With its warm and sunny climate, Australia really is the ideal place to enjoy sipping a coffee or glass of wine outside your favourite café and watching the world go by. A decent outdoor area is a real selling point for customers and gives you, the cafe owner, an opportunity to add what amounts to another room to your space. When thinking about restaurant design, it’s vital that you consider how you can maximise the use of any outdoor space you are lucky enough to have available.

Once you’ve worked out how much space you have to work with, there are important considerations to take into account before buying outdoor furniture. What works well indoors doesn’t always translate outside. Here are some things to think about before you make your final choice.

Outdoor Bench Seating With Backrest

Outdoor Bench Seating With Backrest

1. Durability

Being exposed to the elements every day means that outdoor furniture really does need to be durable and tough if it’s to last a decent length of time. The type of material your furniture is made from will determine how long it lasts. Aluminium is lightweight and rust resistant, making it a popular option, as is cheap and easy-to-clean plastic. Wood is also meant to last, though wood furniture needs regular maintenance and can be heavy. Steel and wrought iron are both strong, but are very hard to lift, and that’s something to consider if you plan to store furniture indoors overnight.

2. Style

Whilst your outdoor area is likely to have its own atmosphere, you will want the furniture to compliment the look of the café’s interior. If you have created a clean, sparse space inside with industrial furniture, you may wish to continue that style outdoors.

3. Layout

You’ll want measure and sketch a plan for your outdoor furniture, just as you or your designers may have done for the interior. It is important to make sure the outdoor furniture is the right size for the space; otherwise, it can be out of proportion. You will want as many tables and chairs as possible, so get your measurements right and make sure there’s enough room to comfortably move around.

4. Security

Having furniture outside obviously means it is easy prey for thieves. You may want to think about whether you plan on locking your furniture to the ground or if you will be taking it indoors at closing time every day. If you will be moving the furniture from inside to outside, it’s worthwhile consider stacking chairs and tables; they’re easier to store and transport in bulk.

5. Accessories

Offering an outdoor area means that you will have to be prepared for anything that the weather may throw at you. Having a number of large umbrellas for tables is helpful and will allow customers to enjoy their lunch during the strong lunchtime sun, as well as providing a bit of shelter from the rain. For colder times, having a few outdoor heaters will make your business popular and allow for maximum use of your outside area. Another addition you may want to think about is a small play area for children. A sand or ball pit work well outside and would be invaluable for parents wanting to eat and chat whilst their children play.

Once you know what you’re looking for, chances are good that you’ll find it here at Cafe Ideas.