How to Create a Captivating Outdoor Setting for Your Restaurant

The first idea that comes to mind when you think restaurant design is usually a state-of-the-art kitchen and appliances, a well-stocked bar and an inviting, comfortable and stylish dining room. What is commonly overlooked is the importance of a captivating outdoor setting as well.

Especially during the summer season, al fresco dining is the preference of most guests so this area needs special attention. Once they pass through the main dining area and come out to the back patio, they need to be smitten with a charming design that will be both dazzling and mouth-watering. 

If this is what you’re aiming at, here are several design tips for making a gorgeous outdoor dining space.

Restaurant brand signage

Your restaurant entrance will surely make a great first impression if you have an original, eye-catching business sign. Before you put it up, make sure you know what local regulations are as many business districts impose strict rules on the types of signage.

Once you have that covered, it’s advisable to have a professional sign designer produce a sign that is reflective of your restaurant and menu design. Do offer your suggestions and ideas, but let the experts do the job so you don’t end up with an amateur, hand-made sign that speaks of anything but class!


Outdoor lights 

Along with your business sign, your outdoor area will benefit from several others that indicate opening/closing hours, available parking and any other valuable information. This job should also be given to professionals because with proper bespoke lighting, you’re not only setting up the right ambience but you’re ensuring your customers’ safety as well.  

Outdoor lights in strategic places will create an inviting atmosphere and a string of overhead fairy lights add a magical touch to the outdoor dining space, especially in the warm summer nights. Throw in several torches along the pathways, scented candles and stylish table lamps for an intimate atmosphere and a couple of retro chandeliers that give old-time elegance.

Seating arrangement

Having sufficient seating options in your restaurant is a priority in order to accommodate all your guests. If your regular guests are a younger population that usually come in larger groups, set up comfy sofas and coffee tables for their gatherings. If you tend to have busy nights and turn tables several times at dinner time, then smaller café tables work best. For the customers who wait, it’s an interesting idea to accommodate them outside in the front of your restaurant, on a stylish bench or French café chairs and tables, so they can chat in the street as the nightlife progresses.

It’s the same for your outdoor dining area –the furniture needs to be aesthetically pleasing but also strong and durable withstand the elements and wearing. Consider going with materials such as synthetic wood, aluminium, teak or recycled plastic/wood composite. Not only are these durable and comfortable, but they also look great as well. Depending on your style and preferences, new outdoor furniture collections in Sydney demonstrate the choices you can make, from classy modulars adaptable to any occasion to versatile outdoor chairs and lounges in a contemporary style.


Outdoor area décor

For any restaurant with an alfresco area, it’s important to extend the indoor comfort and ambience to the outdoors so the guests can feel equally welcome. The easiest way to do it is simply by continuing with the similar décor details such as the light fixtures, table cloths, flower plants and greenery, chairs and benches upholstery as well as the music that is always an essential ingredient of pleasant dinner evening. 

For alfresco dining at daytime, make sure you provide enough shade to protect the customers from the weather. Not many people would enjoy dining in the direct hot sun, so get equipped with umbrellas, awnings or tents that can be moved and adjusted according to your needs.

Restaurant information

Outside menus are another thing to consider as typical paper menus usually get blown away, stolen or dirty, so by using a rolling menu-board, an old-style chalkboard or a glass menu case next to the entrance of your restaurant and in the back patio you’ll be able to inform the guests of your delicacies Just make sure it is well lit and clearly written so the customers can see it easily both in day and at night.

A little bit of tasteful humour is always welcome and it might just be one of the reasons passers-by decide to enter your establishment, so consider adding a sandwich board on the pavement to advertise your daily specials with the addition of an inspirational quote or an appropriate joke.

A well-designed and inviting restaurant patio plays a vital role in attracting customers to your establishment and whether you’re operating a rooftop space or a simple back patio, you can generate extra profit by offering more seating space and excellent service. Hopefully, with the design tips listed here, you can get an incentive to design your splendid outdoor restaurant space!