In July we typically see longer, and warner days and people are more likely to spend their summer evenings enjoying a drink or outdoor dining with friends and family. For many establishments, this season brings the opportunity to open up outdoor spaces for a sociable Al Fresco dining experience.

If you’re looking for some key elements to enhance your outdoor space and perhaps upgrade your contract furniture to create an inviting outdoor atmosphere, then read on.

Remember that first impressions really count! Very often, cafés, bars and restaurants have outdoor areas at the front. This is the first area people will see, so make sure that the area is clean, tidy and welcoming as it reflects the rest of your premises and your business.

Understand Your Target Market

Your establishment’s target market and ideal customer will dictate your indoor and outdoor dining setup. Bars typically attract couples and young professionals, while cafés and pubs often draw families with children. An outdoor dining space can be particularly appealing to families who appreciate the more relaxed noise level outside. Consider outdoor children’s seating and activities to keep kids entertained while adults unwind.

An Appealing Ambiance

Many restaurants, bars, pubs, bistros and cafes choose to bring the outdoors in with the clever use of foliage, plants and flowers. Organic and nature-inspired settings have become a trend in hospitality interior design. This approach should extend to your outdoor area. Use plants and foliage to create a calming and inviting atmosphere. Choose low-maintenance plants so you can focus on customer service rather than focusing on your plants. This natural environment can be extremely calming and relaxing.

Quality Contract Furniture

First impressions extend to your contract furniture. Ensure it’s always clean, well-maintained, and suitable for outdoor use. FLAT table bases are ideal for uneven outdoor surfaces. This innovative technology keeps tables event and stops the wobble from uneven surfaces. For your outdoor furniture, consider aluminium chairs, synthetic rattan, and polypropylene chairs and tableswhich require minimal upkeep while maintaining style. This way you won’t need to keep staining and protecting your furniture or cover everything at the end of a long evening. And the style doesn’t need to suffer! We have a wide range of contemporary and classic outdoor furniture to suit all styles.

Smart Furniture Layout

Avoid a cramped feel by arranging tables and seating to maximise your outdoor dining space. Use a mix of smaller dining tables, larger tables with benches, and poseur tables with barstools. Different heights add a sense of space and variety, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Comfort in All Weathers

The British summer can be unpredictable so it’s wise to think about how you can still make the most of your outdoor dining space if the summer months don’t deliver the weather we hope for. Equip your outdoor space with patio heaters and baskets of soft blankets for cooler evenings. For protection from the sun, consider our range of UV and water-resistant parasols.

Acoustics and Lighting

Don’t overlook the ambiance and acoustics of your outdoor dining area. Soft background music can enhance the garden atmosphere, provided it’s considerate of neighbouring properties. For lighting, use warm side lights and overhead festoon or fairy lights to create a magical setting.

Attentive Customer Service

Your outdoor area is an extension of your indoor space. Ensure your staff pay it the same attention and care. If your outdoor dining space is large and you’re expecting an increase in footfall, consider hiring additional staff during summer to maintain high service levels. Your outdoor area should not be an afterthought, but a key extension of your establishment.

Unique Outdoor Experiences

To stand out, offer unique outdoor dining experiences such as BBQs, beer or cider festivals, family days, or open-mic sessions. These events can make your venue a summer hotspot and can result in a healthy revenue increase.

Looking for more help with your outdoor preparations? Take a look at our 4 tips for getting your business and outdoor furniture ready for the summer season or our pub seating strategy.

Should you need any contract furniture items for your outdoor dining area, or help and advice on making the most of your space, why not contact us now on 01452 336520 or email