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Crafting Outdoor Dining Spaces: A Blend of Aesthetics and Functionality

  • 4 min read

When designing an outdoor dining space, there are several things that you should keep in mind. While you want to have a space that serves its essential purpose, can withstand the elements, etc, you also want to make it your own. After all, what is to distinguish your restaurant from all the others out there?

Fortunately, there are some great ideas out there on how you can do this. Particularly since the pandemic, restaurants have been moving outside, and they have been compensating for space restrictions and unpredictable weather in more and more interesting ways. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Free space is yours to explore

If you own or lease a building that has space around it, think about how you can utilize it best to your advantage. For example:

  • You could lay out tables in rows directly behind the building, of course, and this would make sense if you want to cover them with awning when it rains or potentially create a sunroom in the winter.
  • Or you could choose a different method. If you have a fair-sized lawn behind you, you could lay out tables more freely, potentially give your guests more breathing space so that they feel like they have some privacy with their individual parties. If you’re concerned about exposure to the elements, there are different ways that you can handle this.
  • You could either put out circular tables that you could put large umbrellas in the middle of, or think of another creative arrangement. If you have the space and the means, you could even dot your outdoor space with individual huts. There’s nothing that people like more than the idea of going to a nice restaurant and having your own personal little cottage to occupy for your big night out.

Some restaurants get really creative and dot their lawns with other types of objects in between tables. Paraphernalia, statues, or other weather-resistant items can do a lot to spruce up a lawn.

What kind of furniture to use?

The other big question is what kind of furniture you can use. Of course you want something that is attractive and will suit your restaurant’s overall theme. But you’ll have to keep in mind that outside conditions are potentially a lot rougher than inside ones. And conditions can be challenging in Florida just as they can in New York.

So you could go with wood or a wood finish, especially if your restaurant has a rustic theme. Just be sure you pick a sturdy type and it has a nice varnish on it. If you want to create a cozier feel, you could add some cushions to the seats. Keep in mind, too, what kind of food will match your style - if you’ve got pizza, for example, you might want to go with something more casual. For fine dining, you might need to think a bit more creatively.

Alternatively, outdoor furniture designers are coming up with more and more attractive options for durable outdoor furniture. Decorative, plush plastic seats with nice designs on them are becoming more common. And so too are varieties of colors - it used to be the case that most picnic-style furniture was white or gray. Nowadays, outdoor furniture comes in a wide array of colors, sizes, and styles to suit different tastes.

If you still don’t see what you want, make your own

One of the best things about living in the age of technology is that you can customize just about anything to suit your particular tastes. If you have your own ideas about the way a patio or outdoor space should look, check out some digital images of your ideas.

3D rendering is becoming quite popular these days in many different industries, and it is particularly useful for things like restaurant design. In fact, people are even making whole careers out of doing 3D rendering for others. Before, restaurateurs only had a finite number of options to choose from, particularly for outdoor furniture. But thanks to modern technology, the world is their oyster.

Don’t forget the decor

Just because you’re designing a patio doesn’t mean you need to ditch the decor. Think of something that complements what you’ve got inside, but is durable enough not to get blown away in the wind. You might even affix certain pieces to your outdoor tables.

This, too, is something that you can experiment with when you use the right software. Let yourself explore your ideas visually; you never know what you might come up with that will actually work. And if you create something original, your restaurant may well become the talk of the town.

Design a space to envy

At the end of the day, it’s YOUR restaurant. Regardless of whether you want to shock passersby with something extravagant, or remain subtle and graceful, it’s your space to work with. These days, with all the options available, you have the luxury of being able to choose something that is both functional and attractive, whatever that might mean for you and your business.

As long as you choose materials and a setup that will stay in place during the seasons that you want them to, yours will be a restaurant that will reflect your personal style. And there is nothing that people respect more than individual integrity.