As soon as the first rays of sun drive away winter and temperatures become milder, guests are drawn to outdoor areas, beer gardens, sidewalk cafés or bar tables in front of bars. With a coherent design and service concept, many restaurateurs are expanding their retail space and serving guests on beer benches, at outdoor tables or at an outdoor bar. Besides the aesthetic design, you should also consider some practical aspects if you want to add an outdoor area to your restaurant, bar or cafe.
The number of guests differentiates catering establishments just as much as the type of guests and, of course, the opening hours. Bars with outdoor seating require different equipment than cafes that are only open until six in the evening. Be clear about the type of guests you want using your outdoor space, whether you want to provide smokers with a comfortable place to hang out, or whether you want to serve food on your patio as well as inside your restaurant. The needs of your potential guests will largely determine the design of your outdoor area.
What is still beautiful in spring can quickly become uncomfortable in summer: the sun! Offer your guests enough shade options. Not every guest likes to sit in the blazing sun. A good and flexible way to provide shade on the terrace are parasols. This leaves some sunny spots free and every guest can decide for himself whether he prefers to sit in the sun or in the shade. Traffic light umbrellas are particularly practical: they can be positioned to match the position of the sun. Choose from various parasol systems the one that works best for your space conditions. Practical: sunshades also protect your guests from small rain showers.
The sun is shining, but the temperatures are not playing along? Many guests like to sit outside and enjoy the sun even in spring or autumn. So that your guests do not freeze, you should install patio heater. This way your guests will be nice and warm.
In addition to radiant heaters, soft cushions and cozy blankets will also help your guests enjoy a pleasant stay outdoors! Heated seat cushions provide additional seating comfort.
In a cozy beer garden, restaurant or café, your guests will enjoy peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Provide privacy and noise protection from the noisy pedestrian zone, an adjacent street or a residential area with appropriate stands or planting. For those who find the maintenance of an evergreen box hedge too costly, barrier systems can be set up with embedded flower pots. Outdoor areas in quiet locations do without barriers completely, so as not to obstruct the expanse of the view. Trust your instincts here, because you know best how to make your guests feel comfortable.
Does your inn have a lawn, garden or open space that lends itself to outdoor entertaining? Keep in mind that undeveloped lawns are nice to look at, but relatively difficult to maintain - a classic gravel substrate is often a better choice here. Gravel can be walked on even when it rains and does not require cleaning. Creating a paved patio looks classy, but comes with construction costs and cleaning costs. Some municipalities, such as Frankfurt am Main, enact regulations on the necessary greenery, so that a paved outdoor area is only approved here with appropriate plantings.
Before you start planning your outdoor area, you should definitely inform yourself about the regulations that have to be observed! So you avoid not only trouble with the authorities, but also with the neighbors.
Every pub, restaurant and café derives its individual charm from the size and arrangement of the tables it serves. The right furniture for your outdoor restaurant is determined by how much space you have in your outdoor area, or how many additional tables the capacity of your kitchen allows. In addition, you should consider the weather conditions in your area and walking distances for your staff before deciding on tables, chairs or bar tables.
Space is just as scarce at small sidewalk cafes or sunny bar tables in front of the pub as it is in large beer gardens or on the dining terrace of a restaurant. Plan exactly how much space is left between tables or beer tent sets when outfitting your outdoor area. Your guests should be able to sit comfortably without bumping into another guest with the back of their chair. Also, keep in mind your service staff needs to be able to reach each table. As a general rule, give guests enough room to sit on an outdoor chair with 80 inches. For benches, use the rule of thumb "bench depth plus 20 cm". As with the interior of your restaurant, keep in mind that your china and dinnerware should fit on the tables without cramped dining for guests.
Give your guests in the outdoor area rather a little more space. Those who sit outside appreciate an unobstructed view and are happy to remain seated for longer. Constricted seating conditions damage the coziness in outdoor gastronomy.
Long distances often mean delays. For large outdoor areas, you should think about how your staff can cover the distances quickly and efficiently so that there is no unnecessary waiting time for your guests. An outdoor counter or outdoor service station equips your on-site service with the necessary utensils. Serving trolleys are a particularly practical and flexible solution here. If your outdoor area is very large, you can also think about installing an outdoor bar. Popular outdoor events such as cocktail evenings or barbecues can be realized more easily with the appropriate equipment and attract a great many guests to your establishment.
The utilization of your outdoor area can be estimated very well after one summer, so you can talk to your staff about necessary outdoor service stations or reasonable walkways.
Of course, the weather has an impact on any outdoor gastronomy. Don't just pick tables, chairs, benches or bar tables to match your catering concept, consider the maintenance and weather resistance of the furniture: plastic, metal or coated wood furnishings wash down easily and can be left outside in the rain. Upholstered benches, cushions or pillows mean extra work for your staff, as the textiles have to be stored in the dry during bad weather and at closing time.