8 Oct 2012
Making the most of outdoor dining areas

How do I make the most of my outdoor dining space? With brunching considered a way of life, and practically a sport, outdoor café seating and alfresco restaurant dining is hotter than ever – how does your space measure up?

We’ve put together some key points to consider when planning outdoor dining and seating.

Bright blue powder coating for alfresco furniture at Benedict’s Cafe – featuring Stecca Stools

Visual Appeal

A street frontage outdoor dining area is your best chance to captivate and entice passers by. If you have pavement and front end outdoor dining, does it reflect your brand and your story? Or if it’s out the back, are you blessed with natural landscapes to showcase, or do you need to create an area with interest and appeal? Always consider what the attraction is for each of your customers when laying out dining zones.

Outdoor settings at Opuke Thermal Resort

Atmosphere and Comfort

Outdoor dining zones still need to address the key points of diner comfort – temperature, acoustics, ambience. Find a way to create intimate areas and group zones within your outdoor setup to keep everyone happy. Is there enough shade or is there too much? What is needed to allow it to easily transform to accommodate breakfast, lunch and dinner services? Perhaps heating might be a consideration, or the addition of blankets and throws is a clever way to increase appeal and add warmth and character.

Villa Armchairs outside Rodd & Gunn Lodge Bar, with throws for guests.


Think about customer flow from front of house, seating and eating through to payment and leaving. Also think about lines of sight for your staff, and service routes, can they efficiently and seamlessly reach all tables?


Consider how much time your staff spend setting up and packing down your outdoor dining – are there efficiencies to be made? Furniture needs to be durable and heavy enough to withstand weather and guests. Castor wheels are a great option to roll heavy tables and leaners in and out easily. Or do you have the ability to install your furniture permanently? Built in outdoor booth seating is a real winner if you have the capacity for it, with removable squabs for easy pack up at the end of the day. A great way to bring warmth, softness and comfort into these outdoor areas.

Outdoor Banquette Seating

Outdoor booth seating is a smart solution for settings where furniture doesn’t need to be packed away. The Season Outdoor Banquette is freestanding and built for New Zealand’s harsh outdoor conditions. Configure layouts to suit your space with seating and planters to create zones and privacy.

Season Banquette Seating overlooking Lake Whakatipu at Driftaway Holiday Park Queenstown


Learn more about Season Outdoor Banquette Seating
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