Outdoor Dining Tents – What Kind of Canopies Can Restaurants Use?

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The restaurant industry has been hit hard due to the pandemic. However, businesses are now reopening with regulations in place. Having said this, it is important that bars and restaurants provide the safest possible dining experience for both their customers and staff. Adding covered outdoor dining tents seating is a unique and cost-effective solution in this case.

There’s something magical about outdoor dining – it leaves people craving more. The warm, sunny outdoors, fresh breeze and lip-smacking food are enticing even for the most introverted of people. But if you’re still looking for another reason to expand your existing seating capacity or add outdoor dining at your restaurant, how about this: to promote social distancing among your employees and customers.

How?

With a restaurant tent.

Resuming restaurant operations safely with outdoor dining tents

A restaurant tent will equip you to follow and comply with the health and safety regulations in your state while maximizing your resources and seating space at the same time. An outdoor dining tent can also be combined with preventive screening measures, such as thermal scanning, to create more effective COVID prevention protocol within your business premises.

Several restaurateurs have even come up with bespoke, custom printed dining tents that look highly appealing. This is the best part about canopies – they can be tailored to suit your business requirements.

It is not the case that outdoor dining has only become popular in the wake of the pandemic. Al fresco dining was prominent even before. Rooftop cafés, terrace restaurants, smokehouses, bars, grills and diners were just some of the many places that offered outdoor dining in the pre-COVID era. However, the pandemic has brought outdoor dining to an unprecedented level of importance.

Restaurant owners are now trying to entice customers yearning for some social interaction after being cooped up inside their homes for over a year. With an outdoor dining tent, the probability of success increases as guests don’t have to worry about maintaining social distancing without compromising their dining experience.

Adding a restaurant tent to create outdoor seating – Types of tents you can choose

The most common outdoor options that are used by restaurants are pergolas, clear span structures and frame tents.

1. Clear-span outdoor dining tents

Clear-span tents are highly sought after for their charm and appeal. They elevate a space while simultaneously providing greater protection from weather than awnings and outdoor umbrellas. Clear-span tents are ideal for long-term setup.

Extreme Canopy’s clear restaurant tents are manufactured with sturdy aluminum that is more durable and has a greater lifetime. Unlike other outdoor tents, clear-span tents don’t have interior support poles – making it easier for occupants to move freely underneath.

Clear-span tents can have personal customizations such as your business name and logo printing on the fabric, accessories, doors and windows, as well as an assortment of interior linings and drapes that create a comfortable ambiance inside. Extreme Canopy’s clear span tents are all-weather, flame retardant and UV-resistant with NFPA 701, CPAI 84 and California Fire Marshall Title 19 certifications.

2. Pergolas

You must have seen pergolas in gardens. These structures have trelliswork on the top and are supported by posts or columns. Pergolas accentuate the appeal of your outdoor dining area with their unique appearance. You can add furnishing, hang string lights underneath and then place them on your patio or any open space to extend your dining area.

However, unlike other outdoor tents, pergola tents require some initial foundation work in order to be erected properly. You will have to dig a hole for every post and then set up the frame to attach the overhead beams. But pergolas are a good choice if you want to enhance the curb appeal of your restaurant’s existing patio area.

3. Frame Tents

Another great choice, if you want to expand the seating at your restaurant or bar, is investing in a frame tent. Just like clear-span canopies, these tents do not feature any interior support poles. Frame tents do not rely on staking for stability, so they can be set up over decks, concrete and even pavement. You can stylize your frame outdoor dining tent with clear tops and sidewalls to pop up the space.

an outdoor dining tent

Extreme Canopy’s frame tents are available as independent units or as modular components if you want to create a canopy village. Our frame tents are weatherproof, flame retardant and UV-resistant. They also carry NFPA 701, CPAI-84 and California Fire Marshall Title 19 certifications.

Considerations while buying a restaurant tent

While you can buy outdoor dining tents in almost any size, shape and custom printing to suit your restaurant’s requirements, there are a few additional aspects to consider.

1. Convenience

Unless you plan to permanently operate outdoors, go for a canopy that is easy to set up and take down. You must also mull over the portability, upkeep and sanitization of the tents you’re about to purchase.

2. Budget

Are you going to use your canopies seasonally or do you plan to leave them up for extended periods? Do you want your restaurant’s name and logo to appear on the fabric or a simple, plain-colored fabric would suffice?

Answers to questions like these will help you decide your budget and allow you to make an informed choice.

3. Accessories

Will you add walls and draping to your canopy? Do you want to add flooring? What about lighting? How about adding doors and windows? Decide on how you want your outdoor dining tent to look like and then purchase the accessories of your choice.

4. Weights and rain gutters

Both weights and rain gutters might seem like trivial things at the time of sale, but they are quite essential in keeping your guests safe, secure and dry underneath your restaurant tent. Weights secure your tent to the ground and prevent them from getting uprooted during high winds.

Rain gutters, on the other hand, prevent water from logging atop the canopy. Excessive water logging might cause the canopy to cave in – and this is where the rain gutters come in handy. They also prevent water from getting accumulated around the open space between two tents that can create a mucky, slippery area.

Benefits Of Using Covered Outdoor Seating

You might think that buying outdoor dining tents is an expensive investment, but trust us; they will quickly return your investment in the form of more customers, more foot traffic, higher revenue and greater brand awareness.

1. Improved customer experience

People have been longing for personal reunion with their friends and family after being locked up inside their houses since the pandemic began. But they are also wary of outdoor dining due to contaminated surfaces and the transmission of germs.

With covered outdoor seating, you can assure them of a clean and hygienic dining area that is sanitized after each meal. This will allow them to enjoy a pleasant meal without worrying about social distancing.

2. Expanded seating

Perhaps you are a reputed business with customers turned regular patrons. In this case, you’d want them to continue their association with your restaurant. But due to the social distancing regulations, it is unlikely you can seat everybody within your brick and mortar premises. What to do?

Well, a restaurant tent can come to your rescue here – expand the seating area outdoors and enforce social distancing at the same time. This will also cut short wait times, thereby improving the experience of your customers.

3. Protection from natural elements

Restaurateurs are often reluctant to set up outdoor dining because they fear the consequences should the weather take a turn for the worse. Covered outdoor seating will ensure that your guests can enjoy the wind, rain and summer breeze without getting wet or sweaty. Outdoor tents with doors and mesh walls also keep dust and insects at bay.

4. Accentuated curb appeal

A report by the Chicago Tribune observed that sidewalk patios and cafés attract more customers and boost sales by up to 30 percent. This goes on to say that a custom outdoor restaurant tent is not just functional but goes easy on the eyes as well.

You can opt for bespoke tents that highlight your branding, complete with graphics, logos and colors. Add hanging plants, exterior lighting and chic drapes for a more sophisticated appearance. Moreover, if you own a theme-based restaurant, you can order tailored tents that reflect your style.

Beyond these benefits, energy efficiency, versatility, longevity, customization and ease of setup are some of the obvious advantages of using an outdoor dining tent. If you are searching for covered outdoor seating, Extreme Canopy has a wide range of restaurant tent options. Browse through our online store or call 844 243 6981 to place your order.

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