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Sunshine and Sizzle: 5 Critical Matters Restaurant Owners Should Address During Spring and Summer

Summer is fast approaching, which likely means changes to your daily customer count. For many restaurants, summer is their busiest season and it’s important to prepare. 

Here are five critical matters you should address to avoid potential disasters. 


With rising temperatures, an ill-functioning refrigerator makes it harder to keep food at a safe temperature. You also don’t want to miss replacing a failing piece of equipment before it shuts down, leaving you with potentially dangerous ingredients that you’ll need to toss and replace. 

Ensuring your refrigerators and freezers work properly can give you peace of mind as you enter a warm and busy season. 

If you had your refrigerator serviced within the last few months, there are still things to check on throughout the summer. Every now and then, listen to the sounds different parts of your system make. Is there anything new or concerning? If you hear something loud or ominous, it could mean a motor or compression needs attention. 

What about your thermometers? Checking to ensure they’re calibrated correctly can help you avoid temperature mishaps. If there is an incorrect reading, you might think ingredients are safe when they are not.

Parking Lot 

Extreme temperatures can do a number on an asphalt parking lot. Combined with normal wear and tear, these issues could lead to high-cost repairs unless you address them. 

Heat waves can lead to cracking, eroding or rutting. High levels of ultraviolet (UV) rays can fade your lines, making it easier for accidents to happen. You might think of potholes as a winter problem, but unattended cracks and crevices can lead to them appearing in your lot to potentially damage your customer’s cars. 


You can avoid damage by resurfacing your lot at the start of the season. A company can remove the top layer or asphalt and fix underlying issues that would otherwise worsen. They’ll then pour a new layer on your lot. It’s best to do this during slow business days since it will likely cut into your business time. 


This is a protective water resistant layer you can add to your lot for more protection against the asphalt weakening. It also prevents line fading. 


While it is best to start the season with a smooth surface, it’s unlikely that your parking lot will survive the summer unscathed. Patching small cracks or holes before they become a major problem is a quick and easy way to keep your lot durable. 

Ensure your parking lot is well-lit to avoid anyone tripping over a crack before you get to it. 


Many people visit restaurants in the summer to have good food away from the heat and humidity. If your business feels like an oven, your customers will likely go elsewhere. 

Check each of your vents to make sure they have strong airflow and there are no potential obstructions. Clean them out so good air conditioning doesn’t mean dust traveling into your food. 

Inspect your system throughout the summer to ensure all parts are properly working. Lubricate anything that needs it. Check your refrigerant levels and look for any leaks. Make sure condensation is not building up in the unit and that your drainage works well. Tighten any connectors that are loose. 

It’s also a good idea to regularly check your cooling tower for any debris and blade damage so you can address it before it becomes a larger problem. 

Outdoor Seating 

Spring and summer often mean more customers and longer wait times. Paying extra attention to your outdoor areas is crucial to keeping everyone as happy as possible. 

When it is warm out, people are more inclined to wait outside but without proper seating, you customers might get frustrated and fatigued. Placing small tables and benches in a safe outdoor waiting space goes a long way in preserving their comfort outside of a busy indoor entryway. Utilize any shade to your advantage or place a canopy over your waiting area to keep the sun from directly shining down on outside guests. 

You can place some outdoor games on tables for families to entertain themselves during your wait, or just ramp up the ambience with some flowers and water features. If you make waiting comfortable, your patrons will be more likely to stick around. 

If you have an outdoor patio, now is the time to prepare it for the busy season. Inspect it for any damage and begin a thorough cleaning routine to keep insects from attacking your guests and their food. Set up any entertainment areas and ensure any outdoor fans properly work.  

Make your patio attractive with decor items that fit your restaurant’s theme or location. Add lights to improve visibility for late diners. Remove any cushions before it rains to protect them from mold and mildew. 


Young adults are common staff members in restaurants and their schedules tend to change with summer. Be diligent about getting your employees plans ahead of the busy season to avoid any major conflicts. 

No school often means summer trips and summer jobs. Your employees deserve to have a vacation and encouraging them to submit their requests as early as possible can help you plan for days without them. Meanwhile, you could open up applications for seasonal help. 

You don’t want to end up with a massive crowd and few staff members so addressing potential issues now is key. 

Preparing Your Restaurant for Summer 

Summer can be a very lucrative time for your business. By taking the right measures for safety and comfort, you can ensure a great season for you, your customers and your staff.


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