Affordable Outdoor Restaurant Design Ideas to Boost Sales This Patio Season

As the weather warms up and people gravitate towards open-air dining experiences, transforming your restaurant’s outdoor space can significantly boost your sales and customer satisfaction. However, creating an inviting and functional outdoor dining area doesn’t have to break the bank. In this post, we’ll explore some affordable outdoor restaurant design ideas to help you maximize your patio space, attract more customers, and enhance your restaurant’s ambiance.

1. Prioritize Comfortable Seating

Comfortable seating is essential to encourage customers to linger longer, which can increase your table turnover rate and overall sales. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to enhance outdoor seating comfort:

  • Mix and Match Furniture: Combine different styles of chairs and tables that you can find at discount stores or second-hand shops. A mix-and-match approach can create a trendy, eclectic look while decreasing costs.
  • Add Cushions and Pillows: Invest in weather-resistant cushions and pillows to make your seating more comfortable. Look for sales or wholesale options to get the best deals.
  • Use Benches: Benches can accommodate more guests than individual chairs and are often more cost-effective. Add some colorful cushions to make them more inviting.

2. Create Shade and Shelter

Providing shade and shelter is crucial for customer comfort during hot days or light rain showers. There are several affordable options to consider:

  • Umbrellas: Large patio umbrellas are a versatile and relatively inexpensive option to provide shade. Look for durable, weather-resistant materials to ensure longevity.
  • Canopies and Tents: Canopies and tents come in various sizes and can be a quick and affordable way to cover large areas. They are also easy to set up and take down as needed.
  • Pergolas: If you want a more permanent solution, consider installing a pergola. While the initial investment may be higher, it adds a stylish and functional element to your outdoor space. You can save costs by opting for DIY kits.

3. Incorporate Greener

Adding plants and greenery to your outdoor space can improve the ambiance and create a relaxing environment for your guests. Here are some cost-effective ways to incorporate greenery:

  • Potted Plants: To add color and life to your patio, use a variety of potted plants. You can find affordable pots at garden centers or even repurpose old containers.
  • Vertical Gardens: Create a vertical garden using wall-mounted planters or hanging baskets. This is an excellent way to add greenery without wasting valuable floor space.
  • Herb Gardens: Plant an herb garden that adds to the aesthetics and can also be used in your kitchen. This dual-purpose approach can save you money in the long run.

4. Enhance Lighting

Proper lighting can transform your outdoor space into a cozy and inviting area, perfect for evening dining. Consider these budget-friendly lighting options:

  • String Lights: String lights are an affordable way to add a warm and welcoming glow to your patio. Drape them overhead or wrap them around railings and posts for a magical effect.
  • Solar-Powered Lights: Solar-powered lights are energy-efficient and can be placed throughout your outdoor area without needing electrical outlets. Look for affordable options at home improvement stores.
  • Candles and Lanterns: Use candles and lanterns to create an intimate atmosphere. Battery-operated candles are a safe and cost-effective alternative to traditional ones.

5. Optimize Layout and Flow

A practical layout can maximize your outdoor space and improve the dining experience for your guests. Here are some tips to optimize your patio layout:

  • Flexible Seating Arrangements: Arrange tables and chairs so that they can be easily reconfigured based on the size of the dining parties. This flexibility can help you accommodate more guests during peak times.
  • Clear Walkways: Ensure there are clear pathways for customers and staff to move around comfortably. This will improve service efficiency and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Defined Zones: Create zones for dining, lounging, and waiting areas. This can help manage the flow of guests and make the space feel more organized.

6. Add Personal Touches

Personal touches can set your outdoor space apart and create a memorable experience for your guests. Here are some affordable ideas to consider:

  • DIY Decor: Get creative with DIY decor projects. For example, you can create custom table centerpieces, paint old furniture, or make signage.
  • Local Art: Showcase local art by featuring pieces from local artists. This can create a unique atmosphere and support your community at the same time.
  • Interactive Elements: Add interactive elements like a chalkboard menu, a photo wall, or a small garden that guests can explore. These touches can enhance the dining experience and encourage social media sharing.

7. Promote Your Outdoor Space

Once you’ve transformed your outdoor area, it’s time to spread the word and attract customers. Here are some cost-effective marketing strategies:

  • Social Media: Share photos and videos of your new outdoor space on social media platforms. Encourage customers to share their experiences and use hashtags to increase visibility.
  • Email Marketing: Send a newsletter to your customer base announcing your revamped patio and any special promotions or events.
  • Collaborations: Partner with local influencers or bloggers to promote your outdoor area. Offer them a complimentary dining experience in exchange for a review or social media post.


Revamping your outdoor restaurant space doesn’t have to be expensive. By implementing these affordable design ideas, you can create a welcoming and functional patio area that attracts more customers and boosts your sales this season. Remember, the key is to focus on comfort, ambiance, and functionality while adding personal touches that make your space unique!

Share this post