10 Restaurant Patio Design Ideas For Profitable Outdoor Spaces

A patio can completely transform an outdoor space. From having an extra place to relax and entertain to increasing a property’s value, patios offer a host of benefits.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2021 Industry report showed that 56% of casual dining and 62% of fine dining businesses expanded outdoor space since the pandemic started. As the F&B industry continues to recover from the ongoing pandemic, installing a patio could be a great way to attract new diners and stand out from your competitors.

In this article, we’ll cover a range of restaurant patio ideas to make your space more profitable.

10 Ideas To Make A Profitable Patio Space:

1. Upgrade Your Waiting Area

The elegant outdoor waiting area
The elegant outdoor waiting area // Photo on Pinterest

The guest experience starts the minute they approach a restaurant. If you’re lucky enough to have to give customers a waiting time to be seated, you’d better make sure they’re comfortable doing so! One way to do this is to use a patio to make your outdoor waiting area.

Use fiberglass planters, cozy outdoor furniture, and seating arrangements to create an inviting environment your guests will find hard to leave. Outdoor waiting areas even work well in winter months if you use fire pits and heaters.

Looking for real-world examples of how our planters transformed a restaurant just like yours?

Here is just one of our local Florida projects featuring fiberglass planters.

2. Let Nature In!

Plants to compliment your space and enhance your customers' restaurant experience
Plants to compliment your space and enhance your customers’ restaurant experience // Photo on vtwonen.nl

2015 study found that retail spaces were up to 25% more valuable when paired with natural elements like trees and plants. So, use colorful fresh flowers and plants to compliment your space and enhance your customers’ restaurant experience. Here are a few ideas to start you off:

Sweet alyssum: this delicate flower has a sweet fragrance, and it looks lovely falling from hanging baskets. They love full sun, but can also grow in shady areas. Durable throughout the year, this flower can even tolerate a minor frost, making it a great low-maintenance bloomer. 

Begonias: they come in many colors and varieties, helping you create excellent color pairings in your patio area. Although they grow well in low-light conditions, they do require rich soil, plenty of water and fertilizers.

Fuchsia: perfect if your patio is shady, these annual flower comes in red, purple or pink. They are stunning when draped from hanging baskets – and a popular hit amongst butterflies and bees. 

Ornamental grass: this plant gives a welcome dose of green to any patio space. Although low-maintenance and easily planted in pots, ornamental grass requires full sunlight.

Lavender: the sweet scent and beautiful purple-blue flowers make lavender a big hit in planting beds and pots. As a bonus, the flowers can also be picked and used in cuisine, cocktails and air infusers. Lavender needs full sunlight.

Hanging violets, lady ferns, and tulips also make welcome and vibrant additions to your restaurant patio.

When paired with softwood paneling, sunlight and fresh air, you will have your customers fighting to get a table booking for sunset or outdoor brunches.

3. Use Fiberglass Planters

Fiberglass Planters
Best plants for restaurants // Photo on Jayscotts

When looking at potential planters for your restaurant patio, there is one that stands out above all: fiberglass planters. Check out some of the following benefits of fiberglass planters:

  • They are durable and weather-resistant, making them a great pick for indoor and outdoor use. Unlike plastic or stone planters, they can withstand snow, freezing temperatures, and extreme heat. Being UV-resistant also helps to ensure your planter remains crack and blemish-free.
  • They are lightweight and easy to move – even in larger sizes, especially compared to stone, concrete, and terracotta planters.
  • They are low maintenance, apart from an occasional clean and wax, they can be left without care for long periods of time inside and outside.
  • They come in a range of color palates. With a large array of colors to choose from, you can choose a fiberglass planter that easily matches and compliments your interior and exterior decor.
  • Relative to other planters, fiberglass is a bit more costly, however, they are high quality, durable and low maintenance ensuring that in the long run, they are sure to save you money.

Learn how our planters can improve your restaurant business.

4. Make Your Lighting Sparkle!

Make Your Lighting
Brooklyn’s Mexican spot, Gran Eléctrica // Photo on Food and Wine

When sundown comes, lighting can make or break your patio. Get the lighting right, and your outdoor space can become a quiet, intimate space for casual dining and date night dinners or a lively space for larger gatherings and parties. Here are some tips for your patio lighting:

  • Outdoor table lamps, orbs, and lanterns are great at setting a low-key mood at dining tables. Do not be afraid to use candles, but ensure they are safely positioned and not left unattended.
  • Pendant lighting and solar deck lights provide a more upbeat atmosphere, whereas string lights, outdoor pendant lighting, and wall lights create a more relaxed feeling.
  • Consider using soft lighting that is easy on the eyes for a more laidback environment, and white and luminous lighting for more formal settings.
  • For large patios, use full-size floor lamps with a weighted base, which come in a variety of contemporary styles.
  • Wall-mounted lanterns are also ideal for lighting up patio entrances.
  • Mix colors and shapes, especially if you are going for a more bohemian style. Make sure your colors match any flowers and furnishings you have for a consistent theme.

5. Make A Rooftop Patio With An Outdoor Dining Space

This rooftop uses our Montroy Cube Planter to bring nature to difficult to reach places

Got a rooftop that needs some love? Think about installing a rooftop patio!

Decorate your rooftop area with inviting outdoor furniture and seating arrangements. When it comes to patio furniture, entice customers with indulgent pillows and sofas for lounging and relaxation. Including a dining area is also a fantastic option for couples and casual business lunches. If you have a view – make it the focal point!

A fully-fledged cooking area and outdoor dining space can be a super asset for your patio. Delicious smells from grills, pizza ovens and smokehouses will attract customers, encouraging them to spend more on food. Guests will also enjoy seeing their food cooked from scratch and in front of them.

An outdoor bar and patio area are living adverts for your business! Not only do they keep customers at your establishment, but they also ensure they stay in the patio’s atmosphere instead of going indoors to order drinks. They make perfect sense during warmer seasons, but if you keep them during colder months, make sure you invest in some outdoor heaters and a fire pit.

With the right food, drinks and outdoor seating, you’ll have to kick patrons out after closing time.

Related article: Terrace Garden Ideas: Best Plants For Rooftops And Privacy

6. Umbrellas – A Patio’s Best Friend!

Jay Scotts Planters styled and installed by: Geomantic Designs | Landscape Architecture

As lovely as wall-to-wall sunshine on your patio is, your customers will also need a little shade. As well as protecting against UV rays, heat, and unexpected showers, umbrellas are a great way to add some chic style to your patio.

The treasure garden umbrella offers durability, style, and convenience. The sunbrella fabric comes in several colors, patterns, and the choice of push-button or crank tilt. It pairs well with individual dining tables as it is too intrusive.

To cover lounge-style sofas, consider a square patio umbrella. Available in sizes up to 12 feet, the canopy design has a crank system to change the height angle, and it is available in red, turquoise, and tan.

7. Prepare For Inclement Weather

The weather can turn ugly in most regions, and it’s important to be ready for it. Here are a few pointers for your outdoor patio:

  • If you plan to use your outdoor space during the colder months, invest in some heaters. This is a great way to keep the outdoor dining season going for a few more weeks.
  • Include plenty of fans and shade during summer to keep your customers cool. Place them at the table and rooftop level to keep a breeze flowing.
  • Have an evacuation plan ready if the weather gets extreme and dangerous.
  • Wipe and dry tables after rainstorms to keep them clean and prevent common pests from entering your patio area.

Top tip: Choose furniture and equipment that is built for outdoor purposes to maintain your reputation. Our commercial planters are so robust and weather-resistant that they ooze professionalism for years past their installation date.

8. Restaurant Patio Furniture

Pura Vida Restaurant Patio
Jay Scotts Planters on the Pura Vida Restaurant Patio // Photo By Redeye

Before buying any patio furniture, you need to know how you plan to use your space. Outdoor spaces can be for dining, a cozy lounge space, or an entertainment venue fit to host bands and DJs. Whatever furniture you choose, make sure you cater for large groups and couples.

Furniture material should match your restaurant patio design. Here are some ideas:

  • Wrought iron and ornate stone benches and tables work well with traditional patios.
  • Urban patios are best with metal chairs and minimalist seating, especially when paired with grey or darker pave stones.
  • Wicker furniture is lightweight, durable and easy to maintain, and it works well in more casual patio settings.
  • Wood furniture, although heavier, lasts for years and works great if your patio has flowers and trees.

Your restaurant’s concept will dictate the decor and seating arrangements, but the following tips may help:

  • Bench seating and long tables are ideal for large groups of casual customers.
  • To attract couples, opt for smaller tables with intimate seating.
  • Keep your dining area secluded by surrounding it with planters and away from more crowded settings to create an intimate atmosphere
  • Use flowers and bright decor to bring in customers off the street.
  • Store pillows and other furnishings in a dry space overnight.
  • Try to find the right balance between larger and smaller tables to cater for all your customers.

9. Deck Your Patio Out

Wannsee Montroy
Wannsee and Montroy planters perform beautifully // botanicalconceptschicago.com

There are a whole host of ideas to give your customers an inviting and relaxed patio space.

Swing chairs, sofas and hammocks are growing in popularity, and they give patios a laidback atmosphere. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to lounge back with a cocktail in hand in an adult-sized swing?

For the same relaxed feel without any drink-spilling, opt for daybeds. Fill them with pillows and summer throws, and your customers will be in a wonderland.

Another great patio asset to consider is a gazebo. With a gazebo, entertaining doesn’t have to stop just because the rain is pouring. There are also a whole host of other benefits:

  • The versatility of gazebos allows you to use them in multiple ways, from a dining space to a lounge area. Your gazebo could be a secret escape, the centerpiece, or the spot that frames a stunning view.
  • You’ll want to make your gazebo blend in with your patio. So, for example, use stone if you have stone paving, or wood if you’re looking to match your patio’s ‘natural’ design.
  • Gazebos can also be portable, and this is ideal if you want them for summertime. Portable ones are also considerably cheaper.
  • Additionally, gazebos need to be proportionate to a patio’s size to ensure it does not look awkward or out of place.

Don’t forget your plants and planters to give it the finishing touches.

10. Make Your Restaurant Patio Design Pop with Color!

Lionfish
Jay Scotts Seoul Planters – Our colors can match any brand // Lionfish Restaurant

Make sure you choose furniture colors that compliment your patio’s natural shade. If your patio is by a fence or wall, use bold shades and lighter-colored furniture. The contrast will let furniture stand out and let the eye appreciate its design, lines and curves.

Don’t be afraid to try some of the following standout color combinations with paint, flowers, or decorations!

Grey and bright colors: a cool grey goes well with the sunny, bright hues of yellow and orange. If you already have grey walls and patio tiles, consider making more of your planter furnishings yellow or orange to round off the look.

Warm colors: earthy tones like brown and olive green help make your patio space and gathering areas more inviting. You can change your patio over a weekend with just a few simple tools – perfect for when Autumn arrives.

Black and white: a classic color scheme that is always in style. If you’re worried about using white paint because of staining, opt for stain-resistant white table cloths or pillowcases because these are easier to clean.

Not sure which combination of colors to choose? You need our guide on color theory!

Start Making Your Patio More Profitable Now!

Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, a new array of flowers, or a whole new patio design, the scope for reinventing your patio area is large and comes with great returns.

You can start today, even small changes and simple patio design ideas can go a long way to creating the right atmosphere for your outdoor space and restaurant!

Elevate Your Commercial Project With Jay Scotts Planters

Montroy cube silver tree planters reveal design

If you are considering using plants to improve your commercial space, the most important thing to look for is durable and reliable planters. The quality of the planter is essential as they provide the foundations for lush growth and botanical ambiance.

Plus, a high-quality and professional planter is more likely to impress customers and help achieve your business goals – which is the reason you are investing in biophilic design in the first place!

Our planters are made from lightweight yet durable fiberglass (the best planter material). They are perfect for your restaurant business both indoors and outdoors. Offered in a wide selection, there are many styles and colors to suit your business’ design needs.

If you are worried about the longevity of your investment, do not. Our planters withstand diverse weather conditions, from frosty winters to scorching summers.

To underscore Jay Scott’s value and commitment, all our planters come with an industry-leading warranty.

If you want to find out how our wholesale and retail planters can transform your business, contact us.

Or better yet, give us a call and our sales consultants will be more than happy to walk you through any outstanding questions or requests you might have. Alternatively, we offer a free quote!

Planter Arrangement Cheat Sheets

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