How to transform your restaurant’s outdoor dining space

If you run a restaurant, then you may want to ensure that your seating arrangement is COVID-friendly. If you don’t, then you may not be able to provide the dining experience your customers are looking for.

As the summer approaches, customers are going to want to enjoy the nicer weather and maybe enjoy their meal along with it. Providing outdoor dining not only helps your business to remain COVID-compliant, but allows your customers to have a better experience as well.

Sidewalk Seating

If you are looking for a practical and affordable outdoor seating arrangement, sidewalk seating may help you. The right restaurant patio or seating arrangement can easily help you to attract diners, and you may also be able to draw people in from the streets as well. 

Even if you just have a small amount of space, you can easily place a few tables with an umbrella outside for your customers. The great thing about this is that it requires minimal investment. 

If you have a restaurant in a busier city like LA or New York, then it is important to remember that tables and seating have to be close to the wall if possible. You can annoy potential customers or get in trouble with law enforcement if you do not comply with city code regarding sidewalk dining spaces.

Take your Cooking Outdoors

A great way to attract customers could be to take your cooking outside.The aroma of the delicious food you are cooking will easily attract any diner right to your doorstep. Customers will have the chance to watch your cooks and your bartenders work, and may enjoy seeing the craftsmanship displayed as their meals get prepared.

Taking your equipment outdoors can take up a significant amount of space, so keep this in mind and also do your research when it comes to the rules and regulations. 

Restaurant Ordering App

If you want to make things even easier for your customers, then you can invest in a restaurant ordering app

If you have something like this, you can easily give your customers the chance to order from their outdoor seat, which will save you time and effort while giving them a level of convenience. A restaurant ordering app is also ideal if you want to stop your guests from ordering at the counter to keep with social distancing guidelines.

Add Some Better Lighting

With the days getting longer and warmer, it’s safe to say that more and more people are now resorting to dining outside later on. It’s possible for it to still be light outside by 7pm, and this is a great opportunity that you need to capitalize on. 

If you want to help yourself to make the most out of your restaurant, then consider adding some nice overhead lighting for your tables. Don’t go for something too bright though, because if you do, then you may end up ruining the ambiance that you have worked so hard to create. 

Some ways you can create a better ambiance include candles, overhead string/ bulb lights, manicured plants, and comfortable seating. This way, guests can enjoy the weather from the comfort of your restaurant.


Chris Turn

Chris Turn is the pseudonym of a journalist and writer who has published short stories, essays, and criticism in the Los Angeles Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the New York Times. Her most recent book, a novel, is The Summoning (The HarperCollins Canada, 2014). She lives with her husband in Toronto.

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