How to Organize Your Restaurant Patio

Tips to create a functional and attractive restaurant outdoor seating space


With restaurants reopening and offering outdoor dining during Summer, implementing your patio can attract new customers and bring them back to a seating experience.

During post-pandemic times, restaurants are experiencing an increase in foot traffic and in-store visits, according to research by the marketing tech company Zenreach, reported on The Spoon. While the restaurant industry recovers, most business models are now adapted to these new changes and offer delivery options or to-go meals. Nevertheless, restaurant outdoor seating is a popular option during Summer days.

Here are some suggestions by our Choco team on how to organize a restaurant patio and create a successful dining experience.

▢ Check on local patio regulations and make a list of which permits you need. Different regulated areas regarding your restaurant outdoor space - and for which you may need to get in contact with your township - are noise, smoking, dog-friendly spaces, electricity, and plumbing.

▢ Organize your space layout strategically. Your number of tables shouldn’t exceed your kitchen capacity. Make sure to place chairs, tables, and all furniture in a way that allows your customers and team to move smoothly and safely.

▢ Install a patio bar or outdoor cooking station such as a grill or pizza oven. This might be the real deal to attract new customers and get them back to dining outdoor.

▢ Choose practical restaurant patio furniture that is movable and easy to store. Fences and dividers of any kind can help you create a good layout and better separate tables in a narrower space.

▢ Keep your restaurant outdoor space on brand and design it according to your customers’ demographics. You can give your patio a little “lounge” touch by placing fire pits and couches. Also, consider hosting space for live music - your customers will absolutely love it!

▢ Prepare for the weather. This entails providing shade with umbrellas or deck covers or even installing fans on your roofline. You can choose to place plants or trees to absorb the heat. During cold nights or days, equip your patio with heaters. Also, remember to store furniture cushions in a dry place overnight and during rainstorms.

▢ Keep bugs and pests out - birds, insects, mice, and squirrels shouldn’t be dining with your customer. Don’t leave uneaten food on tables for too long, and clean your space regularly. Note that bright shades can attract bees and wasps; dark or neutral colors are therefore more ideal colors for your restaurant patio.

▢ Consider installing pressure water to clean your patio.