The best way to improve guest enjoyment and bottom-line results in hospitality.
Resorts, hotels and country clubs have a lot to gain from a well-designed outdoor space. With the correct design choices and layout, you can open brand-new revenue streams. A successful outdoor area is equal parts style and function that results in increased revenue, better customer reviews and profitability. Provide your patrons and members with exceptional comfort that is consistent with the rest of the venue.
You want a space that is low maintenance, easy to use and not a distraction for your staff whose time is better spent looking after customers and members than equipment. We know hoteliers, club managers and owners are busy, so we’ve curated useful information for you onto one page with access to additional references if required.
Outdoor spaces are great revenue earners, customers enjoy eating outdoors with their companions. Studies show people will stay longer at your venue if the outdoor seating area is comfortable and cohesive. This guide is designed to help you take a top-down approach to create an exceptional outdoor space.
Your first task is to assess the various outdoor spaces you have and how they are performing. Is the revenue accredited to the space up to par?
Look into your:
Villa patio area
Tip: List your outdoor areas and rank them from best performing to worst performing, start with the worst performing space and bring that up to par. Create a new baseline by improving ground up and you'll soon notice the results.
Don’t let your evaluation stop there. Is there an empty area that could be transformed into a new space?
We can transform these unused or underutilised spaces into exciting new areas that your regular customers will love to try out. There’s always a new nook or cranny to exploit and by being creative you’re increasing the number of clients that will enjoy their time with you and drive up reviews, spend-per-stay and social proof.
Let's work to improve your patron's experience with a consistent, stylish atmosphere, clever layouts, curated offerings and inspirational comfort that they will always gravitate back to.
Plan & Develop
Decide on the space you want to improve, whether you’re creating a new space from scratch or upgrading an existing facility, the process is the same.
What is restricting the customer experience? Is the shade lacking? Bad furniture? Are the tables in the wrong spot? Use your critical eye and perhaps an informal customer survey to find out where the pain points are. Make a list of the issues that are both obvious and not so obvious.
For a new are, look at why it hasn’t been used before? Is it inappropriate? Does it just need a bit more creativity or inspirational thinking?
Our key objective is to improve customer satisfaction to grow customer dwell time and we should keep this front of mind when planning.
Solutions for existing spaces don't have to be complicated. It can be as easy as adding the right tables and chairs, an outdoor umbrella and consider selected plantings, so customers can enjoy your space. For a new space, you want to match the rest of the venue with as much consistency as possible whilst adding something new and interesting.
Design & Build
Visualise the ideal space for your venue, what do you want your patrons to think and feel when they sit outside? Is it comfort, sophistication or class? Perhaps it's a combination. These are the considerations you must take when deciding the priorities of your projects.
Define the activity that the new area is going to be used for, try and make it as specific as possible. What are your patrons going elsewhere for? What are the current hospitality trends? Can you start setting a trend?
Once you’ve determined your project it’s important to start looking at the fixings and furnishings, unlike other projects it’s important you build your space with these in mind otherwise you’ll end up with a space that feels disjointed and thrown together, no matter how much planning goes into it. Decide now on which seat and table combination you will go with, what shade solution you’re going to invest in and any other important items you need to define the space.
Consistent & Creative
Plan for your exterior space to be a consistent extension of your indoor aesthetic. Match and flow on from the colourings, fittings and service otherwise you’ll be leaving a confusing impression on your guests. Even if the difference is subtle, they’ll be put off. You want to influence them to have a seamless experience no matter where they are in the venue and the experience will reverberate through online reviews and social benefits.
Don’t be afraid to take creative licence when developing new space, your guests will appreciate a new experience and encourage repeat business from themselves and referral business from those within their circle.
Your exterior needs to be an investment in capital that returns over time, just like your buildings. Outdoor umbrellas, for example, are often considered just part of the repeating expenditure for the year. If you spend time and apply for CapEx to invest in quality umbrellas that will last, you’ll add to the ambience of your property, have fewer maintenance costs, and remove expense, relieving budget and improve your bottom line.
A big part of ensuring the indoor/outdoor experience is seamless is to get your colour palette right. As research shows, colours influence mood. For example, certain tones of blue can make people feel more relaxed, ideal for a resort setting. Or, get playful and add colours like Pantone’s ‘Ultraviolet’ to your detail to give your space a trendy, modern feel. Spend time researching colour matches for the existing decor, don’t overlook being adventurous if your space deserves it, a good umbrella supplier will support customisation with fast turnarounds when needed.
Shade and protection are essential to creating an outdoor space, without them your offering will be limited. Providing a consistent experience and space to your clients comes down to how comfortable it is to be there. Outdoor umbrellas are the best way to shade and protect your customers all day and night. Unlike other shade solutions, umbrellas can be moved as the season changes to match the trajectory of the sun, customised to match your space, brand and aesthetic and umbrellas will reduce costs by streamlining staff setup time and minimising maintenance and replacement costs.
A comfortable lounge suite will suit most new outdoor spaces, perfect for reading a book at the poolside or a quick getaway for the kids in the dining area. We recommend purchasing a quality product that doesn’t absorb water. High-quality cushions that use Sunbrella fabrics and quick dry foam are perfect for heavy use, they’ll stay clean and dry all year round.
The correct table and chairs are dependent on your space and the look you’ve decided on. For smaller spaces, you’ll want something sleek and refined. A classy set of bar stools around a selection of narrow leaners could create a comfortable and cosy environment for the evening. If you’ve got a high-end dining area on your patio focus on clean lines.
Your poolside is going to be the most frequented space at your venue. It’s recommended you don’t skimp on loungers as they’ll be in use more than any other furniture item in your venue and replacement costs need to be taken into consideration when looking to purchase – cheap loungers will be uncomfortable and break more often. Loungers come in a variety of shapes - if your pool is a straight clean lap pool match it with straight loungers to create angles. A curved relaxation pool is paired with curvy soft accessories.
Outdoor dining is synonymous with beverage service, from coffee to fine wine you’ll find your patrons needing a drink all day and all night. Do you need a barista station at the poolside or a mixology bench on the patio? Investing in beverage furniture as part of your design will increase customer dwell time and your bottom line. You can get creative with different styles from the classic poolside bar to a roaming coffee cart.
Country Clubs and Golf Clubs benefit from outdoor shade ideas and designs. Country Club design principles are becoming more important as members seek to get the most out of their membership. Expectations of comfort and quality are strong. Shadowspec works with Country Clubs across the world to support their goals with members.
In 2023 we worked with North Hills Club in Raleigh, North Carolina to install Shadowspec Unity™ Multi-canopy cantilever umbrellas in their pool area.
More space means you can accommodate more customers and if they have a great experience they’ll stay longer and spend more.
Increasing seat capacity without detracting from the experience using simple solutions can make a lot of difference. Using a large cantilevered umbrella allows for more useable space beneath the shade, which means more tables and seating capacity. With multi-canopy solutions, you can cover even larger areas while only utilising one mast, without interrupting the ideal table layout.
The hospitality business has a love/hate relationship with customers reviews: love when they’re positive, hate when they’re not. Of course, reviews have a great influence on customers’ choices, so you can’t ignore them. In fact, you should be proactive and encourage customers to write them. If you’re confident about the level of quality you offer.
Social media is another place where customers share their opinions. But it’s also a place for businesses to take a more active role by sharing enticing content. Here are all the ways social sharing can improve your business:
Increase the visibility of your brand
Generate new leads
Distribute original content
Communicate with your advocates and supporters
Develop and grow relationships with customers/influencers
It’s tempting for revenue managers to save costs and cut corners on cheaper products. You need to take into consideration the cost over time of your furnishings, there are no savings to be had if you’re replacing every 1 – 2 years. You can be wise with your money if you view your outdoor products as investments in the business.
Quality products elevate your offering to a point where your wealthy, big spending patrons feel at home with you and will be more comfortable parting with their money.
Your space can even be trend-setting, influence the influencers and your guests will take note of how you’ve presented their temporary home and recreate that to the best of their ability at their permanent home.
When you work with a specialist supplier like Shadowspec you’ll be able to drill down into the choices you can make to leave a lasting, quality impression on them. It can be overwhelming but it’s supplier business to understand your space and your needs and help you find a tailor-made solution to your problems. Read Hotel & Resort Shade Ideas >
Outdoor spaces are a great way to start generating more revenue for your business. When customers feel relaxed, protected and at home they’ll spend more money and share their positive experience with their social circles. Create a new space and optimise it to drive more sales and growth, there will be a spare area in your surrounds that you can leverage to provide this additional income.
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