Patios are a summer staple for restaurants and a huge source of additional revenue for establishments enabling them to serve more customers a day. Even more so with the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, patios have become one of the most popular dining choices favoured by customers. For these reasons, now more than ever, it is important for restaurants to make these spaces as comfortable and appealing as possible.
While maximizing a patio’s appeal has many factors to consider such as furnishings, a very commonly overlooked element is the positive effect that greenery has on a customer’s dining satisfaction. Here are the 6 reasons how restaurants can benefit from plant material installed around their patios.
1. Creates Atmosphere and Improves Branding
Plant material is an excellent way for a restaurant to establish their intended atmosphere and brand.
If you’re looking to create romance, strategically located planters can be an aesthetically pleasing divider for privacy between tables. Flowers with complimentary colours can take this concept even further by communicating an ambiance that screams love is in the air. Flowers brighten spaces with pops of colour to a primarily urban and grey setting. Utilizing wooden shade structures such as a trellis, gives added aesthetic privacy when combined with hanging vines.
Planters and plants also aid in setting the tone of an establishment’s desired theme. For example, large square planters of wood or metal create a modern, urban atmosphere while rounded pots achieve a more classic, vintage look. This mixed with the right landscape lighting can give you a recipe for a thriving atmosphere.
Having this recipe can result in more returning customers, more attention to your patio from the street, and overall more customers wanting to dine and spend money at your establishment.
2. Nature Improves Happiness and Reduces Stress
Multiple studies have found that nature has positive effects towards increasing happiness, reducing anxiety, aggression, and fatigue.
A study done by the International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association found that 52% fewer crimes were committed in areas with landscaping1. A sperate study by UBC indicated that plants increase feelings of happiness and decrease feelings of sadness2.
Evidence shows that biophilic designs are trending upwards against urbanization, which shows that more and more people are leaning towards plants, especially within the millennial demographic.
With all this plant love, a customer who is happier because of the surrounding plants is likely to have a higher perception of the restaurant they are dining at. A happier customer leads to better tips and more loyalty towards your dining establishment.3
3. People Spend More Money Around Plants
Plants not only improve a customer’s happiness; they also have been shown to increase the amount a shopper is willing to spend! A study completed by the Journal of Forestry found that shoppers can spend 9-12% more on goods and services around high quality tree canopies4.
Well maintained landscapes showed a positive correlation between the distance people will travel to shop, and even the time they are willing to spend shopping. Lots of shopping and travel is tiring, which means they will be less likely to go home to eat, instead staying to dine in the area they’re visiting.
By including lush plant life around a patio, your restaurant can capture the same principles; if customers love a design they will spend more, travel further, and take more time dining in the area that they love.
4. Plant Material Reduces Noise
The second most common restaurant complaint is related to noise issues (first is bad service) and loud noise affects the taste, texture, and smell of food5.
Plants have an interesting characteristic in that they reduce the reverberation and air vibrations of sound waves. This trait makes them excellent for cancelling out potentially aggravating urban noises.
While it’s important to note that noise isn’t always bad for profitability, the fact is that noise complaints are becoming more common. Loud music was shown to decrease talking and increase consumption of drinks, however in terms of a patio, loud noises are more commonly linked to street and traffic sounds.
The longer a plant grows, the further it will reduce the sound around it. So with strategically placed plant barriers, the privacy between guests will also be improved. Taking steps to reduce environmental noise through plants may lead to customers having a better dining experience and a higher perception of your restaurant’s quality.
5. Plants Improve Staff Productivity and Satisfaction
The addition of plant material doesn’t just impact the customer, it also benefits your restaurant’s staff. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that plant material and access to planted areas on breaks, reduced a workers’ stress, improved their job satisfaction and even their productivity at work 6.
Also a study by US National Institute of Health indicated that employee moral, enthusiasm, and retention improved as exposure to workplace greenery increased 7. If servers are less stressed while working and more enthusiastic, then naturally the restaurant’s customer service will improve. With that, more people will be inclined to write glowing reviews about your establishment and return again with their friends.
6. Restaurant Curb Appeal is Improved with Patio Plants
In real estate, excellent landscaping and adjacent green spaces around a property make it up to 20% more valuable8. 90% of these study participants agreed that good landscaping would increase the value of a property in their eyes.
While a restaurant is not the same as a house, a customer’s increased perceived value is still transferable. If a customer sees a beautiful patio surrounded with a variety of plants, they will perceive the restaurant as higher value and may be more inclined to visit.
Improving the curb appeal of a restaurant means making the best first impression to every single potential customer who walks by. The exterior and patio section of a restaurant play a major factor in an establishment’s overall curb appeal. So it’s important enough to consider installing plants for these areas.
Growing Ready for the Future
Patio greenery is an affordable, customizable, and trending style idea for improving a customer’s satisfaction while dining.
British Columbia’s unique hardiness zone makes Vancouver an excellent location to use plants in a patio design. Due to the variety and selection of options, restaurant owners have an abundant amount of options to make their establishment and their patio stand out against the competition.
If you are considering installing or upgrading the plant material around your restaurant patio, consider reaching out to our experienced landscape design team for suggestions and a free consultation.
- Kuo FE, Sullivan WC. Environment and Crime in the Inner City: Does Vegetation Reduce Crime? Environment and Behavior. 2001;33(3):343-367. doi:10.1177/0013916501333002
- Kamran, M., Kwong, B., Oshimi, Y., van der Velde, N., & Yao, S. J. (2018, April 5). Plants Promoting Happiness : The Affective Influences of Plants on Human Emotion. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0374279
- Park SH, Mattson RH. Ornamental indoor plants in hospital rooms enhanced health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Sep;15(9):975-80. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0075. PMID: 19715461.
- Wolf, Kathleen L. 2005. Business district streetscapes, trees, and consumer response. Journal of Forestry. 103 (8): 396-400.
- Spence, C. Noise and its impact on the perception of food and drink. Flavour 3, 9 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/2044-7248-3-9
- Lottrup, L., Grahn, P., & Stigsdotter, U. K. (2013). Workplace greenery and perceived level of stress: Benefits of access to a green outdoor environment at the workplace. Landscape and Urban Planning, 110, 5–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.09.002
- Largo-Wight, E., Chen, W. W., Dodd, V., & Weiler, R. (2011). Healthy workplaces: the effects of nature contact at work on employee stress and health. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 126 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 124–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/00333549111260S116
- Mohd Ramzi Mohd Hussain, Izawati Tukiman, Ismawi Hj. Zen, Fitrynadia Mohd Shahli. The Impact of Landscape Design on House Prices and Values in Residential Development in Urban Areas, (2014). APCBEE Procedia,Volume 10,2014. Pages 316-320. ISSN 2212-6708. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcbee.2014.10.059