People enjoy spending time outdoors to reduce stress and increase their mood. The same can be said for dinners – you can attract more customers to your restaurant with outdoor seating. It can be appealing to serve customers on site, but it's not as simple as just taking a few tables and chairs outside the main building. Below are some tips to ensure that you provide the best possible experience to your customers. Before taking any action, it is recommended that you consult all local authorities, your lawyer and your insurance agent.
Tips for protecting your outdoor seating
Your outdoor dining area should have a smooth walking surface without loose materials that can contribute to slipping, tripping or falling. The site must be away from high traffic entrances. Visible obstacles, wheel stops and appropriate signs should be in place to inform the driver of the possibility of more pedestrian traffic. Walkways should be inspected for cords or other obstructions that could cause slipping, tripping, and falling. As with indoor restaurants, the outdoor seating area should be well lit to ensure that customers and employees can safely navigate the area.
Safe Use of Temporary Outdoor Structures  Temporary structures should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions and regularly inspected to ensure stability during use. Contact your local "call before digging" hotline before driving inserts into the ground to prevent damage to the replacement line.
During installation and routinely thereafter, inspect the entire structure to ensure that posts, ropes, rods and fabric material are in good condition and safe, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Umbrellas, guards or awnings should be protected to prevent damage and possible damage.
Managing the risk of bad weather
Rain: Monitor daily weather forecasts and plan to respond appropriately to forecasted weather events. When rain is imminent, some parts of the structure may show dusting or pockets that add additional weight. If it is allowed to accumulate, this can contribute to a structural error and can cause damage to customers and employees. Snow can be more difficult to remove from the surface and can lead to structural defects. Then plan for the weather.
Lightning : The area should be evacuated during lightning and severe weather.
Wind: Pay attention to the inserts, ropes, mounting posts and tension units to weaken. The area should not be used in strong winds. Remove umbrellas and other objects that may come loose or be damaged before the wind comes.
Safety Tips for Outdoor Heating
When the temperature drops, there are a variety of units used for outdoor heating. Regardless of which one is used, it should be listed for commercial use.
Gas boxes with open flame should have a flame retardant to reduce the risk of customers coming into contact with the open flame. These guards should rest higher than the open flame to reduce the risk of interaction with the flame. Block an area about 3 feet in all directions to reduce the risk of customers getting too close to the heat source.
Make sure all employees know how to turn off the fuel supply in an emergency. The fuel supply valves must be clearly marked and visible. Keep away from flammable materials according to the list in the operating instructions on all sides, including the top of the unit.
Fire extinguishers should be placed sufficiently in the entire area where they can be easily identified and accessed if needed.
Ventilation is also extremely important. Keep the area open as much as possible for adequate ventilation to re-absorb fresh air and reduce the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Heat sources need a supply of fresh oxygen to continue combustion and to provide heat.
Society Insurance is here to help your bar or restaurant succeed
Society Insurance is dedicated to helping businesses succeed by providing industry leading restaurant and bar insurance. Your business is your livelihood, and we do everything we can to help you protect it. Talk to your local community insurance agent to discuss your insurance options.