Restaurant awnings provide an entire range of useful benefits, not the least of which is shade. They’re the prefect addition to every restaurant’s deck or patio. And there are lots of ways you can, well, deck them out.
But first, think about the underlying factors that enable restaurant awnings to perform well and look appealing, so you’ll have the right awning to begin with. Those factors include:
- The size and shape of the space you want to cover.
- When you’ll use that space – year round, seasonally or only occasionally.
- Whether your restaurant awnings need to some function beyond providing shade, Such as identifying your location or entrance.
- Weather, wind or similar challenges typical of your location.
This information will help your professional awning company guide you toward restaurant awnings that are the best match for you. And the functional details can guide you toward the best ways to deck out your awning, too.
Will your restaurant awnings be on a front deck, or in back?
If it’s out front, you won’t want to miss the multiple marketing opportunities restaurant awnings can deliver. They create a marquee. You can deck them out to present a snappy visual presence and promote your place to prospective customers, with your name and logo, special graphics or eye-catching colors. Reinforcing your brand is important whether you’re a single-location neighborhood hideaway or a national chain.
Do you have existing restaurant awnings?
Add a new section that’s retractable to use at certain times of the day or in the hottest months. Add portable walls with windows or screens, to keep out pesky insects and make folks more comfortable when it’s breezy or cooler, without losing that “outdoor” ambiance. Or add shorter rail curtains, or portable sections that can be easily reconfigured to set off a private party area.
Use umbrellas to turn restaurant awnings into a “happening.”
Everybody loves umbrellas, with their flirty edges and their easy adaptability as the sun moves. But why settle for umbrellas or any other restaurant awnings with your beer vendor’s logo? Why not your own? Everyone will want one. Now, that’s a way to use restaurant awnings for marketing!
Introduce your new logoed umbrellas by holding a contest – maybe for yet another new type of martini — and reward the winner with a logoed umbrella of their own. Have your patrons suggest other “improvements” that deck out your restaurant awnings.
Non-traditional styles are growing in popularity.
Deck out your deck with restaurant awnings in the latest shapes. Sails, also called tension structures or membranes, are colorful and fun. Pergolas are sturdy, and they instantly convert your deck into a garden.
Use tiny flower pots on your tables, to match hanging baskets or large urns of flowers. Use small trees in tubs. Or climbing vines that become a permanent addition to your pergola, adding a leafy, floral cover in spring, summer and fall. Grow vines on a wall or trellis underneath your awning to help soften that hard surface. Plants work with restaurant awnings to transform your deck into someplace spectacular and spectacularly inviting.
Lights enable people to see their food in the evening, and see where they’re walking, but they needn’t ruin your ambiance. You can light restaurant awnings from above or underneath. Use hanging lanterns. Or decorative strings that wind up the supports and around the edges.
Add a water feature.
Maybe a small pond with koi and some lilies, or a recirculating fountain. Nothing compares to the look and sound of water to help people relax and stay cool.
Why be boring? Why even settle for solids or stripes? Digital printing lets you deck out restaurant awnings with patterns, photos, your logo – customization isn’t just for umbrellas, you know.
The only thing you really need to deck out the restaurant awnings on your deck is your imagination.
Photo Credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr