Situated along the St. Joseph’s River in South Bend Indiana, the Ironhand Wine Bar is a popular location for friends and family to relax and enjoy the wines produced by their vineyard. The bar also serves local beer from Indiana and hosts a variety of events, throughout the week, for patrons to enjoy.
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“We have a vineyard in South Bend, where we have a small production facility, where we're making wine. We also offer Indiana beer here, primarily Upland. What sets us apart, I think, is the variety of events that we have for the community throughout the week.” said Operations Manager, Laura O’Brien.
Ironhand’s outdoor patio area was underutilised. A classy open space alongside the St. Joseph’s River but not living up to its expectations or potential. In the winter, patronage of the outdoor space was low and in the summer, the existing market umbrella's outdoor shade wasn't sufficient, forcing customers indoors where the airconditioning provided comfort.
“We had way too much sun on the patio and we weren't able to seat people during really hot days. People would have to come inside into the air conditioning, we had bar umbrellas that were a lot smaller and they didn't have nearly as good coverage as the Shadowspec ones,” said O'Brien.
Improve Restaurant Profitability & Aesthetics
Taking the time to look at what wasn’t working, it was determined that if Ironhand could seat additional patrons outdoors with more consistency, they would be able to improve both customer satisfaction and revenue and with that, a redesign of the bistro area was undertaken. New furniture, plants and branded Shadowspec Unity™ Duo umbrellas combined to elevate the space and increase patronage.
“The priorities were outdoor shade. The more shade coverage, the better, branding, and also something that was eye-catching from the road because we get a fair amount of traffic on the road that the umbrellas are on,” added O'Brien.
The ease of use, outdoor shade coverage and inherent modularity of the Unity™ were essential to the bar, enabling the bar umbrellas to be set up in the ideal location to create a comfortable, covered and inviting space for more patrons.
Restaurant & Bar Brand Awareness
The results are in, and the expanded outdoor shade area has Ironhand Winebar patrons enjoying the space, returning often and dwelling longer. This increased patronage time is leading to larger bills and promoting business growth. Ironhand made an astute decision to use custom-branded umbrellas, combining Sunbrella Fabric with a print of their logo.
Taking advantage of the significant surface area and road front position to expand their branding and marketing extending their outdoor wining and dining experience with restaurant design.
“The Shadowspec Umbrellas have improved our short-term and long-term goals, in that we're able to seat more people on the patio. The intention is that they're ordering more food and wine, therefore higher bills, which is helping the business as well,” said O'Brien.
Happy customers and Revenue Growth
If you’ve got an outdoor space that you think could be improved or repurposed with outdoor wining and dining, consider a cantilever umbrella. Shadowspec’s patented opening system is perfect for hospitality settings, enabling staff to deploy outdoor shade in 5 seconds, saving time throughout the day. Your customers will enjoy the clean lines of cantilever umbrellas as the masts are offset opening up the space to create clean, clear conversations.
“My favourite feature of the Shadowspec Umbrellas would be again, the shade coverage. Also, I love that they're branded, so people who may not even be dining with us will see it from the road. So it's marketing in itself,” added O'Brien.
Ironhand has created a stunning space that patrons can enjoy all year round, regardless of the time of year or time of day. At Shadowspec we’re always excited to see what our customers do with the Shadowspec range of umbrellas. Ironhand is a great example of taking a blank canvas and spreading creativity, spacial design and branding to create a space that not only injects additional revenue into the bar but creates an iconic roadside facade that works to draw new patrons in.
Combining marketing efforts, custom branding and roadside signage with the expansion and improvements to Ironhand's outdoor space has been transformative and is proving to be an effective step forward for the restaurant design and outdoor shade. We're happy to see the potential the location unlocked for patrons, new and existing.