In a highly competitive landscape like the restaurant industry, gaining a competitive advantage and keeping up with latest trends is critical to running a successful and thriving business. A great way for restaurant owners to stand out from the competition and grow their revenue is by enhancing the look of their patio and maximizing their seating space thanks to commercial awnings.
Having an outdoor terrace can have a significant impact on a restaurant’s appeal and revenue. Each year, bars, cafes and restaurants attract hundreds of thousands of consumers who enjoy the summer outdoors. Both functional and aesthetic, terrace awnings can increase a restaurant’s sales by attracting more customers and providing a greater seating capacity.
We sat down with Costa, owner of the La Belle et La Bœuf restaurant located in Anjou, to discuss his decision about opting for an outdoor commercial awning, and how that decision has positively impacted his sales and revenues.
Interview with Costa, Owner of La Belle et La Bœuf restaurant in Anjou
Ombrasole Awnings: When did you decide it was time to get a terrace awning for your restaurant? What made you go that route?
Costa, La Belle et La Bœuf Owner: Customers are always looking to have an enjoyable alfresco dining experience with family and loved ones, especially during the summertime, when they’re excited to spend time outdoors and enjoy the weather. To cater to this need, restaurants are left with no choice but to ensure they create an inviting atmosphere that will resonate with their clients’ preferences and keep them coming back for more. And what better way to attract clients than with a modern-looking, inviting and cozy outdoor patio.
Investing in a customized outdoor awning made it easy for potential customers to spot and choose our restaurant over our neighboring competitors. Unfortunately, in previous years, we were not equipped with a highly functional commercial awning. It was not 100% weatherproof and had to be unmounted during the wintertime, which was a tedious undertaking in itself. And when the nice weather finally settled in, we didn’t have time to reinstall it in time to capture the busiest days of the year - losing out to our competition. In addition, our previous awning prevented the sunlight from penetrating into the restaurant, over shading the interior of the restaurant.
This is when we decided to invest in a more versatile, premium quality terrace awning that would withstand the test of time, unfavorable weather, all the while making it it easy for us to maintain all year long.
Ombrasole Awnings: What type of terrace awning did you get, and why?
Costa: We chose to opt for the Ombrasole Capriccio terrace awning for various reasons. Because of its versatility and ease of installment, this awning seemed like our best option. We were able to offer our customers the option to dine outside - rain, wind, or shine - even during less optimal weather conditions, greatly extending the lifespan of our outdoor dining area and thus increasing our revenues.
The Capriccio Retractable Awning was very easy to install and immediately enhanced the look of our terrace. In addition, it gave us the flexibility of covering our outdoor space or not - depending on the weather - thanks to its motorized rooftop that can be retracted at the touch of a button and optional side screens that can be added to enclose the patio. On beautiful summer nights, we were able to retract the awning so that our customers could enjoy the view and the stars.
Ombrasole Awnings: What made you decide to go with an Ombrasole Awning specifically?
Costa: Ombrasole is known for designing highly durable fabrics and products made in Quebec that are exclusively designed to withstand harsh Canadian weather climates. The tall and sturdy aluminum structures seemed like a very reliable option compared to other imported options that we often find in large stores. In addition, the vinyl canvas is 100% waterproof, offering full weather protection. Another additional benefit is that you have the option of adding side screens to protect your restaurant from harsh winds. For us, it was important to invest in a durable product that will last for many years to come.
Ombrasole Awnings: A terrace awning isn’t a small expense. Can you tell us what benefits it has brought you since you got it installed in terms of extra revenues and return on investment?
Costa: As restaurant owners, we know that managing a restaurant business incurs many expenses. In addition to paying municipal taxes for having an outdoor terrace, we have to think about how to maximize our revenues and make our outdoor patio work for as long as possible. This is how a commercial awning can benefit you: it is a long-term investment that will extend the life of your outdoor space, increasing seating capacity and generate more sales for your business.
The Capriccio Retractable Awning enables you to have a functional terrace 10 months out of the year - By adding patio heaters and additional lighting, our clients can experience the change of seasons while being seated outdoors. Having an outdoor awning has also contributed to lowering our overall utility costs (less usage of indoor air conditioning).
Ombrasole Awnings: In you had any advice to give a restaurant, store or hotel owner looking to get a terrace awning, what would it be?
Costa: I would highly recommend not to wait too long until purchasing a commercial awning for your business. It is most likely one of the best long-term investments you will make to distinguish your business, increase your revenues in summer, and take your terrace to the next level. The majority of competing restaurants are probably already getting ready for the upcoming busy season and have already invested in a commercial awning, so I would recommend not to stay behind the competition and put the odds in your favor.