Could something as simple as a restaurant misting system sustain your business?
During the summer months when the sun begins to make its presence known, restaurants don’t expect to capitalize on the sun’s less appealing attributes. But what if you could add $540,000 to your annual sales just by creating an environment that speaks solace, comfort and a time out from the busy pace of life?
Consider two different restaurants during a summer scorcher trying to get through their lunch rush. One smartly equipped with a restaurant misting system, the other with a beautiful patio that stands empty.
It’s the beginning of the lunch rush and the sun is climbing. The lobby fills up and a line begins to form outside. There’s a beautiful patio about 600 square feet, available for approximately 40 people. But the only protection from the sun is a thin screen shade around the perimeter. The flimsy little screen shade doesn’t cut it. People are hungry and slightly irritated from the heat and although the wait began at 10 minutes, it’s all of a sudden jumped to 45 minutes. The hostess is rushing around trying to help clean tables off as quickly as possible but there just isn’t enough room. The agitation in the lobby begins to rise, body language screams frustration and impatience. The lobby starts to clear but not due to the quick table turnover rate but because people are tired of waiting. Each person that walks out the door is an opportunity that fades against the blaring sun.
Those 40 people never got seated. For that matter, nobody got seated on their patio during lunch. But what is the cost to Restaurant A?
Average lunch tickets run from $15-25 and at a very conservative table-turn of 1 hour the potential 40 people per hour that didn’t want to wait or saw a more appealing place to eat during the 3 hour lunch period could have grossed up to $3,000. And not only did Restaurant A miss out on their potential revenue but they created an air of impatience and frustration for the people who decided to stay, tarnishing their reputation and probably ending up as a negative review on Yelp. Those that left probably won’t consider coming back during lunch again for a while (if at all). Good food may draw people in, but timely service is what keeps guests coming back. From the months of April to October, this may be the reality for this restaurant every single day they are open: missed money, missed guests and eventually a dwindling patronage. With 45% of service based businesses sinking after just 3 years, this is a risky way to run a restaurant.
Let’s look at another scenario.
Same time, same temperature. A man stands on the corner of the street waiting for the light to change. He paces back and forth in a little circle, adjusting his sun glasses and glancing at his watch. He tugs at his shirt collar while little droplets of sweat run down the side of his face. The light changes and he walks quickly across, earnestly making his way to the shade. His skin is red, his cheeks are blotchy and his mouth is set in a grimace. His bag moves from shoulder to shoulder and the back of shirt clings his every movement. He meets his friends outside Restaurant B on the corner and immediately stands below the restaurant misters that adorn the overhang in front of the inviting patio; his red skin turns quickly to a healthy pink glow. The restaurant is obviously busy but their party of 4 gets seated within minutes outside on the 600 square foot patio. As they place their order the sun’s heat is insulated by the cooled air that is produced by the restaurant misting system. The patio quickly fills up as more and more people pass by but the lobby never has more than a 10-15 minute wait. No one leaves. No one complains. The word spreads.
The guests, the good reviews and all the money begins to topple towards the restaurant better equipped to deliver sanctuary and comfort.
According to Koolfog, even a complex high pressure restaurant misting system would be paid back within 10 days under the circumstances outlined above assuming average food costs and overhead. After the initial investment an April to September lunch period could be worth $540,000 in additional annual gross sales. That could mean a second location in two years or a well established career in one.
What will you do?
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