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Outdoor Seating Helps Restaurants

Patios raise sales as people look to enjoy warm weather.

A change of weather means a change of habits for the local population. Weather can affect many business transactions, and some of the local restaurants are feeling the effects of the high 70’s weather that took over the region early this week.

Jackie Yacenda, a manager at Café Deluxe in Tysons Corner said the restaurant’s outdoor seating doubles the sales when the weather is pleasant. “We have one of the bigger patios in Tysons Corner,” said Yacenda. She said most other restaurants in Café Deluxe’s immediate neighborhood could not offer the outdoor seating since they are connected to a mall. Yacenda said the restaurant was busy for lunch on Monday, as some families decided to come out and enjoy the weather, but that the restaurant does most of its business after six o’clock, when the happy hour crowd comes in. Yacenda said Café Deluxe generally does better in terms of sales when the weather outside is nice. “Since we’ve been open we’ve progressed each year,” said Yacenda.

“IT’S NOT EVERYDAY that people get to sit outside in the sun,” said Vijaya KC, a manager at Tequila Grande in Vienna, another restaurant that offers outdoor seating. She said that the restaurant saw a lot of customers on Monday, but that this year has been slow for the restaurant. She said the weather was warmer earlier in the year last year, and that by the beginning of April the restaurant was making many more sales than it has so far this year. “Hopefully the weather keeps up,” she said.

The managers of both restaurants, however, said that while the warm weather and the patio help make more sales, a lot of people choose not to eat inside anymore. The dining hall at Tequila Grande was practically empty on Monday afternoon. The same was true of Café Deluxe. “Not as many people sit inside,” said Yacenda.

Restaurants without outdoor patios, such as Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Tysons Corner Shopping Center, are likely to lose some business when the weather is warm. “The nice weather actually hurts us. We pray for rain,” said Chris Brett, a general manager at the restaurant. Brett said the restaurant probably will see lower sales for the next two months, but expects to rebound after that initial period and springtime weather. “When the weather is hot and humid, we will start to see more people again,” he said.