Outdoor Dining Options For Your Restaurant

Outdoor Dining Options For Your Restaurant

Summer is officially here and people are tired of being cooped up at home but many aren’t fully ready to eat inside a restaurant just yet or city mandates haven’t allowed dining rooms to open yet. The compromise? Dining outside to have the reassurance of cleaner air and still getting to enjoy a meal that they didn’t have to cook. If your restaurant doesn’t have outdoor dining, you may want to add this option to attract more customers to come out of the woodworks and enjoy a meal out on the town. Here are some ways you can add al fresco outdoor dining options for your restaurant so your customers can enjoy that summertime breeze and start to see your profits increase again.

Parking Lot Picnics

If you don’t have the space to add an outdoor patio, utilize some of your parking lot to create an outdoor oasis for your customers. Adding picnic tables under a tent will give customers the relief from shade that they’ll need while giving them the option for dining outside. Make sure that you have the area roped off to ensure the safety of your customers and install plenty of signs to make sure customers know the rules of how to enter and exit your temporary outdoor dining area.

Sidewalk Vending

If you don’t have the luxury of having a large parking lot, like many restaurants in New York City, you could commission with your city government to allow sidewalk seating in front of your restaurant. On July 3, New York’s reopening plan for restaurants officially kicked off and the governor not only allowed for restaurants to apply for expedited temporary sidewalk permits but they are also closing off some streets of New York to all vehicles to allow restaurants to expand their seating into the streets and allow more social distancing for pedestrians.

Ask a Neighbor for Space

The phrase, “We’re all in the together,” couldn’t be more true than it is right now. Communities are pulling together to save local businesses and that means businesses are looking out for each other too. If you’re located next to a business that has more parking lot space or patio space, ask to borrow some of their space to have more tables to serve. While this may typically be off limits in some cities, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York has allowed this type of space sharing to occur and it may be allowed in your area too. It never hurts to ask.


If you would rather create a more permanent outdoor seating area, renovating your restaurant to add a patio will certainly pay off immediately and in the long run as people continue to adjust to our new normal during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. You could add on an addition if you already have the space for it or you may need to downsize you inside dinning to accommodate for a new outdoor space. Don’t like the idea of losing your inside space? You could add full-wall doors that will allow an entire wall to be opened up to outside. It will bring in ample fresh air and still give customers the cover of being indoors.

If your restaurant needs working capital to give your customers an outdoor dining option, we’re here to help. We are continuing to provide restaurants across the U.S. the financing they need to adapt to the needs of their customers and to the new guidelines set by local and federal government agencies. Locate your local loan consultant to continue on your restaurant’s path of recovery.