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The patio at Coasterra in San Diego has a killer view and a solar canopy that protects guests from the elements
<p>The patio at Coasterra in San Diego has a killer view and a solar canopy that protects guests from the elements.</p> <p> </p>

Summer’s (almost) here. Is your patio prepped?

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Spring cleaning isn’t just for interiors. If you have a patio, now’s the time to get it spruced up in time for guests who crave the great outdoors once the days grow longer and warmer.

Here’s a checklist from Cintas Corp. to get you started.

1. Power wash. In addition to the buildup of dirt and dust, patio areas are constantly subject to spilled beverages, dropped food and gum. Power washing your patio will help remove the grime left behind from winter weather. Power washing will enhance the customer experience and improve the look of your restaurant.

2. Clean glass and awnings. Windows are one of the first things that a customer sees before entering your business, so don’t let a layer of dirt skew their opinion. Start at the top and wipe down awnings to prevent dirt from building up on the surface. If windows have any dings or cracks, address them.

3. Clear outdoor drains. A flooded patio will keep potential outdoor diners away. It’s important to clear any outdoor drains of leaves or other debris to prevent a backup that could severely rain on your outdoor patio season.

4. Hire a handyman. From retouching exterior paint to ensuring outdoor lighting is working properly, identify areas around your patio that could use extra attention. While these issues might not impact your day-to-day operations, they can affect how your customers perceive your business and their dining experience.

5. Update your emergency contact list. In many parts of the country, summer will bring severe storms with heavy wind, rain and lightning. Review your emergency contact list to make sure all vendors are still in business and that all employees know what to do in an emergency situation.

6. Install floor mats. Once the exterior is in shape, you'll want to keep eep your interiors fresh, too. According to the Institute of Industrial Launderers, 80 percent of dirt is tracked into a building from outside. Entrance mats are your facility’s first line of defense against dirt, soil and water. A mat provider can manage your floor mats, laundering them on a regular basis and replacing them to help protect floors in your restaurant. 

These six steps are a start, but if you really want to make your patio a destination, consider additional touches, such as outdoor speakers, fun lighting and solid furnishings.

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