Return on Investments (ROIs) of Outdoor Kitchens for Hospitality Businesses

You need all the help you can get to thrive in the hospitality industry and so from ready-to-assemble (RTA) outdoor kitchens to custom setups, more businesses are stepping up their game by taking their kitchens outside. 

Here are 3 reasons why this is often profitable. 

Upsell Opportunities and Increased Revenue

Adding an outdoor kitchen means you’re not just expanding your physical space; you’re also enhancing the appeal of your dining options. This kind of setup really resonates with guests who are looking for more than just a meal—they’re after an experience. 

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To maximize this, you want to curate exclusive menu items that are only available outside, or maybe throw in some themed dinner nights. It’s all about training your staff so they can upsell these experiences effectively and really boost your revenue.

Imagine a lakeside hotel offering an “Open Flame Weekend” featuring gourmet BBQ dishes prepared right by the water. Guests are more than willing to pay extra for the freshness and theatrics of meals cooked on an open flame. It’s a surefire way to increase spend per guest and solidify your place as a go-to spot for unique dining experiences.

Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings

An outdoor kitchen means less chaos indoors. This setup can handle the overflow and keep your main kitchen focused on other tasks, which is so helpful during busy times. Plus, cooking outdoors often uses less energy than traditional methods—think grilling vs. oven baking—which can lead to some nice savings on your energy bills.

Plan your outdoor menu to include items that are easier and more efficient to cook outside. Not only does this minimize indoor kitchen traffic, but it also maximizes the use of your outdoor space. And implementing energy-efficient grills and smokers can cut costs even further.

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For example, a resort could use its outdoor kitchen to offer a morning grill-out for breakfast items during peak season, freeing up the indoor kitchen for more intricate dinner menus. 

Brand Differentiation and Market Positioning

An outdoor kitchen aligns with the healthy, interactive trends that modern diners gravitate towards and so it’s a solid start to giving your brand an edge.

Lean into marketing your outdoor kitchen as a prime feature. Use social media to showcase these lively, picturesque dining scenes and promote unique events held outdoors to draw in the crowd. It’s a powerful way to boost your visibility and appeal.

Consider a small hotel that hosts bi-monthly “Farm-to-Flame” cooking classes in its outdoor kitchen, emphasizing local produce and sustainable practices. Marketing these events as exclusive and educational attracts guests who value both learning and luxury, positioning the hotel as a pioneer in not just dining, but also in guest engagement and sustainability.

Using these strategies, you can really make the most of your outdoor kitchen, enhancing your hospitality business’s revenue, efficiency, and brand identity in ways that indoor offerings might not be able to match.

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