Create an outdoor space your customers will return to again and again.
When you think of outdoor space for bowling or family entertainment centers, what images are conjured up? A few chairs and tables where customers can eat or drink? Maybe a small lawn or, on the other end of the spectrum, a huge miniature golf course, or go-kart track?
While those are often the way outdoor space is used by an entertainment facility, there are better, more flexible options out there. Have you ever considered a patio?
DON’T JUST CREATE A PATIO — CREATE A GRAND PATIO.
“A grand patio is a huge outdoor space that has firepits, unique games, such as life-size Connect Four, cornhole, and more, and offers diverse areas to socialize,”
said Doug Wilkerson, one of the principal owners of Dynamic Designs and head of their creative team. “It creates an atmosphere that is really unmatched in the entertainment industry.”
Indeed, with swinging benches, an indoor-outdoor bar that allows a bartender to care for customers both inside the building and out, and other nontraditional features, your grand patio will likely become the talk of your center. “This attraction will give you another way to draw customers in and get them to come back and spend money,” Wilkerson said.
Another reason the grand patio is so important? In a word — flexibility. Companies or families can rent it out for private parties, young adults can come to socialize and meet others at night, and proprietors can build off the patio with even more profit centers in the future.
“You can get innovative with what you do once the grand patio is in place,” Wilkerson said. “For instance, if you have a well-kept lawn coming off the patio, it can become a place for kids to run around and families to play lawn games. Or, you can turn the outskirts of the patio into a more natural setting with water features, a miniature golf course, and more.
“It creates an opportunity to attract customers of all ages,” Wilkerson said.
HOT OR COLD? NO MATTER WHAT, PATIOS WILL WORK FOR YOU!
It’s clear that grand patios are a potential boon to any FEC, no matter what type of climate you may operate in. In fact, areas with a more limited warm-weather season may find that the demand for outdoor space is even greater than in other climates.
“If you ask people whether they prefer to be indoors or outdoors, probably 90% will say outdoors,” Wilkerson said, “The demand for your space will be exceptionally high during the nicer months of the year if you need to close your patio down for the winter.”
You can also create the spaces to have heating features that will allow you to operate the patio well into the fall or early in the spring. “While it seems to make the most sense if you are in the south or west, grand patios will be successful for you anywhere you operate,” Wilkerson said.
PARTNERS IN THE PROJECT
It’s important to find a design partner that can evaluate your site, determine what type of space you have available, and even ensure that you stay up to code when it comes to the amount of parking, retention areas, and more.
“We have added grand patios to both existing centers and ground-up facilities,” Wilkerson said. “Obviously, there is more flexibility when building a center from scratch, but we will find ways to make your outdoor space work no matter what.”
In the case of partnering with Dynamic Designs, they will visit your facility to see what options are available to build a patio off your current restaurant or bar. Then they will look at which direction your building is facing to determine the type of décor, walls, roofs, or other features that will be necessary to block the sun during high-traffic hours.
“Adding a grand patio will help you stay on top of the latest trends and create a magnet to lure customers to your center for longer, more interesting, and interactive experiences,” Wilkerson said. “It makes all the sense in the world to add one to your center.”
Indeed, these grand spaces are not only attractive, but they can also be profitable outdoor spaces used by customers of all ages.