As a café owner you know that making the most of the space that you have available is key to your success. For this reason, adding an outside dining area for al-fresco dining is a great way for café owners to increase their seating capacity. This may include adding coffee tables and chairs to an outside terrace or balcony area, or indeed even the nearby pavement if permitted by the local council. However it isn’t just about arranging a few tables and chairs and hoping for the best, instead it pays to create an outdoor ambience that will have your customers coming back for more.
Reflecting the inside…outside
You may want to think about continuing the theme or décor that you have inside and mirroring it in the design of your outside tables, chairs and accessories. For example, if you have a French bistro look, then why not continue that feel using woven French bistro-style chairs, aluminium tables and a liberal sprinkling of terracotta planting. To finish off the look add, a crisp blue and white gingham-style tablecloth. Very chic and very authentic. Alternatively if you have a light and airy interior, then why not opt for something equally light and airy with some stunning beechwood and aluminium tables and chairs. Add some strategically placed box hedging to break up the colour.
It’s worth remembering that your outside space is going to be the first impression that people see of your establishment, so you may as well make it a good one. One way to do this is to use bold colours. This can be achieved by using lots of brightly coloured accessories in the form of cushions, table cloths or table settings. If you want to go for that contemporary vibe, then how about some sleek white tables and chairs and funking them up with deep purple, burnt orange and lime green table settings and cushions. It’s sure to turn heads for all the right reasons.
Mix it up a little
If you are looking to create a wow factor with your outside space then try not to stick to the obvious design of rows of uniform tables. It won’t win you any prizes for innovation and after all, you are trying to stand out from your competitors right! Instead think about the space and the flow around that space and mix it up a little. Why not utilise tables of different sizes to maximise the space. A cosy corner table for two may slot into a leftover space just nicely, where a standard table wouldn’t.
Hopefully if you’re looking to maximise your outside space but don’t really know where to start then hopefully this article has given you some pointers. Whatever style you choose remember that first impressions count, so it’s really worth spending time and thinking about how you are going to lay out your outside eating area to not only turn heads and create a good impression of your business, but to maximise your bottom line.