5 Things To Consider When Fencing In A Restaurant Patio

Dining al fresco is an attractive option for your patrons, especially in the warm months when the sun is shining. More and more municipalities are allowing restaurants to claim part of the sidewalk for an outdoor dining patio, but to do so successfully does mean fencing it in to help separate it from the passing foot traffic. Here are a few things that impact your fencing choice. 

1. Ongoing Maintenance 

Maintenance needs depend on the fence material you choose. For a restaurant, vinyl or aluminum fencing are typically the best options as they don't require periodic sanding and painting like wood and wrought iron. Opt for vinyl if you want a low-maintenance option that resembles painted wooden fencing. Aluminum is excellent if you prefer the look of iron or metal fencing. You can also find composite resin and wood board fencing that is low maintenance but mimics the look of natural wood.

2. Safety & Security

Some safety requirements may be set by local code. For example, the fence post installation depth, spacing, and durability may be regulated so that the posts also act as bollards to protect diners in the event a passing car veers onto the sidewalk. Your fence may also need a gate, often due to fire code and the need for emergency exits.

3. Versatility Needs

Depending on your location, you may not be allowed to leave fencing up when the restaurant isn't open. In this case, a portable fence that can be moved indoors may be required instead of a fixed fence. For those with more property to expand the patio into, there may be a need to reconfigure the patio, such as to reserve sections for large parties. Fences with movable partitions can provide this versatility. 

4. Privacy Level

How much privacy you want to provide diners depends on the location and the desires of your clientele. In scenic locations or for casual dining in the heart of a city, more open fencing is preferred so that your customers can enjoy the view or soak in the bustle and energy of city life. If the view or environs are less than ideal, particularly for your clientele, then a taller fence with less space between pickets is a better option.

5. Accessory Attachments

Fence accessories can make your dining area much more inviting. For after-dark dining, look for accessories such as solar light caps for fence posts or fence attachment points for connecting overhead string lighting. Built-in planters for trailing flowers on the fence panels are another nice accessory. 

Contact a commercial fencing service for more help with your dining patio fence design.