Many restaurant owners may think of their outside dining area as basically an afterthought, and simply place furniture on their patio, while mainly focusing on the inside dining area. These owners may underestimate the revenue that can be generated from their patios. Read on for some valuable advice about a few misconceptions regarding restaurant patio furniture. This advice will assist you in creating an attractive patio area and will assist you in making more money from your outdoor dining area investment.
1. Any material can go outside
This is certainly myth number one. Specific outdoor restaurant furniture products are made from certain materials which can be used outside. Most commonly, aluminum, resin, granite and stainless steel are used for restaurant patio furniture. A restaurant may have wood tables indoors, which are made of essentially raw lumber glued together with a finish on top. As a general rule, these wood tables that look fantastic indoors may last only about 2 weeks if placed outside. Rain may get under the finish from a small scratch, and then the finish around the scratch lifts off. Before you know it, the expensive finish on tables meant for inside use are suddenly unusable. There are types of wood tables such as teak that can be used outdoors with proper maintenance.
Metal bases are similar to wood in that they are sturdy and made of solid iron. Why aren’t they suitable for outdoor use? Well, metal bases that are painted will rust. Not only will the base be rusty, but rusty water may run off and stain the patio floor as well. Metal bases can be powder coated, but if the coating gets scratched then rusting will still happen.
2. If patio furniture looks the same, the lower price must be better
When looking at commercial furniture online or in catalogs, a chair, bar stool or a table can look exactly the same and even have the same dimensions as a similar item, but the two could be constructed very differently. The saying that you get what you pay for is quite often true with respect to patio furniture. For example, a less expensive chair or bar stool may have a nut and bolt securing the joints, where a better chair will have welded joints. Joints with a nut and bolt, while they do not look as attractive as welded joints, can perform well if their tightness is checked regularly. If the labor cost for maintenance is added up over the years, the cheaper chair with the nut and bolt will become more expensive over time, compared to the welded chair. There are many details to patio furniture, and be sure to review all aspects of the particular models you are interested in to make sure price is justified.
3. Maintenance is not necessary
Just reading the phrase maintenance is not necessary seems silly. Many restaurant managers and owners though, with their busy schedules, do nothing, to maintain their restaurant patio furniture. This impacts the durability and longevity of the furniture, and also effects the comfort and appeal of the outdoor dining experience for the customer. Outdoor furniture generally looks durable, and is thought of as being indestructible. It’s not. For example, it is very common that glides on commercial patio chairs will wear out. These glides wear out even quicker if they are placed on brick or concrete surfaces. When the glides wear out, the metal legs of the chairs will be sharpened by the hard floor. If these chairs are stacked, the legs can damage a weave or plastic chair seat, cutting through the weaving or damaging the plastic. Busy managers may not even notice the damage occurring until the majority of the chairs are damaged. Routine maintenance is the key to keeping restaurant patio furniture producing revenue.
4. Weather will not affect outdoor furniture
Yes, patio furniture looks like it will last forever. Outdoor patio furniture though is subjected to weather, constant humidity and temperature. Patios exposed to the elements do get weather changes that cause damage. Expansion and contraction can damage furniture if not manufactured with some thought to weather. Just as roads are damaged where freezing and warming happen every day, materials used for patio furniture suffer the same strain. This strain over time can be subtle, until one day the patio furniture looks awful. Salt air will corrode metal, and the sun can fade stains and lift finishes. Purchasing quality commercial restaurant furniture will help defend against weather, but also consider a maintenance program consisting of polishing, replacing parts, and inspection for damage to combat the effects of weather.
The key to increasing overall sales with restaurant patio furniture is to pay daily attention to the patio. Outdoor furniture which is composed of few moving parts may seem indestructible, but that is not true. Patio furniture can bring in the extra revenue if someone manages its maintenance and care on a daily basis.