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Retractable tips for shade at a Restaurant

Top Five Outdoor shade solutions for a Restaurant

An outdoor seating area is a major customer attraction for many restaurants - it makes the most of any views, allows customers to enjoy pleasant days outside, gives families with children space to move around and can create a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere.
However, it is important to ensure that your customers are always comfortable and protected from the harsh sun outside. Here are our top five solutions that will best create cooling shade in your outdoor area.
Extend the roof

By extending your roof to the outside, you are not only providing shade to your customers, but also bringing the outdoors inside. If you are looking for flexibility, a retractable roof system is the ideal solution - it allows you to easily open up the roof to let in light, or close it to shelter the outdoor seating area. These roofs also provide protection against rain and wind.

Fabric options

There are a wide variety of affordable and versatile outdoor fabric covers available for restaurants decks and patios. Fabric shading can be customised into many shapes and sizes – making it easy to choose a product to suit your restaurant’s design. Shade sails provide a stylish, permanent and cost effective solution to cover your seating area. For a more adjustable option, you may want to install retractable awnings which are also available in various material and designs, but can be opened and closed according to your preferences. Be sure to choose a product that is UV and water resistant.

Outdoor umbrellas

Large outdoor umbrellas or parasols have been popular shading solutions for restaurants over many years. These umbrellas are usually easy to install, and to open and close, but they do not provide much protection from rain or strong winds. For safety reasons, it is important to use umbrellas that are sturdy and can withstand harsh winds.


The solution to creating shade for your customers can sometimes be as simple as using plants. If there are trees outside your restaurant, you can position the seating to be in their shade. Tall potted shrubs and bushes can also be very effective in providing shade, or if you are looking for a trendy, but green, shade solution, you may want to install a vertical garden.

Side cover

Your outdoor area may have sufficient protection from above, but there are times during the day that the sun’s harsh rays can enter the seating area from an angle. Side cover, like outdoor blinds and aluminium shutters, provide the best shade when this occurs. These products can be opened and closed - partially or fully - to provide maximum shelter when necessary, but also not jeopardise your customers’ view.

Five tips from Retractable for a bug free Zone

Five tips to a bug free patio

How good is summer? Warm days and spectacular sunsets, long evenings in the garden, lazy lounging on the patio, easy al fresco entertaining - but just as there’s much to love about summer, there are a few seasonal things that we’d prefer not to have. Like mosquitoes. And bugs. And itchy bites and stings.
Insects are uninvited and unwanted guests - and they can really make life uncomfortable. Sometimes, the onslaught from these winged warriors is so bad that it turns an outdoor occasion into an indoor one, spoiling the fun and bringing parties to a premature close.
Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways of keeping the bugs at bay in your outside area so that you and your guests can enjoy uninterrupted summer fun! Here are five of the best:


Blow them away

Insects don’t like ceiling fans. It may be that the gusts of wind that the fans create make it hard for them to fly or settle, but whatever the reason, it makes sense to install one on your outdoor patio. Remember to choose a model that is specially designed for outdoor use otherwise it will rust and deteriorate.

Green guard against bugs

Plants are a naturally good way of warding off unwanted insects - with the added benefit that they look (and smell) great too. Try growing some aromatic plants like basil, rosemary, lavender, pelargoniums, catmint and lemon-scented citronella in containers or in beds near your patio and see just how effective they are in repelling bugs.

Be water-wise

Stagnant water is a magnet for mossies, so make sure there aren’t any places around your patio or al fresco area where water can collect. If you do have a water feature or a pond, make sure the water circulates as much as possible and keep it clear of any rotting vegetation so that it doesn’t become a mosquito breeding ground.

Make sense of scents

Natural scents like citronella have been proven to be very effective in repelling bugs, so consider using products like citronella candles, sprays and coils around your patio area. There are also many other types of insect sprays and bug-zappers on the market, but it’s probably a good idea to check their environmentally friendly credentials before you buy them.

Turn a blind eye

The most effective way of keeping annoying pests away is to install outdoor blinds or shutters in your al fresco area - plus you’ll get so much more than just bug-free outdoor enjoyment. Functional and stylish patio blinds and shutters not only provide an effective barrier against insects, they also protect you against the sun, wind, rain, noise and even nosy neighbours. With the flexibility to retract or adjust them to suit all weather conditions, you’ll benefit from more efficient heating and cooling of your outdoor area and enjoy a much more comfortable al fresco experience throughout the seasons.