Outside is the New Inside: Supporting Efficient Outdoor Dining Service

From creating outdoor dining spaces everywhere from courtyards, patios, balconies, and sidewalks to unconventional spots like alleys, streets, parking spaces and parking lots, our industry has found ingenious ways to adapt to the operational challenges brought about by the pandemic.

While many months have passed and seasons have changed, the need and demand for outdoor dining endures. 

But with continued staffing challenges and distance from the kitchen to outdoor dining areas, how do you keep staff from getting overwhelmed and service from suffering?

With help from our partners at Cambro and TableCraft, we’ve compiled some valuable ideas that can help make the most of your team’s time and support the level of service your customers expect and you strive to provide.

Efficient and Sanitary Outdoor Bussing

A basic bussing station gives staff easy access to frequently used items. Here’s how to make one with Cambro equipment pieces you may already have on hand:

  • Versa Organizer Bins neatly organize condiments, seasoning packets, coffee creamers, and such.
  • A Service Cart Pro outfitted withlarge or small bins that attach below the handles provides sanitary and convenient waste disposal. Heavy duty casters maneuver well on rough surfaces between outdoor spaces, kitchen, and warewashing area.
  • The KD Utility Cart, now made with antimicrobial handles, can be used with an accessory shelf panel kit to enclose three sides of the cart to conceal soiled items such as filled bus tubs or protect clean items such as napkins and cutlery.

At-the-Ready Tools for Table Service

Save steps and time by configuring a modular, mobile table service station to give servers convenient access to everything they need without running back and forth to the kitchen. With all components on casters, it’s easy to roll them inside after-hours or in inclement weather.

  • Covered pitchers protect beverages from airborne particles and insects.
  • Camtainer Insulated Beverage Servers keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold without electricity.
  • Cam GoBox with Dolly holds hot or cold foods; perfect for supporting safe serving temperatures of frequently-requested items such as lemon slices, salsa, and butter and perishable condiments such as mayonnaise. Also ideal for hot items such as fresh bread, tortilla chips, or barbecue sauce.
  • Camracks keep clean glassware close at hand while keeping it sanitary and protected from outside contaminants.

Speedy Bar and Beverage Service

Prompt beverage service sets the stage for a positive dining experience. Having a beverage station closer to the point of service shortens service time and limits the steps servers take while carrying beverages, which reduces the chance of spills and the hazards that come with them.

  • Start with a portable CamBar for a polished looking, yet affordable and functional beverage service area. The service side of the bar provides a convenient workspace, speed rail for bottle storage, and open shelves for Camrack glass racks and other important supplies.
  • Aliso Barware replicates the look and feel of glass in shatterproof Camwear. The Aliso collection includes wine, martini, and goblet styles along with mugs and pilsners for beer and cider.
  • Camtread Trays have a durable, non-slip surface for more secure drink service, indoors or out.
  • The Cambro SlidingLid Ice Caddy holds ice for a remarkable 6+ hours thanks to incredibly thick insulation and a rugged, all-weather exterior. 

Stylish and Practical Serving Solutions

The Lunara Collection 
by TableCraft keeps the “wow” factor in your outdoor dining with the look of hand-thrown stoneware, but with the durability and practicality of dishwasher safe melamine. This distinctive collection includes a variety of sizes of lightweight plates and bowls with an irregular rim shape, a matte finish with copper flecks, and a textured pattern to perfectly resemble authentic ceramic serving pieces.

TableCraft Simple Service Bowls with Inserts and Lids are a versatile serving set for outdoor dining. A white melamine outer bowl come complete with a clear acrylic lid and three 10½ ounce inserts that are perfect for shareables. Each individual piece is dishwasher safe and stacks upon itself for convenient storage. 

This is just a sampling of ideas. Each outdoor dining space and style is unique, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to talk about the specific needs of your operation.