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Of all the details that go into creating a successful outdoor dining space—health, safety and cleanliness should definitely be at the top of your list. The cleanliness of a space is usually the first thing that customers notice, and first impressions can go a very long way.

To help you prepare your space, we compiled some information on our suggested cleaning supplies, helpful tips, top messes to look out for, and even some FAQ's on outdoor dining to ensure your space is safe, clean and successful.


Outdoor Dining

How to Keep an Outdoor Dining Space Safe

As you're creating an outdoor dining space, you also need to consider more than just fire safety. Depending on how close the space is located to roadways and sidewalks, you may need to add an extra layer of protection to prevent patrons from getting hurt.

For businesses in the city, outdoor spaces are typically along the side of the road. This means there are frequently people passing by on both bicycles and cars. And sometimes, accidents happen that lead to people crashing into the space where patrons are dining. To prevent this, it would be wise to set up some sort of barrier that would potentially stop someone from barreling into your business.

Fencing could work to keep bicyclists from crossing into your dining area. It may even be helpful to add lights or reflectors to your fence so it's more visible at nighttime. When it comes to cars, fencing isn't going to help, so you'll want something more substantial. Consider adding a brick or concrete wall as a barrier. While it won't stop cars entirely, it does add an extra layer of protection.

View Outdoor Fencing

Cleaning Supplies

Why You Need Cleaning Supplies for Your Outdoor Space

Cleaning supplies are essential for all foodservice facilities. Staff should be sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming floors. They should be disinfecting dining tables and seats, as well as the kitchen and bathrooms. Nothing is more important than the safety of the staff and customers.

However, when incorporating an outdoor dining space into your facility’s footprint, there are some other messes you’ll find yourself cleaning up. And it just might require a few extra cleaning products. Here’s why they’ll come in handy:

Bird Droppings

  • While it's not exactly a pretty thought, birds are likely to leave their mark on your outdoor furniture, so you'll want something to clean it up. It simply wouldn't be sanitary to leave it. Have disinfectants and fabric cleaner on hand for wiping up these types of messes.


  • If you choose to open your outdoor dining area to pets, you may notice hair that they've left behind. Use a broom or vacuum to clean it up so other guests don’t find themselves leaving with dog hair stuck to their clothing. You'll also need something to clean up accidents should a dog use your space as their personal bathroom or get sick.

Dirt and Dust

  • Outdoor spaces require even more cleaning than the tables and chairs inside because of the dirt and dust that can build up quickly. Debris can blow around in the wind, settling on your furniture. And in the spring, you’ll be sure to notice a green layer of pollen if you aren’t cleaning enough. A good cleanser is ideal for wiping down tables, while you may want a vacuum to suck up grime from any fabric furniture pieces. Even keep a hose nearby to rinse the floor after hours.

Shop Maintenance Items


Outdoor Dining FAQ


FAQ's About Outdoor Dining

Let's wrap up our outdoor dining guide with a few frequently asked questions that will prepare you for creating or expanding your dining area.


Is an Outdoor Dining Space a Profitable Decision?

Absolutely! If you have the room to create an outdoor dining area for patrons, it can be a great way to attract extra income. When the weather is nice, many people will pick a restaurant simply because of its outdoor seating. Plus, it gives you the ability to host more tables during a single shift. Just make sure it's some thing your kitchen staff and wait staff can handle.


What Can I Do to Improve the Atmosphere?

Choose comfortable, yet stylish, furniture that will make guests want to stay for a while. Hang lights to turn on as the sun sets or add lanterns throughout the space to create a more romantic vibe. Play music through speakers or have live music to get everyone feeling good. And make sure you take care of your guests by ensuring they're comfortable no matter the weather!


How Can I Make an Outdoor Space More Unique?

If you really want to make your outdoor dining area more enticing, consider creating an outdoor-only menu. This is something many restaurants have done to help streamline operations. With a simpler menu, patrons will spend less time mulling over what to order and more time enjoying themselves. Use this as an opportunity to promote menu items that offer high margins. Be sure to advertise on your website and social media that you have an outdoor menu, so they know what to expect before arriving.



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Interested in Learning More on Outdoor Dining?

View the rest of our research, industry insights, and tips to really make your space shine.

Discover Solutions or Talk to an expert.