Extending your usable square footage with the addition of restaurant patio space? Though property boundaries and layout will affect your final patio dimensions, looking to a few general sizing rules of thumb can help you ensure a productive build and avoid overspending.

Sizing Obstacles

Spaces that are too small will feel cramped, crowding customers and creating an obstacle course for wait staff that could result in embarrassing incidents. Overlarge patios, on the other hand, can make your dining space feel less intimate and suck up build funds that could be better used for standout features such as outdoor fireplaces and integral shelter.

Hitting the Sweet Spot

These general sizing guidelines can help you decide on a size that’s just right in terms of space planning. Just be sure, before planning, to check with your local building department to avoid design blunders, checking into permit needs, setback requirements, and other rules and regs that could affect your restaurant’s final patio size and location.

  • Bistro Table Seating (Seating for 2)
    Allow around 2 ½ feet from the edge of bistro tables to the edge of your patio to allow for chair and circulation space. 6 feet by 8 per table is roughly the minimum necessary for comfortable seating.
  • Square and Round Table Seating (for 4-6)
    Square and round tables seating 4-6 patrons generally require 10 ½ by 10 ½ feet at a minimum, though 12 by 12 or larger spacing improves comfort.
  • Larger Arrangements
    Budget 3 by 3 feet of space for each chair surrounding an outdoor table. To ensure comfort and fit, create a mock-up on graph paper to map out a plan, creating paper cut outs to allow you to investigate different furniture and décor arrangements.
  • Patios with Fire Features
    A great way to draw guests outdoors, fire features like firepits and fireplaces need at least 2 ½ feet between the feature and seating to allow for comfort, with larger features requiring more space.

Tips for Enhancing Patio Feel

  • Avoiding Server Situations
    Be sure to plan in ample space surrounding doorways for servers wrangling large trays of food and drinks. The last thing you want is to drop dining fare on unsuspecting patrons.
  • Enabling Versatility
    Moveable seating surpasses built-in furniture in seating flexibility and comfort.
  • Opening Up the Space
    Plants on the walls and overhead, such as small trees and vining foliage, can make your patio space feel larger, with low stone borders to protect plants from chair pushbacks.
  • Fighting Weather Woes
    Providing shade and weather protection should be high on your list of patio priorities. And Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergolas allow you to make the most of all weather situations, increasing circulation while providing circulation on warm days, opening to offer the warmth of sunlight in the autumn chill, and providing the perfect amount of shelter to protect food and patrons from precipitation as compared to the limited protection of awnings and flimsy umbrellas.
  • Providing Privacy
    Motorized screens and retractable curtains provide general patron privacy around the perimeter, and can and enhance configuration options, allowing for the creation of meeting space for everything from wedding to business events.

Puzzling out key sizing parameters? The outdoor living experts at Denver Pergola Systems can help you achieve a winning design. Contact us to learn more about boosting your revenue stream with the addition of a restaurant patio today.

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