Whether running a small café or a full-service restaurant, as an owner, dining experience and profitability are at the top of your mind. So, after you have mastered the basics, you look to improve the overall quality of your restaurant. What better way to do so than outdoor dining in your restaurant? Outdoor seating in a restaurant is a welcome change from the crowded, cramped indoor areas where your guests can dine in the fresh air. Perfect restaurant patio furniture adds comfort, uniqueness, and functionality to your outdoor space. So, how do you choose the furniture for your restaurant patio? Here are a few things to consider while planning the ultimate outdoor furniture for your restaurant:
Key considerations for restaurant outdoor furniture
1. Prepare a List of Restaurant Patio Furniture Needs
Before you start designing your restaurant patio, the first thing is to understand your requirements and expectations. Measure your patio space and imagine how you would want to use this space in the future. This exercise will guide you to list all your restaurant furniture needs. For example, if you intend to have an outdoor bar, there is hardly any need for a proper dining table. Instead, you can consider a lounge setting with comfortable seating, side tables, etc.
2. Try Before You Buy
While shopping for restaurant outdoor furniture, ensure you try it out first. Patio furniture needs to be durable, appealing, and comfortable at the same time. For example, sit on the patio chairs or sofas to check if they are comfortable. Fluffy, cushioned back support or pillows offer the utmost comfort for your guests. Similarly, the material and fabric of patio furniture should be weatherproof to protect it from mildew formation or fading.
3. Focus On Low Maintenance Outdoor Furniture
Since patio furniture bears the brunt of extreme weather conditions, they usually require more care and maintenance than its indoor counterparts. Go for low-maintenance outdoor furniture for easy care and to minimize regular upkeep. For example, metal, wicker, teak, etc., are some materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Additionally, you can consider investing in removable covers to protect your restaurant patio furniture.
4. Security or Storage Requirements
Outdoor spaces in restaurants seldom operate throughout the year, and storing your patio furniture when you are not using them can be a big hassle. Even strong materials like wrought iron or teak will not last long if not stored properly. Therefore, while selecting the outdoor furniture for your restaurant, consider the storage space that you will need between the seasons. Space-efficient, stackable chairs offer the best way to make the most of your storage area during off-seasons.
5. Matching It with Your Restaurant Theme
While planning your outdoor seating area, you can either match your indoor ambiance or create a different look altogether. Similarly, you can experiment with colors to jazz up the space. For example, while natural tones and neutral colors of wooden furniture are the most popular choices for restaurant patio furniture, you can select vibrant colors to create a modern appearance. Additionally, you can choose a color that compliments your restaurant theme or goes with the other elements in the landscape.
6. Invest in the Best Quality Patio Furniture
Although it might appear tempting to cut your costs by buying indoor or residential furniture for your restaurant patio, it might prove expensive in the longer run. After all, you get what you pay for! Commercial-grade restaurant patio furniture comes with protective layers and additional treatments to offer durable operation in extreme weather conditions. Before finalizing your restaurant furniture, check for reviews or feedback on the furniture as well as the supplier. If you are low on budget, explore bulk discounts by buying the entire set directly from the wholesale manufacturer.
7. Consider the climate or weather
Let’s face it, the weather or climate varies in different states across the USA. For example, while the Southern states enjoy favorable weather conditions for outdoor patio throughout the year, Northern or Midwest states operate only for some parts of the year. Winds, salt-water content, rains, sunlight, etc., are some of the climatic conditions you must consider while buying the patio furniture for your restaurant. For example, if you experience gusty winds, lightweight plastic or aluminum chairs are hardly going to help.
8. Consider the Comfort of Your Guests
As a restaurant owner, the comfort of your guests might take a backseat as you focus on durability, appearance, affordability, etc. However, no matter how grand your ambiance or how lip-smacking your food might be, your guests will not enjoy it unless they feel comfortable. Here are some ways to offer a comfortable dining experience to your guests:
- Invest in upholstered seats and cushions in your outdoor chairs or sofas.
- Avoid metal-frame chairs during hot summer days as they often get heated up.
- Consider installing shades, awnings, umbrellas, etc.
Choosing your restaurant patio furniture is no mean task. From functionality to durability, from all-weather performance to appearance, from affordability to comfort, there are so many factors to consider. This article discusses some of the most crucial things to consider while selecting outdoor furniture for your restaurant. Hopefully, by considering these points, you will find the best patio furniture that creates an exceptional dining experience for your guests and results in a profitable restaurant business; without burning a hole in your pockets.