Enhancing Outdoor Dining Experience with Thoughtful Design and Innovative Solutions

outdoor dining

Enhancing Outdoor Dining Experience with Thoughtful Design and Innovative Solutions

The outdoor dining experience has never been more important in the catering, leisure, and licensed trade industries. Providing customers with an inviting, comfortable outdoor space not only adds valuable seating capacity but also creates an opportunity to showcase your establishment’s unique charm and ambience. At ABM Catering for Leisure Ltd, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive range of services designed to help businesses in these sectors excel. Our expertise covers design, specification, supply, and installation of catering equipment, bar fixtures, and contract furniture, including the creation of bespoke furnishings and upholstery in our in-house workshop.

This comprehensive blog post will discuss the essential aspects of designing and implementing a captivating outdoor dining area that resonates with your customers. We will explore various factors, including furniture selection, layout, weatherproofing, lighting, and landscaping. By embracing these design principles and employing innovative solutions, your establishment can offer a delightful al fresco dining experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

With the support and guidance of ABM Catering for Leisure’s experienced team, you can ensure your outdoor dining area combines functionality, visual appeal, and a welcoming atmosphere. Join us in this exploration of outdoor dining design, as we delve into the key principles and solutions that can help transform your catering, leisure, or licensed trade establishment’s outdoor space into an enticing and memorable experience for your guests.

Investing in the design and development of a captivating outdoor dining area not only optimises your establishment’s seating capacity but also reinforces your commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Trust the expertise of ABM Catering for Leisure Ltd to create an outdoor space that embraces style, functionality, and atmosphere, attracting guests and elevating the overall dining experience.

1: Furniture Selection and Arrangement

Selecting the right outdoor furniture and arranging it to maximise comfort and functionality is critical to creating an inviting al fresco dining experience.

Factors to consider when selecting and arranging outdoor furniture:

1. Durability: Choose materials that are built to withstand outdoor conditions, such as weather-resistant wood, metal, or synthetic materials, ensuring they will remain visually appealing and structurally sound for years to come.

2. Comfort: Opt for comfortable seating options, such as cushioned chairs or benches, to encourage guests to linger and enjoy their outdoor dining experience.

3. Layout: Arrange furniture in a manner that promotes conversation, facilitates ease of movement, and accommodates various group sizes. Consider incorporating a mixture of large tables, smaller tables for intimate dining, and communal seating options.

2: Weatherproofing Solutions

Protecting your outdoor dining area from the elements is essential for providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience for guests, regardless of the weather.

Practical weatherproofing solutions for outdoor dining:

1. Shade structures: Install awnings, canopies, or umbrellas to shield guests from sun exposure and offer respite from light rain.

2. Heaters: Utilise outdoor patio heaters or incorporate built-in heating elements, such as fire pits or radiant heating solutions, to keep guests warm and comfortable during cooler months.

3. Wind barriers: Erect fences, hedges, or other wind-blocking measures to reduce the impact of strong winds and create a cosy environment for your guests.

3: Ambience and Lighting

Establishing a warm, welcoming atmosphere through ambience and lighting can significantly enhance the overall outdoor dining experience.

Tips to create enticing outdoor ambience and lighting:

1. String lights: Suspend various styles of string lights, such as fairy lights or Edison bulbs, to create a warm and inviting glow in your outdoor dining area.

2. Lanterns and candles: Display lanterns, candles, or other fire elements to add warmth and charm to your guests’ al fresco dining experience.

3. Layered lighting: Incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to set the desired mood and ensure ample illumination for dining and other activities.

4: Landscaping and Visual Appeal

Strategically designed landscaping and visual features can significantly enhance the charm and allure of your establishment’s outdoor space.

Landscaping ideas to elevate the outdoor dining experience:

1. Greenery: Integrate plants and greenery into your outdoor space, using features such as planters, hedges, vertical gardens, or hanging baskets, to instil a sense of tranquillity and freshness.

2. Paving options: Select attractive and functional paving materials, such as stone, brick, or concrete pavers, to create an inviting, low-maintenance outdoor dining area.

3. Water features: Install water elements, like fountains or ponds, to add a layer of tranquillity and elegance to your outdoor space.


An attractive, thoughtfully designed outdoor dining area is a valuable asset for any catering, leisure, or licensed trade establishment, enhancing the overall guest experience and setting the stage for repeat visits. By focusing on elements such as furniture selection, weatherproofing, ambience, and landscaping, businesses can create a delightful al fresco dining environment that perfectly complements their main indoor offerings.

ABM Catering for Leisure is your trusted partner for delivering comprehensive commercial kitchen design and implementation services to help establish captivating outdoor dining spaces. With their expert guidance and industry experience, you can trust ABM Catering for Leisure to design, specify, supply and install innovative, bespoke solutions tailored to suit your establishment’s unique requirements. 

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