Bringing the Inside Outside - Tips for Your Restaurant’s Outdoor Seating Area
While Coronavirus has been a challenging time for us all, we here at EventStable are positive for what's to come; warmer, longer days and businesses and restaurants beginning to reopen.
We know that the road ahead is uncertain for the restaurant and event industry, but we must do our best to meet the challenge of new guidelines and get creative.
For most states, phase 1 and 2 of businesses and restaurants reopening, require social distancing to remain in place.
For restaurants specifically, indoor seating may still not be permitted. That being said, outdoor dining may be the only option for restaurants throughout the summer.
If you are a restaurant owner considering making use of or expanding your outdoor dining area, we have a few tips that you may find helpful along the way.
Choose the Right Furniture
The type of furniture you choose for your outdoor dining space matters. Why? Because it has to be functional and comfortable.
When it comes to outdoor furniture in particular, the tables and chairs you choose should be durable and designed to handle the elements. In addition, outdoor dining furniture should be waterproof, easy to transport and stackable.
We’ve even come up with helpful diagrams to show you how you could arrange your dining area to meet current guidelines (please be sure to check your state’s specific guidelines).
Prepare for the Elements
Besides having the right outdoor furniture that can weather the elements, there are other ways you can create a pleasant outdoor dining experience for your guests.
As summer approaches, the first thing you can provide your customer with is shade from the hot sun. Tents and Canopies give both shelter from the heat and rain.
If outdoor dining is your only option throughout the summer, having shelter on rainy days means you can stay open for business. Don’t let the threat of inclement weather make you fearful of creating an outdoor dining space for customers.
What about those cool summer nights? Outdoor patio heaters make a great addition to any outdoor dining space and will keep your customers comfortably warm when the sun goes down
So you’ve built up your outdoor dining space with the essentials but how do you take the experience you’ve created indoors at your restaurant, outside? First up, lighting.
Lighting is often added as an afterthought but it’s actually essential to the ambience you are trying to create. Customers go to restaurants to get out of their homes and share a wonderful meal in a different setting.
When the sun sets, you can create a romantic and laid back atmosphere by adding commercial string lights. Second, although functional wood folding tables by themselves aren’t always pretty.
Lastly, if you find your outdoor space feeling a little bare, or without great views, just add greenery!
Greenery can improve the visual appearance of your outdoor dining space and bring more guests in. Flowers or greenery in planters are a great way to improve privacy and can act as screens between a public walking area and your outdoor space.
We hope we’ve presented you with some ideas for your outdoor dining space, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Author: Larah Winn
Larah is the creative and marketing specialist here at EventStable. She lives in the old axe factory town of Collinsville, Connecticut with her husband and dog Baya. In her free time you can find her helping her husband restore their 1860's cottage.