As the warmer weather approaches, we find ourselves seeking out places to eat outside. Long cold winters create an itch to be outside as soon as the sun starts to blanket us with warmth. With hundreds of interactive websites and many social media portals feeding us opinions and recommendations, it can be overwhelming to choose the special spot we dreamt of enjoying during the cold and brutal winter months.
As an employee in the hospitality industry, I often ask what our customers are looking for when choosing the Beaumont Inn. Where did they find out about us? Why do they choose us? What type of experience can I provide for them? My initial conclusion — the experience is just as important as the food being served.
As we powerwash our patios, dust off the umbrellas, and bring the patio furniture out from storage, our team is exhilarated with excitement to open up our patios and share the amazing season that’s about to be upon us — Al Fresco Dining at its best! Our team is focused on creating a gorgeous table layout, so every table has a view, as the rest of us design areas for fun and relaxation. Some last-minute details also include setting up our lawn games and additional casual seating perfectly placed along the creek or around a fire pit so diners can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or to relax and take in the view. Lastly, we uncover and light the fire pits to ensure all our summer ambiance items are in proper working order.
Our first setup day ends, and we all sit back at the very tables our guests will soon be joining us at. We reflect on how beautiful our property really is and how lucky we are to have such amazing jobs to serve incredible food in such a spectacular environment. Our staff and property rely heavily on the amazing team of landscapers, maintenance crew and many other hard-working people who bring the gardens back to life each spring and summer. Every employee at the Beaumont has a very influential part of creating our outdoor dining concept to bring it all together. Every outdoor dining space is unique to itself, and it’s no wonder why we enjoy our food with the very nature from where it originates. Sometimes “nature” can be a little too natural so careful consideration and planning are also a large part of creating that perfect “dining” space.
As professionals, we hope to offer an environment that is mildly interrupted by our great pollinators and other creatures gifted to us by Mother Nature. Weather is always a key concern as we watch the skies each day and strategically plot out our reservations in hopes that we can share our gardens and offer our guests dinner with a view! Some items we plan for might be which table at which time may need an umbrella to be shielded by the sun? What tables as the sun starts to set may need additional warmth with a patio heater positioned near them or would our guest prefer a Beaumont shawl? On windy days, additional details are added in the daily routine and set up for the staff. Summer uniforms to keep everyone cool are always eagerly anticipated, and soon our polos are worn to celebrate and welcome the sunshine!
Dinner among nature and a table with a view can be a spectacular experience. I encourage you to try it and just watch the skies as you plan your next dinner reservation.