Designing an Outdoor Dining Space: Expert Tips with ABM Catering

outdoor dining

Designing an Outdoor Dining Space: Expert Tips with ABM Catering

Creating a well-designed outdoor dining space can significantly enhance the appeal and profitability of your catering, leisure, or licensed trade establishment. A captivating and comfortable al fresco area attracts a wider range of customers who seek to enjoy their dining or leisure experience in an open, fresh, and inviting environment. At ABM Catering for Leisure Ltd, we are committed to providing comprehensive services that cater specifically to the catering, leisure, and licensed trade industries, covering design, specification, supply, and installation of catering equipment, bar fixtures, and contract furniture. Our in-house workshop allows us to produce bespoke furniture and upholstery perfectly tailored to your establishment’s unique requirements and concept.

In this blog post, we will delve into the essential aspects of designing a stunning and functional outdoor dining space, discussing factors such as layout, furniture, lighting, and weatherproofing. As we explore the various components involved in creating an exceptional outdoor dining experience, we will demonstrate how ABM Catering can help you throughout the design process, ensuring your al fresco area leaves a lasting impression on your customers.

Designing an outdoor dining space requires a careful balance of aesthetics, functionality, and comfort. With the expert guidance and comprehensive services provided by ABM Catering, you can create a captivating al fresco area that not only expands your establishment’s seating capacity but also enhances your customers’ overall dining and leisure experience.

Join us as we navigate the world of outdoor dining space design, offering inspiration, expert advice, and practical solutions to help you create an enticing and efficient al fresco area that serves as an extension of your establishment’s unique charm and character. Discover how partnering with ABM Catering and utilising our extensive experience can result in a seamless design process and an exceptional outdoor dining space that is loved by both your customers and staff.

Designing an Outdoor Dining Space: Expert Tips with ABM Catering

Planning the Perfect Layout

A well-planned layout is crucial for maximising your outdoor dining space’s functionality and accessibility. Consider factors such as area dimensions, traffic flow, and views when arranging tables, chairs, and other essential design components.

Key layout planning tips:

1. Optimise space: Ensure a comfortable distance between tables, allowing customers and staff to move around freely without feeling cramped or crowded.

2. Traffic flow: Establish clear pathways in your layout design that guide customers and staff through the space, taking into account entrances, exits, and service routes.

3. Views and focal points: Position tables and seating areas to capitalise on the best views available, or create attractive focal points through artwork, water features, or architectural elements.

Choosing Outdoor Furniture and Décor

Selecting the right outdoor furniture and décor for your dining space is vital to creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Invest in high-quality, weather-resistant pieces that align with your establishment’s aesthetic and theme.

Things to consider when selecting outdoor furniture and décor:

1. Comfort and durability: Opt for furniture made from materials that are weatherproof, easy to maintain, and designed with customer comfort in mind.

2. Bespoke options: Collaborate with ABM Catering’s in-house workshop to create custom furniture pieces that perfectly match your space and design preferences.

3. Outdoor décor: Incorporate elements such as planters, outdoor rugs, and decorative lighting to create a visually appealing and cohesive outdoor dining space.

Lighting and Ambience

The right lighting choices can significantly impact the ambience of your outdoor dining space, making it more attractive and enjoyable for customers. Use a combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Outdoor lighting solutions to consider:

1. String lights: Suspend strings of outdoor lights overhead to create a magical, enchanting atmosphere that can be easily adjusted for various events and occasions.

2. Lanterns and table lamps: Utilise portable lanterns and table lamps to add a soft and intimate glow to individual seating areas.

3. Spotlights: Install spotlights to highlight focal points, such as artwork, architectural details, or landscaping features, enhancing the visual appeal of your outdoor dining space.

Weatherproofing and Comfort Considerations

To ensure your customers consistently enjoy their outdoor dining experience, it’s crucial to address weather-related concerns and implement solutions that offer comfort and protection.

Weatherproofing and comfort solutions:

1. Shade structures: Incorporate patio umbrellas, pergolas, or retractable awnings to provide shelter from sun and rain, ensuring your customers are comfortable in various weather conditions.

2. Heating options: Install outdoor heaters or fire pits to keep your diners warm during cooler months, extending the usability of your outdoor dining space throughout the year.

3. Wind protection: Use windbreaks or privacy screens to protect your outdoor dining area from gusts of wind, creating a comfortable and serene environment for your customers.


Designing a captivating and functional outdoor dining space can greatly enhance your establishment’s appeal, attracting customers seeking a unique and memorable al fresco experience. By focusing on crucial elements such as layout, furniture, lighting, and weatherproofing, you can create an outdoor dining area that serves as an extension of your establishment’s character and charm.

Partner with ABM Catering for Leisure Ltd throughout your outdoor dining space design journey to ensure a seamless and stress-free process. Our comprehensive services cover every aspect of creating the perfect al fresco area, from consultation and bespoke furniture production to equipment and fixture supply and installation. Rely on our catering industry experts’ wealth of experience and commitment to excellence in helping you develop an enticing and enjoyable outdoor dining space that captivates customers and sets your establishment apart from the competition. Contact us today!

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