"You can't always get what you want," sang the Rolling Stones in 1968.
You may not think it to look at them. But the Stones knew a little something about juggling restaurant seating options. Making sure you have the right set-up to keep your staff happy, your customer base thriving, and your tables turning throughout a busy shift often feels like a win-some, lose-some situation. Like the Rolling Stones put it, it truly does feel like you can't always get what you want, particularly when it comes to restaurant seating.
But the Stones also reminded us that "If you try sometimes, you get what you need."
What you need just might be indoor outdoor chairs.
What Are Indoor Outdoor Chairs?
As the name implies, indoor outdoor chairs are ones that have been designed for dual use. They fit well into an indoor setting, but they'll also easily withstand the outdoor elements.
Typical features of indoor outdoor chairs include treated metal frames and water-resistant and/or UV-resistant fabrics. Often, since they're more likely to be moved around, such chairs are designed to easily foldable or stackable.
They could be just what you need.
3 Advantages of Indoor Outdoor Chairs
Advantage 1: Potential Revenue
According to experts, one of the best practices for increasing restaurant revenue is to add outdoor seating.
It only makes sense. More seating equals more chances to seat customers. More chances to seat customers equal higher overall earnings.
Our research showed that with a proposed initial investment of $200k, the forecasted seasonal use return could result in $500k in sales. Hence, by leveraging base costs (adding labor, furnishings, real estate use taxes or public space fees and anything else associated with the front end investment) gross profit of 65% was achieved. Overall, we also found that with a robust strategic management plan in place, there is great potential for a hearty profit return on investment.
This all sounds very well and good. But there are naturally risks involved. It's often those risks that hold people back from reaching their restaurant's greatest potential.
Yes, adding outdoor seating will require a financial investment, and such investments are inherently risky. But, as you have seen in the quote above, the potential financial rewards in doing so can far exceed the risks.
As you pursue adding an outdoor dining area, look for ways to lower your overhead and ensure that your investment isn't as costly as it might be otherwise. One solution is to use part of your financial investment to purchasing high-quality indoor outdoor seating.
Yes, you'll technically be buying "outdoor restaurant chairs" for your outdoor seating. But because you can also use them indoors, you're also adding overall value to your restaurant.
Advantage 2: Quick Pivots
In the business world, we often value people who are able to "pivot." By that, we mean people who respond quickly and adapt well to changing environments.
As our friends at The Washington Post put it, "Pivoting increases the number of opportunities in the lifetime of a person or business to find the perfect profitable match-up. It's a skill that increases the likelihood of success."
This is true both in the business world and in the restaurant industry, particularly as it applies to indoor and outdoor seating. When you have both options available, you're better positioned to adapt to changing needs.
That’s especially true if you've invested in indoor outdoor chairs.
With indoor outdoor chairs available, you can always quickly pivot your seating options and respond to changing demands on a regular basis: be it seasonally, weekly, daily, or even hourly!
When the weather is nice and everyone wants to eat outside, you can shift more of your seating from the main dining room to the outdoor area. Then, when the storms roll in, the seasons shift, or the air is thick with humidity, you can shift them back. With indoor outdoor chairs, you will never have to worry about how many "indoor" and how many "outdoor" chairs you have left. You will never have to spare time for that sort of mental math.
With indoor outdoor chairs on hand, all the seats you have available can be easily pivoted to respond to ever-changing needs.
Advantage 3: Ride a Trend
We'll be the first to admit that trends change quickly, particularly in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
But over the course of the last decade or so, a look known as "industrial-chic" has been on the rise. Once you understand what it is, you'll notice it everywhere, from big cities to small towns and everything in between.
Known for brick walls, exposed light bulbs, and other elements reminiscent of manufacturing and the industrial age, industrial-chic seems as if it's an aesthetic that's here to stay.
While some people are scratching their heads over the ongoing enthusiasm for this trend, others have some ideas as to its enduring popularity.
Marie Ziar, co-owner of Le Grenier, which opened four years ago in Washington, D.C., credited nostalgia. "We are missing something, and I believe we need to go back to a specific time. It's like we need to go back to the past." Before opening, she found old art on the brick walls and decided to keep the brick exposed.
Whatever the reason for its popularity, industrial-chic doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Which means you have an opportunity. As we discussed in one of the above points, indoor outdoor chairs tend to include treated metal frames. They match the overall "industrial-chic" look quite well.
By investing in indoor outdoor seating, you could be leaning into the trend, if only inadvertently.
Are Indoor Outdoor Chairs Right for You?
While there are several potential advantages to investing in indoor outdoor chairs, we call them "potential" advantages for a reason.
Ultimately, only you can decide if this is the right decision for you and your restaurant. Take the time to soberly evaluate your needs and weigh the risks versus the potential rewards. Also, consider consulting an expert or two before making an informed decision. When you feel you're ready, we are here.
We'll help you get what you want — and what you need.
About Moda Seating
Moda Seating is the pioneer of providing commercial seating online. Since 2008, Joel Strulovitch, the company’s founder, has been building upon his family’s tradition of providing quality commercial seating at affordable prices. Moda Seating has helped thousands of people achieve their dreams to open restaurants, hotels, event centers, and many other types of businesses where the patron’s experience is influenced by their physical environment.
If you’re in the process of opening a restaurant or other type of venue where the experience of your customers will be influenced by the environment you provide, then rely on Moda Seating. No other commercial furniture wholesaler has been helping merchants online longer than we have. To help you get started, please download our free Floor Planning Guide. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We’re happy to help!