Running a restaurant brings the challenge of ensuring that your patrons are happy with your services. One option to add value and space to your business is to provide outdoor seating. By doing so, you add an extra bonus room on to your restaurant. This means you can maximize your space without straining your budget.
Customers who enjoy relaxing outside while eating will be attracted to your restaurant’s outdoor “green space”. This outdoor space will also appeal to your environmentally friendly customers! If you create the right kind of outdoor environment, you’ll find that this seating choice becomes popular with your customers. You will need to choose comfortable, quality furniture, however. You don’t want customers scrambling back inside after a few uncomfortable minutes on cheap restaurant chairs. Read on for tips on how to choose the right outdoor chairs for your restaurant.
Your first consideration should be to choose chairs that will last for years. Since these chairs will be outside enduring all kinds of weather and supporting thousands of customers, you need to choose furniture that is high-quality. Your return on investment is important. Select chairs that will attract satisfied customers for years.
Your chairs should also be no-fuss, if possible. You don’t want to have to put a lot of work into caring for your chairs, especially if it takes time away from more important tasks. Consider your climate when deciding if metal or teak chairs would be a better-fit long-term. You might also consider synthetic teak chairs, which could be even less hassle when it comes to maintenance.
Some of the features of quality and low-maintenance chairs include:
A sturdy anodized polished aluminum frame
Durable teak back and seat
Sophisticated styling which offers a modern look
Stackable up to 8 high (great for keeping areas clear when needed)
Look for synthetic teak options
Consider arm chair, barstool, and arm barstool styles
Also, choose quality outdoor furniture. You might not have it in your budget to choose the most expensive chairs, but you can find quality choices within your budget. Look for materials that are put together well and are completely finished.
If choosing wood, ensure that even the hidden places are sanded and finished off. Metal choices should be smooth everywhere with a quality finish to the material. Nothing should be put together with glue or adhesive that doesn’t withstand weather and wear. Always select furniture that has been built with careful attention to quality.
It’s easy to think of outdoor furnishings as somewhat less important than what you buy for indoor use. In fact, the reverse is often true. What you buy to use outside has to stand up to sun exposure, the wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. It is also the first impression of your restaurant as customers walk past while trying to decide where to dine!
When selecting your chairs and outdoor furniture, consider the space that you have to work with. Try to provide a variety of options for the diverse customers who will be frequenting your restaurant. Include at least two bigger seating arrangements for larger parties. You can then fill in the rest of the area (depending on the size of the space) with smaller tables and chairs. These smaller tables can be put together in a pinch to create larger eating areas. They can also create intimate seating arrangements in attractive nooks that will be a hit with customers.
Customers will not stay outside if the seating isn’t comfortable. Consider adding weather-proof cushions to your chairs. Also, choose chairs that offer full support so that customers can lounge casually without feeling back pain or discomfort. A comfortable customer is one that will stay and then tell their friends to visit the restaurant.
6. Shade options
One aspect of eating outside that can be frustrating for customers is sitting in the hot sun or in the rain. You can make sure they don’t have to endure the unpleasant aspects of the weather by providing outdoor umbrellas. Choose umbrellas that have a solid aluminum post made with weather-proof and anti-fading fabric. Also, check to make sure that the umbrella is easy to open and close. Pair the umbrella with a solid base stand, and your customers will be ready to enjoy eating outdoors unhindered by the elements.
Ensure that your customers will be happy with your seating by providing choices. If you have an outdoor bar or are providing high-top tables, choose quality stools to go with these seating arrangements. You can select a traditional bar stool without a back, or you can choose more comfortable stools that offer a back and even armrests. Make sure to also offer regular height chairs and tables. Offering flexible seating will ensure that your customers always find exactly what they are looking for.
8. Decor Theme
Quality and comfort are of utmost importance. But to really make your customers thrilled with your outdoor space, you also need to consider style. Textiles help to make an outdoor space feel warmer and inviting. Cushions, umbrellas, and even items such as rugs can really enliven a space. Make sure to carry the restaurant’s aesthetic theme from indoors to the outside. It should feel like an extension and perhaps a reimagining of what is inside.
Choose colors that make an impression, but that also feel inviting. You’ll also want to select outdoor fabrics that hold up to significant use and are weather-resistant. You will have to replace them at some point, but the outdoor fabric will last far longer than standard indoor fabric.
When it comes to hardware, you can select metal or wood for your seating. Both options come in quality materials. You can also choose funky, quality plastic seating if it matches your theme. Always choose the best quality that you can afford.
Now that you know the many options available for outdoor seating areas, you have to consider your budget. You definitely want to purchase the highest quality materials. But it all needs to also fit within your budget. There are many ways to finance your outdoor redecorating, and you can check with your bank to see what you qualify for.
Outdoor seating is a trend that many top restaurants are choosing to offer to their patrons. More people are opting to enjoy being outside, including when they are relaxing over a meal. Make room in your budget to create or improve an outside seating area. And do it in a way that will give you a good return on investment. Always choose quality materials that are comfortable and stylish. By offering an outside seating area, your restaurant could become the next hot spot for local diners who want great food and that perfect ambiance.