Restaurant Outdoor Furniture Guide

Restaurant Outdoor Furniture Guide

Outdoor dining has been a staple of commercial restaurants for as long as they’ve existed. Whether it’s the ambience of the outdoors, the smell of the air, the warmth of the sun or the drizzle of rain, every customer has at least one reason to love a meal or drink enjoyed out-of-doors. Many studies have shown that over 60% of customers will opt for outdoor or patio dining, even when outdoor conditions dip below what many consider optimal. As such, if your establishment makes use of a designated outdoor dining area or simply converts the surrounding available pavement space, it’s important to know the fundamentals of outdoor furnishing.

The Characteristics of Commercial Outdoor Furniture

The most important quality of commercial outdoor furniture is durability. This is important for all commercial furniture; however, unlike interior dining chairs, owners must consider the impact of UV light and strong winds on outdoor furniture. Chairs, tables, benches, and stools all need to be weatherproof, meaning they should be highly water-resistant and built to withstand UV radiation from sunlight. This is achieved by using specially engineered synthetic materials and coated metal. Thanks to advancements in materials science and the work of talented designers, these modern outdoor furniture options are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

As with indoor spaces, it is important to match the style and establishment motifs in outdoor areas. Whether modern, rustic, utilitarian, industrial, tropical, traditional, or any other style, it is important to keep the spaces cohesive and synchronized so that the establishment’s brand remains continually present to customers. Style need not be completely uniform, as small differences in outdoor versus indoor accents or detailing may reinforce the separation between areas, but the overarching design language should always be consistent.

Restaurant Patio Furniture Materials

Patio furniture can be made of a large variety of materials, from wood to wrought iron and resin. The most popular for commercial use are the ones that are long lasting, easy to maintain and fit into a large variety of styles and designs.

Elegant, sturdy, and comfortable, faux teak has the beauty of real wood with the added benefits of strength and durability. Plus, you won't have to worry about issues like rotting, splitting, or fading.

Also known as Parisian bistro, the style is both beautiful and comfortable and is available in a large selection of designs and colors.

Create a tropical oasis or beach vibe for your customers with this perfect addition. Bring the rattan look to your patio without concerns of fraying or cracking.

Ideal for modern and urban style locations, aluminum and stainless steel can add a touch of sophistication and refinement to the right location.

Matching Styles and Motifs

Creating an outdoor dining space benefits both your business, customers and employees. From restaurants to hotels, it can be a tough task to find the right outdoor furniture at the right price that has the durability and staying power designers are looking for.

To provide specific examples, weatherproof commercial-grade cast resin is excellent for simulating a variety of organic materials. For traditional styles, artificial wood comes in various stains and works well for dining chairs and table tops. In outdoor areas with a casual or tropical tiki theme, rattan is cozy, comfortable, and naturally sturdy due to its woven construction, while bamboo offers a mix of rustic and refined aesthetics. For modern and industrial styles, metal is a great option. Aluminum and chrome are both corrosion-resistant, with aluminum being lightweight and easy to clean, while chrome plating is sleek, futuristic, and tolerant of high and low temperatures. Wrought iron is extremely durable and offers a variety of styles that suit classic and vintage looks.

Styling your Restaurant Patio

Restaurant patio designs are as diverse as their interiors and range from modern to tropical and all the way to industrial:


Traditional style outdoor furniture often incorporates natural materials like wood and rattan to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Artificial wood can come in a variety of stains and is excellent for dining chairs, bar stools and table tops. Rattan is homey, comfortable, and naturally robust given its woven construction. For added character, bamboo and bamboo look aluminum are simultaneously rustic and refined. Metal is also an option in traditional style, with wrought iron offering numerous stylings that suit classic and vintage looks.


Modern outdoor furniture is often characterized by sleek and futuristic designs. Weatherproof commercial-grade cast resin is great for mimicking organic materials and can simulate metal, stone, or marble, making it versatile for modern decor. Metal is a perfect option for modern and industrial styles, with both aluminum and chrome being corrosion-resistant and fitting the sleek aesthetic while being able to withstand the effects of high and low temperatures.


Tropical outdoor furniture is crafted to establish an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. Rattan exudes a homely, comfortable feel, thanks to its woven construction and natural durability. Wood adds warmth and a rustic touch. Bamboo-inspired aluminum can enhance the tropical style without sacrificing strength. 


Industrial outdoor furniture is designed to be both functional and stylish. Resin can be used to create table tops with a stone or reclaimed look, while metal is also an ideal choice. Used often in this style, both aluminum and chrome are corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain. The distressed look, a staple of industrial design, can easily be achieved with these materials.

In addition to common-use furniture, many patio dining areas offer accessories or convenient additions. If the area lacks shade from an awning or natural means such as foliage, surrounding buildings, or tall mountains, patio umbrellas can be a valuable addition. These umbrellas not only shield the furniture from harsh weather effects but also improve its longevity, even if it is weatherproof. Outdoor dining tables are often designed with reinforced holes in the center to accommodate insertable umbrellas. Stand-alone patio umbrellas are mobile and adjustable to meet user needs and counter sunlight changes throughout the day. Patio umbrellas come in a variety of styles and fabric options to match the restaurant's motif and enhance the dining space's aesthetics. As well, furniture coverings for permanent placements can improve longevity and reduce cleaning and maintenance time for establishments that offer outdoor dining seasonally or are exposed to more extreme weather conditions.