An outdoor dining area is a wonderful thing for any restaurant. It provides your guests the comfort of the outdoors, the ability to enjoy a scenic view, or simply some fresh air while dining. Many restauranteurs have found that the revenue created from their outdoor dining area can rival the revenue from the remainder of their seating. So the pressing question for business owners is: “How can I continue to reap the benefits of my outdoor dining area when the summer months come to an end?” The answer to this question, of course, is to enclose your outdoor dining area. An enclosure will allow you to retain enough heat to make it comfortable in the outdoor dining area even when the temperature drops. Also, it can be a way to keep air conditioning in if you are in a hotter climate where refuge from the heat can be the attraction. Guests can still enjoy the view and still feel like they are outdoors, and most importantly, they can still eat and drink at your establishment without being uncomfortable.

In this specific example, we have a business that has thrived as an outdoor eatery since 1954. A classic Drive-In style, family oriented restaurant here on the Jersey Shore, The Circus is and always has been a seasonal business. The customer had previously installed rope-and-pulley curtains to provide refuge from driving rain. These curtains made it possible to still keep the dining room full in the face of a rainy day. The years had not been kind to the clear vinyl in the roll-up panels. Wear and tear is inevitable in a product like this one, and years of exposure to the elements left these curtains looking less than ideal. The solution is a rigid panel system with clear vinyl stapled into the frames of each panel. These panels will keep the elements out, and the comfort in. U-Zip windows in each panel make it easy to roll up one, or all of the windows in the enclosure for ventilation, or to bring back the fully outdoor feel from the original design. With the windows zipped closed, the ambient heat from the nearby kitchen should be enough to keep this area cozy through the fall, and perhaps into winter.

The dramatic facelift that this enclosure provided should provide enough curb appeal to attract new customers, and the improvements show your loyal regular customers your commitment to providing them the best experience possible. The owner of The Circus will undoubtedly recoup his initial investment in a short time, and the possibility for an exponential return on his investment exists due to the extension of his otherwise seasonal business. By making it possible for guests to enjoy this outdoor dining experience well into October and November, they will realize yearly sales totals that they never thought possible. Make the most out of your outdoor dining area. Turn a seasonal oasis for guests into a year-round revenue generator for yourself. Think about an enclosure for your outdoor dining area, and make your space more valuable.

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