Outdoor Patio Planning


Outdoor Patio Regulations

When designing your restaurant’s outdoor space, there may be a few local, state, and/or federal rules that need to be taken into consideration before construction for your patio can begin. Be sure to consult your local city ordinances before building your new outdoor space, to know the rules and guidelines.

Here are some regulations to take into consideration before opening your outdoor patio:

  • Do regulations require fencing? Click here to see fencing options. 
  • Can your patio be dog-friendly?
  • Does your liquor license cover alcohol served at the outdoor patio?
  • Is smoking allowed? Click here to see cigarette disposal units.
  • Are there noise ordinances in your area?
  • Are there special permits required to add electric and plumbing to the outdoor area?


Designing Your Space

Before furnishing your outdoor patio, decide what type of experience that you want your customers to have.

Relaxed: If you’re going for a more relaxed feel, consider adding sofas and sectionals. Perhaps even a firepit! These types of products allow your customers to feel more relaxed and comfortable. 

Lively: If you’re going for a livelier feel, consider adding brightly colored umbrellas and trendy décor. 


Dinnerware and Drinkware

You may want to use plastic for safety. Central offers a wide selection of attractive plastic dinnerware and drinkware.


Select The Right Furniture


Aluminum is great for outdoor use, and with proper care your furniture will look terrific for many seasons. Aluminum is easy to maintain, rust free, coordinates well with other types of furniture, is weather resistant, and is lightweight yet sturdy.


Teakwood withstands most weather types and requires little care and no preservatives or treatments of any kind to protect from the elements. Teakwood is extremely durable hardwood. Outdoors, it ages to a silver gray in 6-9 months, or maintains its brown color with teak oil. Indoors, if kept away from natural sunlight, in 6-12 months the wood will become a darker shade of brown, or can maintain its color with teak oil. Central’s teakwood furniture has an aluminum base or frame, so it offers the same great features as aluminum with the additional striking good looks of teakwood.

Steel and Wrought Iron

Steel and Wrought Iron are heavier than other types of outdoor furniture, which makes it great even in windy areas. Cushions are available to use with iron framed chairs for added comfort. They are simple to maintain, but occasionally may require some paint touch-ups. All of Central’s wrought iron and most steel furniture features a powdercoat finish. Some steel frame furniture features a UV-resistant, synthetic wicker-look weave on the seat and back. Most of the chair styles offered at Central are stackable, for convenient storage.

Plastic (Resin)

Plastic (Resin) is lightweight and makes for easy arranging on your patio. It is easy to clean, resistant to weather and stains, and most chairs are stackable for convenient storage.


Wood is a more natural alternative to plastic or metal. However, wood does require more maintenance to protect from the elements.

Mix and Match!

You can mix and match styles for a great look, or choose from our sets!


Make it Comfortable for your Customers

Having an outdoor patio might not always seem appealing to customers, if the weather is not ideal. There are many options available to make sure that your customers have a comfortable and relaxing experience.

Umbrellas- make sure to offer table umbrellas, to shield your customers from the sun and heat  

Heaters and Coolers- offering coolers on your patio can help cool off customers on hot days, so that they will stay longer. Likewise, consider placing heaters and firepits in your outdoor areas to bring welcome warmth on chilly nights and days.

Cushions- Some chairs, especially iron construction, benefit from cushions for added comfort. Be sure to add extra cushions where you can.

Bug Zappers- Keep away those pests and make sure your customers don’t get bit by providing bug zappers.

Keep the Space Clean

Make sure to provide plenty of trash and recycling cans around your outdoor patio, so that it does not become dirty or attract pests. Additionally, you will want to be diligent on cleaning tables when customers are done eating and sweeping up food debris from the patio. These are all things that can attracts pests and make your space look less inviting.

Inclement Weather

There is always a chance for inclement weather, regardless of the season. Make sure to take these actions when preparing your patio for inclement weather:

  • Wipe down outdoor furniture after rain - not only to make your customers more comfortable, but to also maintain your furniture
  • Have an emergency plan in place for extreme weather

Know where and how you will store your furniture in the off-season (if you live in an area that has one)

Advertise Your Patio Space!

Most importantly, let customers know about your outdoor patio space. Advertise to customers online or in person that you have an outdoor patio and that it’s open! You can also easily draw in customers who are passing by with lighting and decorations, or have signage that says that your patio is open for business. Make the atmosphere as fun and comfortable as possible; after all your goal is to continue to have customers come back!