This article was originally published on November 17, 2017 and has been updated on November 28, 2023.

Do you need more seating space on your restaurant or commercial patio? Cutting-edge pergola technology from StruXure Denver offers a fast, cost-effective way to add year-round usable space. How big should you go? Avoid overspending while maximizing income potential with these tips for finding the right size of adjustable louvered patio covers for seating.

What Size Commercial Patio is Best?

Though property boundaries, setback requirements, zoning regulations, and available real estate will have the biggest impact on patio and pergola size, these rules of thumb will point you in the right direction:

Space required for bistro table seating (seating for 2)We recommend approximately 6 x 8 feet per bistro table to allow for 2 ½ feet of circulation space surrounding each set.

Square and round table seating for 4-6 patronsSquare and round table sets seating 4-6 need a space of 10 ½ x 10 ½ at a minimum, though 12 x 12 feet is best for comfort.

Larger restaurant dining setsEnsure 3 x 3 feet of space for each chair surrounding larger outdoor tables.

Patios with fire featuresGuests need at least 2 ½ feet between firepits, fireplaces, and nearby seating to ensure comfort.


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The Easiest Way to Plan Your Patio Space

Graph paper is an excellent way to compare different seating layouts, allowing you to try multiple arrangements to determine the best use of space. Be sure to include ample space around doorways, drink, and serving stations. Overcrowding too many things into a small space creates an obstacle course for guests and waitstaff, increasing the likelihood of embarrassing server mishaps. On the other hand, creating an overly large space can result in an impersonal, warehouse-like feel beneath your louvered aluminum pergola, wasting building funds that could have been better invested in standout features like an outdoor fireplace or bar.

Improving Restaurant Patio Comfort & Ambiance

Creating an inviting patio space that entices patrons to pull up a chair and dine outdoors is about more than seating space. With the right additions, you’ll be sure to keep guests coming back for more:

Comfortable seating

Moveable seating like traditional dining table and chair setups outshine stationary seating like all-in-one picnic benches in flexibility and comfort. Contented guests stay longer, earn higher ticket prices, and look forward to returning and sharing their experiences with other potential patrons.

Dependable shade

Shade is essential to a comfortable outdoor dining experience, offering relief from Denver’s blinding sunlight and summer heat. StruXure pergolas have you covered, allowing you to rotate louvers up to 170 degrees for the perfect balance of shade and ventilation. Optional motorized curtains enhance sun and glare protection, providing reliable patio shade from all angles as the sun changes position in the sky.

Winter warmth

Keep patrons warm, enhance the ambiance, and ensure year-round usable outdoor dining space with built-in infrared patio heaters, fire pit tables, or a large outdoor fireplace centerpiece beneath your heat safe StruXure aluminum pergolas.

Drip-free rain protection

Unlike flyaway patio umbrellas and dripping canvas, StruXure aluminum pergolas keep furnishings and patrons dry and comfortable. Close motorized louvers with the touch of a button and the built-in gutter system channels rainwater away. Optional rain sensing technology responds on-demand.

Restaurant patio privacy

Motorized screens, curtains, and planters with tall shrubs and foliage can define space, creating a feeling of separation to ensure an intimate dining experience when properly placed between seating arrangements


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Create a Revenue Generating Outdoor Dining Space

Extend your usable square footage with louvered patio covers from StruXure Denver. We excel at commercial installation – whether you need more restaurant dining space, employee picnic area, or an event pavilion at your golf club or winery, we’ve got you covered. Contact us at 303-500-6669 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our pergola design professionals today.


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