Patios can be lucrative and enticing features for eateries, but they can also be major setbacks. A restaurant that isn't focused on the details of operating an outdoor seating area may be met with employee and guest injuries. Not to mention, financial losses or repercussions can happen too. All it takes is one guest to throw back too many glasses of sangria in the blazing sun to pass out or fall down. Don't let this happen at your establishment. Avoid sticky situations and make patio season a memorable and safe experience for everyone.
On serving booze and sun
Check the liquor laws. Check the liquor laws. Check the liquor laws. This one can't be stressed enough because the same bar rules don't necessarily translate to service outside. Many places, like in Boston, allows guests to order alcohol on the patio if they are also getting food.
No restaurant wants to get in a tassel with the authorities, nor does any manager want to grapple with a hefty fine, or worse – the loss of a liquor license. According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, it's up to the managers to implement ways to improve safety measures when it comes to serving alcohol.
Aside from revisiting the rule book, restaurant owners should encourage staff to be more cognizant with drinking patrons. It's no secret that boozing and sunshine don't exactly mix. However, in addition to guests and staff running the risk of a nasty sunburn, the outdoor dining scene is farther away, which makes it difficult to make sure no one underage is sipping on someone else's martini.
Avoid workplace injuries
Employees' safety is also at risk when patio season starts up because they have to work in more extreme conditions. During the summer, temperatures can soar to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions. Servers will be hustling out there in the sun, carrying heavy trays full of food and trying to meet the needs of the oftentimes packed patio. Not to mention, when the sun sets and the heat lamps come out, it can be tough to spot any stray pieces of food or puddles of beer on the ground.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that sprains and strains are the most common injuries in restaurants. Altogether, these make up one-third of the total injuries in restaurants. Still, many of these incidences are entirely preventable. The workers can play a big role in identifying hazards, which means owners and supervisors should promote open lines of communication between all employees, so that they may work together to prevent injuries.
"Slip-resistant shoes can reduce injuries and worker's compensation claims."
Slip-resistant shoes can reduce injuries and worker's compensation claims. OSHA stated that preventing injuries can also boost productivity and improve the overall morale.
Make it memorable
When the staff and guests are safe and having fun, the patio can be an excellent stream of revenue and the reason that people frequent an establishment. Many places all around the country are known for their trendy bites and stylish decor.
Thrillist compiled a list of the 89 best patios in San Diego according to neighborhood. Establishments that wish to attract guests from near and far can take a page out of these patios' books. El Rio on Mission Street was touted for it's multi-level deck and live performances. The Wild Side West boasts a garden patio where patrons can nestle up in different nooks and sip beers while taking in the view.
Establishments that wish to play it safe, yet still have fun, should consider the aforementioned suggestions. Shoes For Crews just released a new line of vibrant slip-resistant footwear that allow employees to stay on their feet and still maintain some originality with the uniform in the summertime.
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