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A Guide to Commercial Outdoor Furniture

Creating a lively patio area for your guests to eat or socialize in is a great way to utilize outdoor space at your establishment. Whether you run a niche restaurant or a large hotel chain, customers love being able to enjoy the outdoors during their visit. Learn more about the correct types of outdoor restaurant furniture to use in your patio areas as well as the various accessories you can add to restaurant settings, pool settings, or simple social settings.

Standard Commercial Patio Furniture

If this is the first time you are expanding your dining area to the outdoors, or if you want to try out the idea to see how customers will respond, you will at least need tables, seating, and umbrellas. It is imperative that you do not simply use your indoor furniture in your outdoor patio. But for extra versatility, any of your commercial outdoor furniture can be used indoors!
Blue BFM Seating table on a white backround

Outdoor Tables

  • What it is: Outdoor tabletops and bases are typically sold separately to allow for greater flexibility. This way, you can choose just the right tabletop to suit the atmosphere of your patio and the base that best suits your setup. Check out vendor-specific guides to help you match up tables with their bases, like this guide for Lancaster Table & Seating.
  • Material: Like indoor tables, there are a variety of materials to choose from for tabletops.  Laminate tops have a smooth surface for easy clean up and care. You also have quartz / granite tabletops that tend to have a more upscale look. Melamine, on the other hand, offers a variety of colors and styles, though they can be heavier and more difficult to set up. Finally, we have wood tabletops that have an eco-friendly construction.
  • Options: If you want to have umbrellas set up at every individual table, make sure that both your tabletops and your bases have an umbrella hole. You can also choose outdoor folding tables for establishments that host and cater events or parties as the tables can easily be moved, torn down, or put up depending on daily needs.

Lancaster Table & Seating gray chair with no arms on a white background

Outdoor Seating

  • What it is: As outdoor seating needs to withstand more abuse than their indoor counterparts, these chairs and bar stools typically do not include a cushion or padding. Instead, pay attention to the contours of the seat, back, and arms to gauge the comfort level that the chair can provide.
  • Material: Outdoor chairs and barstools can be made of metal, which is durable and the most economical option. There are also plastic chairs, which are lightweight with a variety of color options. Or, you can choose wood chairs that provide exceptional comfort for your guests.  
  • Options: It is much more common to have chairs with arms in outdoor dining areas than for indoor. However, if you want to retain the armless chair look those options exist as well! There are also folding chairs available for your outdoor area, though these are best used for parties and events rather than for permanent outdoor seating.

Expert Tip

Besides what is listed above, aluminum outdoor furniture is a popular economical option for tables and chairs alike! The powder-coated colors on these items make it easy to match up your dining set and create a personalized seating area.
brown California Umbrella umbrella

Outdoor Patio Umbrellas

  • What it is: Use umbrellas to provide shade for customers during their visit. You can opt to use umbrellas that fit into the center of your tables to simplify your setup process, or choose cantilever umbrellas that have their own base and can often be moved for extra versatility.
  • Material: The most common frame material is aluminum as it provides strong support in all weather conditions while featuring a modern, sleek look. However, you may also want to consider fiberglass frames that bend with the wind yet provide superior durability, or wood frames that add a chic look to your patio. 
  • Options: Make sure your staff is able to open and close your umbrellas with ease by choosing either a crank lift or pulley lift system to open and close them. Both options are easy to use, but you have to make sure your staff is well versed in their operation.

Commercial Pool Furniture

Find just the right seating or complementary pieces to suit your pool area! The pieces of furniture below are designed to withstand being outdoors in wet environments for extended periods of time.
Lancaster Table and Seating white chaise lounge with a blue cushion poolside

Chaise Lounges

These long chairs are perfect for letting guests stretch out their legs and sunbathe by the pool.

Grosfillex white sling seat with a pool in the background

Sling Furniture

We offer chairs and lounges that have sling seats, which are both comfortable and replaceable for convenience.

Gray Flash Furniture lounge set with couch and 2 chairs with a pool in front

Lounge Sets

This furniture supplies chairs, couches, ottomans, and coffee tables to create a complete matching seating area.

Grosfillex green cantilever umbrella on white

Cantilever Umbrellas

Featuring an overhanging design, these umbrellas supply shade precisely where you need it most and without the bother of a center pole that can get in the way.

Grosfillex low brown cocktail table

Low Tables

These simple tables provide an easy place to set down drinks or snacks without taking up much space!

Lifetime brown outdoor storage box with a large yard in the back

Outdoor Storage

Towel valets are available to provide clean towels for guests, and there are also large storage boxes to store bulky items like pool toys or equipment.

Outdoor Picnic Tables and Park Furniture

Don't forget to get furniture for your other seating areas! Whether it be a casual seating area outside your establishment or a large park for families to enjoy, there are plenty of options to personalize your space.
Blue Polywood folding Adirondack chair

Adirondack Chairs

With deep seats, these chairs are exactly what your guests want and have come to expect at hotels, parks, or boardwalks to settle in for a day of enjoyment.

red Polywood rocking chair on a white background

Rocking Chairs

Add these outdoor rocking chairs to any casual outdoor area to add a bit of fun while letting your guests relax and sooth themselves with a gentle rocking motion.

Lifetime brown glider bench with a woman sitting and a child standing behind it

Benches

Benches are a great decorative addition to your rooftop bar, park, or waiting area while also providing a way for multiple guests to sit together and enjoy the weather.

Lifetime putty folding picnic table set up with a picnic meal outdoors

Picnic Tables

These are a great addition to large outdoor areas that are family-friendly. Since the table and seats are all attached, they are easy to keep track of or move around.

Optional Accessories for Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

Liven up your patio area with much-needed accents that show off the style and atmosphere of your establishment! These items will also help provide comfort to guests while they enjoy the fresh air.
Green Polywood square fire pit

Fire Pits

Fueled by propane, these pits are perfect centerpieces for quaint seating areas. They provide warmth while also providing an inviting atmosphere that will draw in even more customers!

Bromic Heating black electric outdoor patio heater mounted over a quaint seating area

Patio Heaters

Commercial heaters are meant to supply heat to a large outdoor area. These unobtrusive models are great for outdoor restaurants in the spring or fall when it gets a bit chilly in the evenings.

Blue Galaxy Equipment canopy set up outdoors over 2 tables set for an event

Canopies

Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, these canopies ensure that you can still host dinners, parties, or events without worrying about guests getting too much sun or rain.

Black Cambro portable bar on a patio with a bartender standing behind

Portable Bars

Give guests excellent, efficient service as they enjoy drinks on your patio by bringing the cocktails to them! These bars are easy to move around your facility so you can offer drinks after dinner or during special events.

Aarco wood sign outside with ice cream specials written on it

Sidewalk Signs

Strategically place signs near your restaurant's entrance to advertise your outdoor dining, or keep the sign in your patio area to showcase your specials. Either way guests will love the personal touch it brings to your space!

Grosfillex rust colored planter full of a plant on a patio

Commercial Planters

Dazzle your guests with lovely flowers, small trees, or other plants by presenting them in eye-catching planters. Made for long-term, heavy-duty use, these planters display your prized greenery to enhance your inviting atmosphere.

Grosfillex black post and base staged in a patio setting

Patio Fencing

Use this fencing to create sections in your patio or to clearly indicate the edges of your outdoor space. It can be used to protect gardens or restrict access, all the while adding a simple, attractive look to the edges of your patio.

Ex-Cell 2-stream silver outdoor trash can in a public outdoor setting

Decorative Trash Cans

Providing trash cans is a must to prevent guests from littering, and decorative trash cans are designed to provide a place for people to throw away their trash while also adding an attractive look.

Zap N Trap outdoor bug zapper hanging on a porch

Bug Zappers

Keep pesky insects away from your guests by making sure you have adequate bug control. Zappers come in unobtrusive designs so you can provide excellent protection that won't distract guests.

 

Keep in Mind These Do's and Don'ts for Outdoor Furniture

Make sure you are getting the most out of your outdoor patio space by keeping these tips in mind.
Do's
  • Maintain cleanliness on your patio by following manufacturers' guidelines to clean your furniture.
  • Create a "tear down" routine to tie up your umbrellas, store away small cushions or furniture items, and cover your furniture at the end of each day.
  • Make sure you have long-term storage set up for outdoor furniture during the off-season.
  • Change it up! Moving your patio furniture around helps relieve your patio flooring so divots and holes don't form.
Don'ts
  • Don't leave any cushions or cloth materials exposed during rain showers.
  • Power washing your furniture will do more harm than good - be gentle and wipe down furniture with approved cleaners!
  • Buying cheaper furniture that does not suit your space or climate can lead to more replacement costs down the road, so don't let your budget pull you down.

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