Ah, summer. The days get longer, the nights get warmer, and the restaurant patios start opening up for the season.
Warm, welcoming, and comfortable – on a summer evening, a patio is the place to be. Guests can kick back and relax, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the special ambiance that a patio provides.
As restaurant patios grow in popularity, it can be difficult to think of a way to stand out from the rest. You want the crowds flocking to your patio, not to anyone else’s. But you need to think of a way to bring them in.
If you’re stumped, don’t worry. We’ve come up with a list of restaurant patio decor ideas to help your patrons have an unforgettable experience.
Here are 10 restaurant patio decor ideas for summer to make your restaurant unique.
1. String Up Some Lighting
Unique lighting is one of the best patio decorations for summer. It creates a comfortable and warm atmosphere and encourages your patrons to stay longer, basking in the light.
There are lots of different directions you can go with your lighting. You can use lanterns placed around the patio, or string up some fairy lights around the edges or the ceiling. You can also place tea lights on each table for a more romantic setting.
As it gets cooler after the sun sets, you can even install an outdoor fireplace to warm your guests and keep them cozy. And if you want to keep away bugs, you could use citronella candles to both add to the ambiance and keep the insects at bay.
2. Decorate With Greenery
Decorating your patio with plants and greenery is a good way to emphasize the outdoor element. Plants are classic restaurant patio decorations that will make your space feel fresh and bold. Adding greenery is a simple way to add both a pop of color and a dash of charm to your patio.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can install real-looking fake plants. They won’t require any upkeep whatsoever, but they still add a sense of natural beauty.
3. Give Your Tables Some Shade
Since you need to be prepared for all kinds of weather, storm, rain, or shine, it’s a good idea to have some form of shade or covering on your patio. Nobody wants to be blinded by the sun or drenched in rain while trying to enjoy their food.
Many restaurants install umbrellas at each table, but you can also go a different route. Using a pergola or a canopy on your patio can make it feel more romantic and dreamlike, and will set you apart from other restaurants.
4. Use Local Artwork
If you have an exposed wall or fence somewhere, a good restaurant patio decor idea to spice it up is to decorate your patio with art. Having wall art inspires both interest and conversation from your patrons.
If you choose, you can collaborate with local artists in your city to put certain pieces up on your walls and can even sell them on the artist’s behalf. The artist benefits from having their artwork advertised and sold, and you benefit from collaborating with them and adding a unique aspect to your restaurant.
This approach will also draw in more patrons. People will be intrigued to see the ever-changing artwork. It can only add to the unique nature of your restaurant.
5. Create An Outdoor Accent Wall
Another way to make an exposed wall or fence stand out on your patio is to create an outdoor accent wall. You could commission a local artist to paint a mural, or you could use your greenery decor to create a wall of plants or vines.
An accent wall is one of the best restaurant decor tips because it creates something beautiful and interesting for guests to look at. It also is a great photo op for selfies or group photos that will make your patio social media-worthy and will encourage people to return.
6. Maximize the View
If you really want your patio to stand out from all the rest, take advantage of your location. You could position your patio to give guests a view of an ocean or lake, mountains, trees, a city skyline – whatever you have at your disposal, make use of it! It will really encourage people to go out onto your patio.
Rooftop patios are great for this. Even if you don’t have a natural wonder on your doorstep, just being on a rooftop will provide your guests with a brand-new view. It will literally elevate your patio to new heights.
7. Get Comfortable Furniture
This is one of the most overlooked restaurant patio decor ideas, but one of the most important. While you want to maximize the amount of seating on your patio, you don’t want your guests to be uncomfortable. It can and should be easily avoided.
To maximize your space, you can use fold-up chairs or benches that take up little space. You can also use cushions or cloths to make your seating more comfortable for your patrons. Also, consider being strategic in your table placements to make it easy for people to walk between tables and chairs.
8. Install a Fountain
Installing a fountain is a fantastic restaurant patio decor idea. The light bubbling of flowing water from a fountain is a calming sound that, like adding greenery, emphasizes the natural outdoor element of your patio. It will create a peaceful atmosphere and put your patrons at ease.
The moving water is also a good way to reduce the amount of bugs frequenting your patio. The relaxing sound coupled with the natural insect repellant is a surefire way to set your patio apart and make your guests feel calm and at home.
9. Play Music
Playing soft background music over an outdoor sound system is also an excellent idea to increase ambiance and put people at ease. Just make sure that it’s quiet enough for people to still talk over it.
If your patio is big enough, hosting local musicians for live music nights could bring in a massive crowd outside of your usual patrons. Not only does it benefit you, but it also benefits the local music scene in your city, and encourages people to come to your restaurant for a unique experience.
10. Get An Outdoor Bar
You want your patrons to be immersed in the outdoor patio experience and to want to stay as long as possible. If they have to go back inside every time they want to order a drink, their experience could be tainted.
If you have the space, implementing an outdoor bar, or even an outdoor bar cart, can really elevate your patio. It’ll be more convenient for the guests and will set your patio apart.
Discover More Restaurant Patio Decor Ideas
Owning a restaurant can be a tricky business, but with these restaurant patio decor ideas, your business will be booming in no time. You can easily set yourself apart and bring in the crowds to your patio.