Benefits of Having an Outdoor Patio for Your Restaurant

outdoor patio

If you’re a current or future restaurant owner, then adding an outdoor dining space has probably crossed your mind. However, if you live in a colder climate, then you may have assumed a patio won’t be worth it since they’re only usable in the warmer months – we are here to debunk that myth and tell you that patios are advantageous to your business even on chillier days. In our ‘restaurant patio ideas’ section of this article, you will see how you can transform your patio to accommodate a wider range of weather conditions. 

Truth is, patios provide many benefits to your guest and therefore can be very lucrative for your business. Take a look at all the reasons why you and your guests will love your restaurant patio. 


Appeal to a Wider Audience

Although this may be stating the obvious – since everyone eats food, restaurants typically have a wider range of demographics and psychographics that can be targeted. As a restaurant owner, you will want to capitalize on all potential demographics by catering to as many people as possible and ensure that you don’t miss out on any business. The more variety you provide your guests, the more likely your restaurant will suit their preferences. By simply adding a patio to your restaurant space, you can cater to a wider variety of people. 

Enjoying the day outside

Sitting outside can be a deal breaker for some people, especially on nicer days when they want to enjoy a meal outside. By adding a patio on your premise, you give them the opportunity to do exactly that. They won’t need to choose between eating at your establishment or going somewhere else that has a patio – they can have both.

Pet Owners 

Imagine a pet owner going out for a stroll, they come across your restaurant and would like to grab a bit to eat, if you don’t have a patio, this guest will not be able to come inside with their pet. In this scenario, you lose out on potential business due to a lack of accommodations. Outdoor patios give pet owners an opportunity to eat at your restaurant without worrying about leaving the pets alone outside (not to mention the pets will be happier as well). 

Social Distancing

Being in an indoor space increases the risk of catching airborne viruses and creates less opportunities for social distancing. For these reasons, guests may feel apprehensive about sitting inside – especially during busier hours of the day when the restaurant is packed with people. Having an outdoor patio can alleviate these concerns by offering guests a place to eat where they have more options for social distancing. 


Attract More Guests

To put it simply, patios attract attention to your establishment. People who are passing by will be encompassed by the smell of food coming from the patio and will be more tempted to walk in. In addition to the wonderful aroma, an aesthetically pleasing patio with lights and greenery creates an environment that people are attracted to. And with the invention of outdoor heaters and rain covers, you can draw out patio season to last a little longer – this also means attracting more guests to your patio in a wider range of weather conditions. 

Patios are essentially a form of advertising for your restaurant because they bring more attention to your establishment. Those who would normally only be passing by, will now be drawn to an enhanced outdoor atmosphere of people enjoying delicious meals. 


Increase Seating Capacity

An outdoor dining area increases the number of people you can serve at one time. For example, if you can only seat 50 people in your indoor dining area, adding a patio to your establishment could increase your seating capacity to 70 (of course this will depend on the size of your patio). Being able to accommodate more people at once will mean fewer people need to wait in line to be seated and order their food. 


Elevated Guest Experience

If you create a pleasant environment for your guests, they will more likely become returning customers. A restaurant patio will substantially elevate the dining experience for a multitude of reasons. 

Waiting a long time to be seated is the opposite of a pleasant experience, no one likes to hungrily stand around wondering when they will get to order their food. In some instances, this could even force guests to leave your restaurant and go somewhere with shorter wait times. By adding a patio to your restaurant you will have more seating options available, so guests won’t have to wait as long to be seated at a table and order their food; therefore enhancing their overall dining experience. 

A restaurant patio offers people the chance to enjoy the outdoors with a protective shade so they can comfortably indulge in their favourite meal. This means they won’t be getting too much sun on hotter days and will be shielded in case of rainfall. Outdoor dining creates an ambiance that you just can’t achieve when you’re inside.


Increase Profitability

Having outdoor dining is an investment for your restaurant. By appealing to and accommodating more guests, you will bring in more new customers. And by providing an enhanced dining experience, you will retain more customers who look forward to dining at your establishment in the future. 

With more new customers gained and with existing customers retained, you will quickly start seeing how profitable your patio is. 


Restaurant Patio Ideas 

Here are some ideas to spruce up your patio and give guests the best experience: 

  • An awning sun shade.
  • Sheer plastic curtains that are easily closed or opened to protect people from the rain.  
  • Outdoor heaters for colder days 
  • Plants, lighting, and pieces of artwork to improve aesthetic. 


If you’ve been thinking about opening up your own restaurant but don’t know where to start, consider franchising with Mary Brown’s. Our team of professionals will guide you through every step of the way to ensure your location’s success.