What is an Outdoor Seating Area?

An outdoor seating area is a designated space, typically located outside of a building or establishment, where individuals can sit and relax. It is a popular feature in various settings such as restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, parks, and even residential properties. Outdoor seating areas are designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable environment for people to socialize, dine, or simply unwind while enjoying the outdoors.

The Benefits of Outdoor Seating Areas

Outdoor seating areas offer numerous benefits for both businesses and individuals. For businesses, having an outdoor seating area can attract more customers, increase revenue, and differentiate themselves from competitors. It provides an additional space for customers to enjoy their products or services, which can enhance their overall experience and satisfaction.

For individuals, outdoor seating areas offer a refreshing change of scenery from indoor spaces. They provide an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, natural surroundings, and potentially beautiful views. Outdoor seating areas also promote a sense of relaxation and tranquility, allowing people to escape the confines of indoor environments and connect with nature.

Design and Features of Outdoor Seating Areas

Outdoor seating areas come in various designs and can be customized to suit the specific needs and preferences of the establishment or property. Some common features of well-designed outdoor seating areas include:

  • Comfortable seating options such as chairs, benches, or lounge furniture
  • Tables or surfaces for placing food, drinks, or personal belongings
  • Shade structures or umbrellas to provide protection from the sun
  • Lighting fixtures to create a pleasant ambiance during evening hours
  • Landscaping elements such as plants, flowers, or greenery
  • Privacy screens or dividers to separate different seating areas
  • Accessories like cushions, pillows, or blankets for added comfort

Types of Outdoor Seating Areas

Outdoor seating areas can vary depending on the location and purpose. Here are some common types:

  • Restaurant Patios: These are outdoor seating areas specifically designed for restaurants, allowing customers to dine al fresco.
  • Café Terraces: Similar to restaurant patios, café terraces offer outdoor seating options for customers to enjoy their coffee or snacks.
  • Beer Gardens: Popular in Europe, beer gardens are outdoor areas associated with pubs or breweries, where people can enjoy beer and socialize.
  • Rooftop Bars: These outdoor seating areas are located on the rooftops of buildings, providing panoramic views and a unique atmosphere.
  • Park Picnic Areas: Parks often have designated picnic areas with tables and benches for people to enjoy outdoor meals or gatherings.
  • Residential Patios: Outdoor seating areas in residential properties, such as backyard patios or balconies, offer a private space for relaxation.

Considerations for Creating an Outdoor Seating Area

When creating an outdoor seating area, there are several factors to consider:

  • Location: Choose a suitable location that is easily accessible and complements the overall ambiance of the establishment or property.
  • Space and Capacity: Determine the desired seating capacity and ensure there is enough space to accommodate the furniture and customers comfortably.
  • Weather Protection: Consider installing shade structures, umbrellas, or retractable awnings to protect customers from sun, rain, or wind.
  • Lighting: Install appropriate lighting fixtures to create a welcoming and safe environment, especially for evening or nighttime use.
  • Comfort: Select comfortable seating options and provide cushions or pillows for added comfort.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the outdoor seating area is accessible to individuals with disabilities, complying with relevant accessibility guidelines.
  • Permits and Regulations: Check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or approvals before creating an outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating Areas and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor seating areas have gained even more significance. They have provided a safer alternative for people to dine or socialize while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Many establishments have expanded their outdoor seating areas or created new ones to accommodate the increased demand for outdoor dining.


In conclusion, outdoor seating areas are valuable spaces that offer numerous benefits for businesses and individuals alike. They provide a comfortable and enjoyable environment for people to relax, socialize, and connect with nature. By considering the design, features, and considerations outlined above, businesses and property owners can create powerful outdoor seating areas that enhance the overall experience for their customers or residents.