Adding outdoor furniture to your restaurant can create a space that’s both comfortable and functional for your customers. If you’re in one of the lucky regions that gets to enjoy pleasant weather across multiple seasons, an outdoor seating area is a great way to expand your venue space. Customers appreciate dining al fresco for the views and to enjoy the weather or live entertainment, especially during the summer.

We’ve created a guide for buying commercial outdoor furniture to help you create an outdoor space that’s sure to keep customers coming back to enjoy it again and again.

Outdoor Tables

Often taken for granted as a given at any dining establishment, a quality table can add to a patrons’ experience in your restaurant by being the center of any conversation. Outdoor tables can be made from a variety of materials that are resistant to the elements and stand up to commercial use. The most common outdoor table materials are aluminum, resin, synthetic wood, cast iron, and steel. Tables can come in several heights, but bar height (40″-42″) and dining height (28″-30″) are the most popular choices.

Pro Tip: Make the most of your outdoor dining area by alternating between bar- and dining-height tables, creating visual appeal to your space and providing more seating options for your customers.

Aluminum

Aluminum furniture is durable, lightweight, and resistant to rust. Those traits combine to form a material that will stand up to the elements while being easy to maintain. Choose aluminum tables and chairs for their low maintenance and easy maneuverability. 

Aluminum outdoor furniture can come in natural or painted finishes, so there are plenty of options for customization.

Read more about maintaining aluminum furniture in this Resource Center article.

Resin

Resin is a strong material that boasts resistance to staining, scratching, and fading. Usually made of molded melamine or plastic, resin is strong and easy to maintain. Resin outdoor furniture is often chosen for its sleek look, easy cleaning, and resistance to weathering. 

Due to its renowned durability, resin is especially ideal for use in beach or poolside areas with salty air, chlorine, and lots of sun. Choose resin if you live near a coast or consistently get a lot of rain.

Synthetic Wood/Teak

Synthetic wood has the same inviting look as natural wood, but is typically made from a composite of wood and plastic in order to withstand outdoor commercial use. Some synthetic wood furniture is framed with aluminum or steel and powder-coated, giving it a modern look. 

Read more about synthetic wood in this Resource Center article.

Wrought Iron

While wrought iron requires a little more effort in maintenance, it’s often the material of choice for outdoor furniture because of its classic style and undeniable sturdiness. Known for its longevity, wrought iron will endure years of commercial use when properly maintained. 

Don’t be intimidated — it’s not difficult to maintain and clean your wrought iron furniture!

Learn how to properly clean and refinish wrought iron furniture in our Resource Center article.

Steel

Steel furniture is very popular for outdoor use because of its strength and resistance to weather. This material has a classic look, and with tops available in different colors and patterns, there are lots of options for customizing your outdoor décor.

Spruce up your outdoor seating with a steel table finished in color that complements your vibe!

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Chairs and Barstools

An outdoor seat can make or break a customer experience. Outdoor dining is meant to increase enjoyment and time spent at your restaurant, so choose a chair or stool that you find comfortable, and chances are that your customers will find it comfortable, too. Outdoor chairs and stools are most commonly made of resin, steel, and aluminum, but there are a few other factors to consider before buying an outdoor chair or stool.

Seats With or Without Arms

The choice between seats with arms and without arms is equally about personal preference and intended use. If maximizing space is a priority, a chair without arms offers some help. Armless chairs can be pushed neatly under a table or counter, and can sometimes be flipped to sit upside down on a table, making floor cleanup a breeze. In contrast, chairs and stools with arms add a certain level of comfort and enable customers to easily lounge and converse with a beverage in hand.

 

Good For 

With Arms 

– Added comfort and support for diners

– Creating an inviting atmosphere

– Customers can rest arms without putting them on the table 

Without Arms 

– Some models allow for stacking in storage

– Pushes neatly under tables for tight spaces

– Some models allow for turn-up on table storage 

 

Choosing Seat and Back Material

Once you’ve chosen the construction material and style of your chairs, it’s time to decide which type of material will be best for the seats and backs of your chairs.

There are lots of options for seat and back materials on outdoor chairs and stools. Begin by considering the color scheme and atmosphere of your outdoor space. Metal seats are a popular, classic look and can be easily dried after it rainsResin seats are comfortable and easy to maintain throughout a season of use. 

  Benefits  Comfort Level 

Black Metal Chair

Metal 

– Dries quickly

– Durable

– High weight capacity 

Comfy 

Outdoor Plastic Chair

Resin/Plastic 

– Keeps cool in the sun

– Easy to store

– Lightweight

– Weather-resistant 

Comfier 

Wood Chair

Wood 

– Easy to add cushions for extra comfort

– Sturdy

– Keeps cool

Comfiest 

 

Outdoor Lounge Seating

Chaise Lounges and Sofas 

If you’re adding a comfortable and stylish outdoor space fit for lounging to your establishment, consider a chaise or an outdoor sofaBoth are ideal for casual outdoor seating that doesn’t revolve around dining. They’re a great addition to an existing outdoor dining or lounge spaces and chaises are easy to move when you want to adjust the layout.

Try adding a chaise or outdoor sofa to your:

  • Bar or lounge as alternative seating
  • Poolside, beachside, or lakeside 
  • Hotel outdoor lounge areas 
  • Residential decks and patios 
  • Common areas at clubhouses, apartments, or universities 

Chaises can come in a wide variety of constructions and with different accessories. For example, some chaises are cushioned, making them perfect for poolside or luxury outdoor spaces. Other chaises are adjustable, which provides the user with more options for custom comfort. 

Outdoor sofas and sectionals are usually made with a resin base for durability to the elements. It’s easy to create a relaxing conversation area with sofas and a low table that will likely become the most sought-after place for your guests to sit!

Outdoor Dining Accessories 

Accessories complete your outdoor dining space and can even extend its use throughout the year. 

Accessory  Use it For  Benefits 

Umbrella

Umbrellas 

Keep patrons (and your furniture!) cool and shaded, which makes for a more comfortable customer experience. Especially useful in areas that receive direct sun for any part of the day.
  • Keeps patio cooler 
  • Helps protect furniture from sun and weather 
  • Customers are more comfortable 

 Heater

Portable Heaters 

Effectively extend your outdoor dining season with a portable heater and encourage customers to continue enjoying dining outside in the cooler months of the year. 
  • Allows customers to dine outside in cool weather
  • Extends use of outdoor space 

Portable AC

Portable Coolers 

Keep customers comfortable in summer months by providing a cool space, and make use of your outdoor seating even during the hottest days with a portable air conditioning unit. 
  • Keep outdoor dining area comfortable in hot weather
  • Make use of an outdoor area when you may otherwise have to avoid it due to heat

Outdoor lantern

Lighting 

Besides helping your customers easily read their menus, outdoor lighting is an instant upgrade to the ambiance of a space. It can be trendy or classic, but it’s always a great addition.  
  • Utilize outdoor seating after dark 
  • Allows diners to read menus more easily 
  • A truly beautiful addition to any outdoor space

 Resin Fence

Fencing 

Fencing can help direct foot traffic, separate your outdoor area from a nearby sidewalk or parking lot, or create spaces to suit your specific needs.
  • Directs foot traffic to a hostess stand 
  • Gives patrons more privacy from sources of traffic 

Trash Can

Trash/Recycling 

Keep your outdoor area and the surrounding community a cleaner place by providing your customers with a place to put their trash and recycling. As a bonus, diners will be encouraged to clear their own tables!
  • Keep your outdoor area clean
  • Allows diners to clear their own tables

Top Outdoor Furniture Manufacturers 

Commercial outdoor furniture should be durable, stylish, and comfortable. Central offers outdoor furniture from industry-leading manufacturers, some even with free shipping! Read and learn more about these top furniture manufacturers.

More on Commercial Furniture 

Want more information on buying restaurant furniture? Check out these pages and articles to read about buying the best furniture for your business. Plus, our knowledgeable product specialists are always standing by to help you choose the right furniture for your outdoor space. Contact them at (877)852-2957. 

• Restaurant Chairs 
• Restaurant Bar Stools 
• Buying Restaurant and Bar Furniture
• How to Keep Wrought Iron Furniture Rust-Free
• Restaurant Patio Ideas to Wow Your Customers

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami