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.
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.
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.
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.