Mood (and Food!) Lighting for Restaurant Patios May 3, 2021

nightime outdoor restaurant patios lit up Light up Your Restaurant Patio’s Appeal

The ambiance of a patio can shift at your command. It’s all about the way you orchestrate lighting from morning to moonlight. Seeing your patio through fresh eyes – actually your customer’s eyes – is a great way to shed a few rays of insight on any changes to make. Your brand affects all your decisions, including lighting. Are you a high-energy patio or an intimate, romantic spot? Bright lighting is perfect to create a high-spirited, inclusive and fun vibe. Low lighting adds date-night charm.

Say hello to guests with the right lights

Your customers need to know that they’re at the right destination when they arrive. There are a few practical considerations here. Are the signage and entrance to your patio area clear? Can people see where they are going to stay safe? Is there a host stand visible so that guests know how and where to get seated?

Think about a bit of magic on your guests’ approach, too. Does your patio look intriguing, inviting or even romantic? The curiosity and joy of arriving can be magnified with one dramatic lighting focal point of an architectural highlight. You can also pull together more balanced lighting with twinkling strands of lights threaded across overhead beams or across walls as you look across your patio space.

The phone flashlight and menu test

Your guests need to be able to read what’s for dinner and then see your incredible food when it’s delivered. Do they need to take out their phone flashlights to do that? Candles or a sconce on the table can help illuminate what needs to be seen. A strategic downlight from above that hits the center of the table can also spotlight what matters. Faces also get a lovely glow with strategic low lights. Same goes for the food you hope everyone will snap and post on social media.

Layer lighting for great ambiance

In addition to downlighting, consider up-lighting, which can offer drama for historic, natural and architectural elements on your patio. Perimeter lighting around the edges of the patio or in nearby landscaping is also an important layer that works together with other light sources to create beautiful mood.

Control at a touch

As natural lighting shifts, you’ll want to be able to adjust lighting to keep up. Dimmers are key. Another great way to do this is with a computerized lighting system to dial lighting up or down as the outside light changes. Having control keeps ambiance the way your guests like it. Remember, you adjust emotion when you adjust lighting. People may not comment on it, but they feel it. It’s one more element that makes your special place special.

Protect your lighting with an enclosed patio

Soggy guests and wet votives are no fun. Many restaurateurs have taken the extra step to keep their patios open, no matter the weather with an enclosure. These can be hand-rolled or motorized, depending on your needs and budget. You’ll want a solution that looks beautiful and hangs tough when mother nature sends wind, rain or even sleet pounding.

If you’d like more details, feel free to ask us. We are high-quality enclosure specialists. Helping eateries keep one of the favorite spots in their restaurants accessible in every season is our focus. By pulling together color, style and mechanicals, you can make your patio shine in any weather and ensure that guest reviews are glowing.


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