smaller guest list or taking a new look at how to adapt your space to this new normal, find a way to bring customers in that provides them with a great experience and makes them feel safe. Then, announce your changes on your website, via email, and with social media posts to make your customers aware of these new options. You’ll be able to grow revenue as you plan for a full reopening later in 2020.
Want more ideas?
We’ve been hosting a weekly Social Hour virtual roundtable, where Tripleseat customers are invited to discuss the impact the coronavirus has had on their venue, ask questions of their peers on what they’ve learned since reopening, and get support from the community. You can view past Social Hour sessions here and RSVP for future sessions on the Tripleseat events page.