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Build and Plan an Outdoor Patio Area for Your Restaurant

Outside Patio
Designing a patio extension for your restaurant is a great way to bring in additional clientele. Many people enjoy being able to sit outside and relax on a lovely day - you just need to make sure that they can remain comfortable. Consider the following when planning your outdoor patio area.

Rules: What Are the Regulations for It?

Begin with the regulations in your area. Some regulations may not permit you to build outside. Others may limit your current space to a certain square footage unless you can get an exemption. Every county and state is different - in some areas you may even need to get permission from the surrounding businesses or the surrounding homes.

You can find out more about the regulations involved by contacting the county directly or by consulting with your attorney.

Location: Where Will You Put It?

You have a few options when building an outdoor patio. You can put it out in the front, in the back, or even on the roof. Where you choose to locate it depends on where you have extra space and the look that you want to achieve. If you want to draw customers in, a front patio is noticeable. A back patio is more private, whereas a rooftop patio may be necessary if you don't have a lot of square footage for your lot.

Shade: How Will You Protect It?

Whether it's hot or cold outside, your patio is going to need shade. An awning is an effective way to immediately decorate and accent the area while also protecting it. A retractable awning can be ideal in areas that have volatile weather patterns, as you can retract it when the weather's nice and pull it back out it if it begins to snow or rain.

In addition to shade, you may want to invest in fans for the summer and heaters for the winter. If you're in a more moderate or temperate area, adding these things can make your patio comfortable for the majority of the year.

Awnings can also be designed to advertise your restaurant if they can be viewed from the sidewalk or from the road.

Seating: How Many People Can Fit in It?

Once you're certain where you want to put your patio, you need to figure out how many tables and chairs will fit in the area. This is no different from the planning that is done inside of a restaurant at the very beginning of the build. Your seating will impact your budget significantly, as it will impact the cost of your furnishings and remodeling.

At the same time, you don't want to make your patio larger than you can sustain. Figure out how many people would actually be out on the patio at any given time, extrapolated from the number of guests you generally receive. Building beyond this could be an unnecessary expense.

Staff: How Will You Manage It?

Your staff members will often need to treat an outdoor patio as a separate zone, as they need to pass through it regularly to figure out whether customers need their attention. They may have difficulty doing so if they're also spending time inside. At peak times, you may need to have a separate team member take care of the outdoor patio. During slow times, you may be able to assign it as just one role of many for an individual team member.

You must take several factors into consideration when creating an outdoor patio area, but the benefits can far outweigh the drawbacks. If you're thinking about placing a patio outside of your restaurant, you just need to plan ahead. Start by getting a quote on awnings from Eikelberger Awning & Drapery Co.