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Since most of the restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic have lifted, there has been a rise in the number of outdoor seating. And as of 2023, 40% of customers say they would rather go to an establishment with patio dining.
Every year, new restaurants open their doors to the public. Although it is fantastic to see, it makes it more competitive for businesses.
If you want to draw in new people, read on to uncover our guide to maximizing your restaurant's outdoor space!
Choose the Right Location
The first step in setting up the perfect outdoor seating area is to choose the correct location. It is vital to pick a spot that is easily accessible to customers and has good visibility. Ideally, it will be in a quiet and pleasant area that is away from traffic noise, car exhaust, and other distractions.
Determine Space Requirements
Once you have chosen the location, you must decide on the space requirements. When planning an outdoor patio design, the first thing you may have thought of is the amount of space required for outdoor tables and chair. You need at least as much space between tables as you do inside. Preferably, you would have more since outside dining can provide more uneven walking surfaces. Having more space between tables helps servers and customers move about more easily.
How much space you will need also depends on the type of seating available. For example, an outdoor bar with some stools and standing tables does not require nearly the amount of space that a cozy bar with plush furniture does.
Purchase Comfortable Furniture
One of the elements of a successful outdoor seating area is comfortable furniture. It is a simple yet effective tip for creating an inviting outdoor dining space.
Select chairs and tables that are comfortable and attractive. Consider investing in outdoor furniture designed to withstand the elements. They should cover wind, rain, sun, and possibly snow, depending on the region of your eatery.
It is also a good idea to invest up front in durable patio dining furniture to last through several outdoor dining seasons. Having to swap out some tables and chairs might leave you with a mix and match look, which isn’t always the look you want to present.
Provide Adequate Shade
Another factor in a thriving outdoor seating area is adequate shade. You should install umbrellas or pergolas to protect customers from the sun. Overall, it provides a comfortable outdoor dining experience.
Providing shade is critical since the average U.S. mainland summer temperature is 71.9 °F. Enjoying a hot meal is difficult when you’re in the sun for an extended period.
Keep It Clean and Tidy
A clean and tidy outdoor seating area is necessary for creating a welcoming and comfortable environment. Regularly sweep and clean the area, remove any litter or debris, and keep the decor maintained.
Add Music and Entertainment
Finally, consider adding music or other entertainment to your outdoor seating area. In return, it will enhance the overall dining experience.
According to Yelp, 18,000 eateries nationwide offer an outdoor seating area. Yet, your music and entertainment can make your place stand out from your rivals.
Whether it's live music, a DJ, or a well-curated playlist, music can create an enjoyable ambiance. You can also make younger guests happy by providing placemats, kid's cups, and crayons.
Maximizing Your Restaurant Outdoor Space
Maximizing your restaurant’s outdoor space doesn’t need to be a complex process or an endless budget. Comfortable furniture and a clean dining environment can go a long way. Sitting outdoors with a garnished drink and seasonal foods is a great way for customers to spend an evening. Check out some of our on sale items that help make outdoor dining easier.