By Del Williams
Restaurants, hotels, and resorts can entice customers, provided their umbrellas deliver the right image.
Whether from a sidewalk café, patio deck, or poolside, an upscale umbrella can beckon customers out of the hot sun or cold rain to linger in an oasis of sorts – out of uncomfortable outdoor elements, and in the embrace of attentive restaurant, hotel, or resort services.
Done right, an upscale umbrella can deliver a powerful first impression of luxury, intimacy, or community. Done wrong with a sub-standard umbrella, and even the best hospitality establishment can look run down.
“The moment an umbrella looks faded, worn, or broken, the image instantly changes from warm and inviting to dilapidated,” says Melissa Mokha, Director of Support and Development at Pizza Rustica, a gourmet pizza franchise based in Miami Beach, FL.
“The quality of the umbrellas makes a huge difference as to whether a customer would walk in. Customers don’t want to frequent an establishment that looks run down.”
After researching the market, Mokha turned to umbrellas made with one-piece mahogany wood poles, marine-grade fabric, and stainless steel hardware from Greencorner, a manufacturer of commercial grade umbrellas to many of the world’s most prominent hospitality venues including the Ritz-Carlton, and Grand Café Wolfgang Puck.
Because the umbrellas, imported from Tunisia to keep costs low, carried a 5-year fabric and 3-year frame warranty, Mokha felt confident they would maintain the upscale image she sought. She was not disappointed.
“Our yellow umbrellas have become part of our trademarked brand, inviting customers in when they walk or drive by,” says Mokha. “The original canopies we bought have maintained their color for several years without fading. I’ve never replaced an umbrella frame in seven years. They don’t break.”
On the rare occasion when one is vandalized or a part needs to be replaced, Mokha calls the umbrella manufacturer. They mail the needed part to the right Pizza Rustica location at no cost, and the part is simply replaced. This minimizes cost, downtime, and keeps the umbrellas looking fresh, according to her.
“By eliminating umbrella replacement and repair costs, we achieved ROI within one year with our Greencorner umbrellas,” says Mokha. “Since then, at all of our locations over the years we’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars.”
The umbrellas’ square and rectangular shapes also allow grouping them to offer continuous shade over a large area.
According to Mokha, customers show how much they love the big, yellow umbrellas by how often they photograph and pin them to Pizza Rustica’s Pinterest page.
For more info, call toll free 888-428-0800; Fax 407-859-1045; email firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.greencorner.com.
Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California.