How to Improve Your Outdoor Seating: 6 Tips for Restaurateurs


When the weather starts to warm up, it’s a good idea to invest in your outdoor space and move your business outside for some fresh air. That said, alfresco dining involves more than tossing some tables and chairs on your deck and calling it a day. Good outdoor seating comes as a result of effective care and planning, just like your indoor decor. 

The ideal way to attract diners to your outdoor seating is to make it comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. There are a few things to consider during the planning process that could elevate your space to its full potential.

1. Make Shade Available for Sunny Afternoons

Offering shading solutions for customers who may not want to sit in the sun is a great way to make their experience more comfortable. This could take the shape of an awning or a few sturdy umbrellas. 

Strategically placing the dining setup so customers have the option of sun or shade is perfect for catering to all preferences. Some people choose to sit outside because they like the sun, while others would rather not have to deal with the rays. The best solution is to be prepared for everyone’s preferences, especially if you’re primarily open during the daytime.

2. Offer Heating Solutions for Colder Nights

If you plan to start using your outdoor seating in early spring or keep it into the fall, having some form of outdoor heating to keep your diners warm is an extra comfort to add to their experience.

There are plenty of patio heaters and heating systems to choose from, and you can find one that would work best with your restaurant’s look and space. People often love the cozy feeling of keeping toasty even when it’s a bit cold out, and having consistent heating can cater to that.

3. Go the Extra Mile With Your Furniture

While it might be easy to find cheap outdoor furniture, investing in comfortable chairs and sturdy tables will improve the dining experience. Make sure the items are high-quality, clean and supportive, and maintain them properly.

Customers would much rather sit on a comfy, cushioned chair than wobble around on a creaky old metal one.

4. Make It Lush and Green

Plants and foliage are the perfect natural decoration for any outdoor space. They have the power to uplift moods, make a space look effortlessly beautiful and nearly maintain themselves — save for a little watering.

There are plenty of plants to choose from to match your space, no matter the style. Plants can make an outdoor area feel even more outdoorsy, which is why people want to sit there in the first place.

5. Utilize Decorative Lighting

You’ll need to light your outdoor space somehow, especially for those evening and late-night diners. Using decorative lighting is a great way to add ambiance, coziness or whatever mood you’re going for.

String lights, mason jar lights, candles and firepits illuminate the space and function as a decorative addition to your outdoor dining area. 

6. Find the Right Music

Sometimes finding the perfect music for your patio isn’t as simple as pumping out the same music from your indoor dining room. It’s important to consider if your outdoor space has different musical needs.

Maybe it has a more calm and rustic feel, or it’s a bit dimmer with a little more ambiance. Find the perfect balance of music and volume to satisfy your customers.

Dining in the Great Outdoors

Devoting attention to the needs of your outdoor seating space could mean the difference between customers sticking around for the summer or running off somewhere else.

There are many decor and structure planning options, and with the right amount of care, intention and imagination, your outdoor seating space has the potential to attract buzz all season.

Author Bio:


Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.

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