Many restaurants offer outdoor seating to provide a unique dining experience and generate additional revenue during the summer. However, poorly organized or cramped patios can create an unsafe and uncomfortable environment.

Below, we provide three ways to keep your restaurant’s patio comfortable and safe for patrons and employees.

1. Optimize Layout and Design

Add character to your patio to attract restaurant patrons. Focus on layout and design to optimize patron experience, while enhancing comfort and security.

Consider the following actions to maintain an organized and safe patio:

  • Enclose the patio with fencing, planters or dividers to provide patron privacy.
  • Ensure ample space between furniture to provide a clear path for employees to maneuver through and an accessible fire escape for patrons.
  • Install smart locks on gates to restrict patio access outside of business hours.
  • Place umbrellas, canopies or awnings to shield patrons from intense sunlight or unexpected rain.
  • Repair uneven pavement to patch up potential tripping hazards.
  • Schedule smart lights to illuminate the patio after sunset.
  • Select durable furniture made of synthetic wood, plastic or metal finish that can withstand inclement weather.

2. Install Video Surveillance Cameras

Enhance your restaurant’s security system with strategically placed video surveillance cameras. Mount visible cameras to ward off intruders, and record the patio space 24 hours a day.

  • Access archived clips to view previously recorded footage that can serve as tangible evidence of a crime.
  • Adjust camera positions remotely to record multiple angles of your property.
  • Ensure video cameras are placed legally, and display proper signage to honor the privacy of employees and patrons.
  • Set up motion-triggered recordings to capture clear visuals of any unusual movement.

3. Set Up Mobile Monitoring

Keep tabs on your patio, even when the restaurant is closed. Sync smart devices with mobile alerts to receive immediate notifications when an alarm or image sensor has been triggered. Mobile alerts allow users to respond promptly should an issue arise.

Leverage mobile monitoring to complete the following tasks:

  • Lower energy bills by remotely turning on or off patio lights.
  • Schedule automatic system arming to fit your business hours.
  • View activity reports that alert you if any locks or entrances have been accessed.

Additional Considerations

Restaurant owners can take additional measures to secure their patio space and enhance patron experiences. Some tips to consider:

  • Close your patio if temperatures are too hot to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
  • Invest in commercial bug zappers or repellent to stop insects from disturbing patrons.
  • Store any non-permanent items, such as potted plants, trash cans, chairs or tables, at the end of each night to prevent theft.
  • Use non-glass tableware to lower replacement costs and prevent shattering.