For most people (especially those in cold, northern climates), when old man winter comes into town, it means retreating inside to your favorite restaurants, bars, and hotels. But, there is a solution to eating outside even when the temperatures tell you otherwise – Igloo Dining. This newer trend is getting popular with restaurants in cold climates like Chicago. But should your restaurant invest in an Igloo to allow you to dine outdoors?
What Exactly Is Igloo Dining?
Igloo dining is a unique experience where you can eat in a cozy, heated, and transparent igloo structure. These igloos are typically made of durable plastic and set up on sidewalks, patios, or other outdoor spaces at restaurants, hotels, and bars.
Key Igloo Features To Consider
Warm and comfortable: Igloos usually have heaters so that you can enjoy your meal outdoors even in cold weather.
Private and intimate: Igloos provide a secluded and private space for you and your dining companions. So, you'll only hear the conversations you want and not those of others.
Scenic views: Many igloos are positioned to offer stunning views of the area, such as cityscapes, waterfronts, or ski slopes. Imagine dining on a mountain after skiing while staying nice and toasty!
Unique atmosphere: Igloo dining offers a fun and novel dining experience perfect for special occasions or simply a change of pace.
Why Should You Invest In An Igloo for Your Space?
Once relegated to the Arctic tundra, Igloos are popping up on rooftops, patios, and sidewalks, offering your customers an unparalleled experience. But beyond the novelty, igloo dining presents a unique set of benefits for restaurant and hospitality owners, both practical and strategic. In our opinion, we think igloo dining might be more than just a fad.
1. Extending the Outdoor Season: Gone are the days of shutting down patios when the mercury dips. Igloos act as thermal bubbles with their climate-controlled interiors, allowing restaurants to stretch their outdoor seating well into the fall and winter months. This translates to increased revenue, happier customers, and a vibrant atmosphere even during traditionally slow seasons.
2. Unforgettable Ambiance: Igloos are inherently Instagrammable. Their whimsical presence injects a dose of playful luxury into any dining experience. Imagine the buzz of your social media accounts as diners share and tag photos of their igloo adventures, attracting new customers and boosting brand recognition.
3. Premium Pricing Potential: The exclusivity and novelty factor of igloo dining allows hospitality owners to command premium prices. Special menus, minimum spends, and reservation fees can all contribute to a healthy boost in revenue, especially during peak seasons.
4. Private Dining Reimagined: Igloos offers an intimate and secluded space for private events, ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, or small corporate gatherings. This opens up a new revenue stream for restaurants and caters to a clientele seeking unique and memorable experiences.
5. Beyond the Bubble: The possibilities extend beyond the traditional igloo dome. Think pop-up igloo villages, themed igloos with interactive elements, or even igloos designed for outdoor movie screenings or chef's table experiences.
6. Bonus – The Secret Sauce: Here's the secret sauce that most restaurant owners need to know: igloo dining is about more than just the winter. In the summer or year-round warmer climates, igloos can be transformed into shaded sanctuaries during the scorching summer months. Think air-conditioned havens with stunning views, perfect for al fresco dining without the sunburns. Imagine eating outside in 100-degree weather in Arizona or Florida but still comfortable?
Stats that Won't Melt
Here are a few fun stats to consider:
According to hospitality data platform CWT Global, the igloo dining trend exploded in 2020, with a 700% surge in online searches.
Research by Restaurant Business magazine shows that 65% of diners are willing to pay a premium for unique outdoor dining experiences.
Igloo dining isn't just a seasonal fad; 40% of restaurants offering it plan to make it permanent, reports Restaurant Dive.
How Can SelectSpace Work With Igloo Dining
Igloo dining is more than just a quirky trend; it's a strategic move for restaurants seeking to differentiate themselves, extend their seasons, and tap into a growing demand for unique and immersive dining experiences. But just because you put Igloos on the sidewalk doesn't mean you don't need a fence to surround them. That's where SelectSpace comes in. Our products are made of sustainable materials, like aluminum and stainless steel. What that means for you is they can stay out all year round and not rust! And, because they are modular, you can change their orientation and set-up for the outdoor winter dining season. Then, change it back once summer comes. So, the next time you see a frosty bubble shimmering on a rooftop, don't just admire it – step inside and discover the magic of dining outdoors in a crystal dome. Just be sure to have a SelectSpace Fence surrounding it.
7 Spots In NYC Where You Can Dine In A Cozy Winter Igloo: https://secretnyc.co/igloo-dining-nyc/
These Mass. restaurants are offering igloo dining this winter season: https://www.masslive.com/business/2023/11/these-mass-restaurants-are-offering-igloo-dining-this-winter-season.html
Winter Wonderland Igloos - King & Rye: https://www.kingandrye.com/winter-wonderland-igloos/
Eight Madison-area igloos offer winter dining outside: https://captimes.com/food-drink/eight-madison-area-igloos-offer-winter-dining-outside/article_488ae18a-9545-11ee-aea5-87d0b291a8b5.html-