An outdoor dining area does many things for your restaurant or tasting room. It adds square footage so you can host more customers and sell more products. And it creates an attraction to which people generally flock.
One of the best ways to improve your outdoor dining room and make it work all year long is to keep it warm and cozy with fire elements. You can do this in several ways, depending on your outdoor dining room’s style and size as well as your budget. Get started with these three tips to create a fire feature that will attract guests.
Start With a Centerpiece
A fiery centerpiece serves as a great way to draw attention to the patio dining room. Most restaurants opt for a gorgeous fireplace or a fun fire pit.
Both of these are good options, and your choice largely depends on the shape and size of your patio as well as what mood you want to engender in customers. Fireplaces tend to be quieter and more romantic elements; fire pits are conversation starters, often creating space for larger groups to enjoy them.
Choose a central focal point that will neither disappear into the crowd nor overpower your patio. A double-sided fireplace, for instance, might fit a larger area better, while a linear or wall-based fireplace can work in a small section. Custom-designed fire pits can be sized up or down — either for a small patio or a larger dining room.
Use Alternate Fire Features
Today’s restaurateurs have a variety of fire features to make a complete setting. Complement a central fire pit with a lounge grouping around a separate fire table or two, for instance. Or add smaller fire bowls, which can be moved around as needed to the far edges of the dining area. These smaller and more mobile fire elements also serve to keep everyone warm even when the weather changes.
Want to add a really fun alternative element? Install a built-in grill and cook some food right in front of customers. They’ll have fun, you’ll have boosted sales, and the surrounding area will be naturally warmed.
Keep Everyone Safe
Guests won’t enjoy an outdoor area that isn’t safe for themselves, their families, and their pets. So never let aesthetics or environmental control outweigh the safety of staff and customers around fire.
Fireplaces and fire pits should have appropriate grates or clear glass doors to prevent customers or their children from getting too close. And you may want to opt for a larger hearth or surround to prevent people from standing too close to the flames as well. If you allow pets, post signs instructing guests to keep them on a leash and away from flames. Also, use only fire-safe chairs, linens, and cushions.
The layout of tables, chairs, and traffic patterns should encourage and boost safety for everyone outside. If servers, for instance, have to navigate too closely to the fire while carrying plates or equipment, they run the risk of an accident. And tables or lounge furniture placed too near flames can also put customers at risk, especially if you use a real wood fire element that may spit out sparks.
Place fire pits away from heavy-traffic areas, and provide plenty of space for people to move around comfortably whether they want to be near or far from the flames.
As you pay attention both to diners’ comfort as well as safety, you will create a space that diners will enjoy all year round. Alpine Fireplaces is Utah’s premiere source for fire elements for all occasions and styles. Check out our inventory and call for more information today.