A patio is a great place for diners to enjoy a meal or drinks when the weather outside is nice. To build the perfect patio for your restaurant, follow the following steps. One very important bit of information for those with outdoor patios, you are going to need to get rain gutters installed. Trust me. The snow melting or a light rain will absolutely ruin the outdoor effect you are trying to create.
- First and foremost, make sure you have a permit to build an outdoor structure, especially if you’ll be serving alcohol on the patio – which is technically outdoors. Some states also require different permits for cooking outside. You also may need a permit for plumbing or electricity work outside. Going a step further with this step, ensure that your patio is safe for customers to walk on, with no jagged edges and all step-ups and step-downs clearly labeled.
- Also consider how much room you have to build. You don’t want to build a patio that’s so small it can’t accommodate many guests or live entertainment, if you plan to offer it. Having a bar or outdoor cooking station will also take up valuable space. Customers should be able to push their chairs out and walk around each table. Otherwise, the space is too cramped. No matter how much you want to build a patio, it may simply not be a good idea for your restaurant if space is limited. If you do have enough space, plan carefully to utilize every square foot.
- Prepare for the weather. A patio can be the perfect place to dine in good weather but a disaster in rain, wind or bright sunlight. Have a back-up plan in the event that you need to evacuate the patio and bring those customers inside. Depending on your climate, you can consider covering your patio with a roof to block sunlight and installing ceiling fans to keep guests cool. In cooler, rainier climates, temporary canopies or roll-up plastic panels may be a more practical solution. In any climate, rain gutters are a good idea for your patio. All kinds of gutters are available, and they can give a polished touch to your patio so that rain does not pour off the roof haphazardly onto unsuspecting patrons.
- Once your patio is built, make it something special. Don’t let it be just another place for diners to sit all the time. Use it for special later hours, weekend brunch or rent it out for special events such as birthday parties or reunions. Hire live entertainment such as a band or karaoke that will only be available for patio diners. Make sure to advertise so that potential customers know how may cool, interesting thing your patio offers. You might also need to consult local laws about music ordinances, especially through the week, and make sure your patio festivities won’t aggravate your neighbors.
Dress up your patio by stringing lights and placing colorful pots of plants all around for a lively, festive atmosphere. A nice awning can keep the rain off your customers while also working as a welcome sign for your restaurant. You can customize each of these little touches to match the color scheme and overall atmosphere of your restaurant.