Outdoor Dining Furniture Options

September 3, 2021
Posted in Blog
September 3, 2021 QA Group

Restaurant owners that are looking to expand and enhance their dining establishments should look into the possibility of adding an outdoor dining area. With the addition of a patio, backyard, or balcony, your patrons can enjoy your food and beverages in the open air, and your business can boom through maximizing its number of customers. 

The addition of an outdoor dining area can also help businesses adapt and stay afloat during different CDC and social distancing guidelines as we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Related: Guide to Commercial Restaurant Tables]

Key Considerations for Outdoor Dining Furniture

When choosing the best outdoor dining furniture for your new addition, keep in mind that the style should reflect your business, the material should be easy to clean, and the furniture should be comfortable, durable, and weather-resistant.


Your outdoor dining furniture should reflect the style and aesthetic of your restaurant. 

For example, if you’re furnishing a traditional, casual brewery, wooden picnic tables and umbrellas would be a better fit than lounge furniture or bistro tables. Whereas if you’re choosing table and chairs for a cafe, steel-framed chairs and small pedestal tables would be the appropriate choice.


Customers should be comfortable and able to relax while sitting outside your restaurant. You don’t want patrons having to constantly think about the uncomfortable chair or wobbly table they’re seated at. 

Think about the kinds of customers you cater to and how long they typically stay, and choose comfortable chairs and benches that will allow patrons to feel satisfied with not only their food, but their experience.

[Related: Commercial Lobby Furniture Design Guide]

Weather Resistance 

Depending on where you’re located, your outdoor dining area could be up against some unpredictable weather — especially if you’re planning on having your patio open during the fall and winter. This doesn’t have to be a reason to throw away the idea of outdoor dining! You just have to be creative. 

If you’re opting for wooden or upholstered furniture, a good workaround is setting up umbrellas, or placing them underneath a covered awning. You could also treat weather-sensitive furniture materials with a protective lacquer or spray. 

Teak is a great-looking and durable type of wood that is resistant to the elements and quite popular for restaurant furniture. 

If you’re working with upholstered materials outdoors, make sure you’re using vinyl or something similar that won’t get damaged in bad weather. 

Remember, you can make your patio weather-dependent as well and only open up when the weather is cooperative.

Easy Cleaning

When you’re furnishing an establishment that deals with food and beverages, easily cleanable furniture should be a top priority. 

If your outdoor dining area is furnished with hard tables and chairs made of steel, cast iron, or plastic, wiping down and sanitizing is easy enough — but for upholstered furniture ensure you’re choosing easy-to-sanitize vinyl or acrylic materials. For lounge furniture cushions, read the care instructions on the tag to gently spot clean after sweeping off or vacuuming.


Since the journey through the COVID-19 pandemic has been and continues to be fairly unpredictable, you should be able to move around your outdoor dining layout easily to accommodate social distancing. Lightweight and portable outdoor dining furniture can help you create different layouts or easily store them when not in use.

[Related: Bar Stool and Counter Stool Buying Guide]

Types of Outdoor Dining Furniture and Materials

Wooden Picnic Tables and Benches

Wooden picnic tables are great for seating groups of five or less, similar to booths and banquette seating arrangements. 

For casual dining and breweries, wooden picnic tables give off a traditional and welcoming aesthetic. You can treat wooden tables with protective lacquer to prevent wear and tear from the weather, or opt for teak outdoor dining furniture since it’s more durable.

Lounge Furniture

If your establishment is anticipating patrons spending some time eating, drinking, and socializing, consider lounge furniture for your outdoor patio or dining area. Upholstered lounge furniture is comfortable and stylish, and can create a welcoming social atmosphere for customers who want to talk and mingle. 

Lounge furniture is great for bars and clubs, or golf resorts and wineries where sit-down meals aren’t the main focus. If you’re looking for a cozy, homey style, lightweight wicker may be your best outdoor dining furniture option.

Steel Bistro Tables and Chairs

Steel or cast iron outdoor dining furniture, often referred to as bistro tables and chairs, are a great option for furnishing your backyard dining area if you’re a cafe or coffee shop. 

Metal outdoor dining furniture creates a chic atmosphere and is perfect for individual visitors or couples who are grabbing a cup of coffee or a cocktail. The material is also easy to clean and sanitize, and won’t get damaged by rainy weather.

Plastic Tables and Chairs

Plastic tables and chairs aren’t just for your backyard. You can actually create a nice-looking outdoor dining area with quality, durable plastic tables and chairs. This type of furniture is lightweight enough to move around and set up how you please, and also sturdy and durable enough to withstand many meals and gatherings. 

[Related: Complete Guide to Commercial Restaurant Booths]

Contact QA Group Today!

Interested in creating an outdoor dining space for your establishment with commercial outdoor dining furniture? QA Group has over 80 years of experience providing quality custom-made furniture to all major commercial industries, including restaurants, bars, and cafes. 

Contact us today and let’s get started!

Featured image via Unsplash