A Detailed Guide to Choosing the Right Patio Umbrella for Commercial Use

Posted By: admin on 9 Jan, 2020

You’ve installed outdoor seating in your café’s licensed outdoor patio space, but how do you make the most of it throughout the year? While outdoor cafés and restaurant are especially popular in warmer weather, pulling in that desired crowd depends a lot on the weather. But you can take certain precautions to make the area cozier and more comfortable so patronage remains consistent throughout the year. One such strategy: patio umbrellas.

Types of Patio Umbrellas

There are several designs of patio umbrellas, each based on its functionality. The following are some of the most popular patio umbrellas you will come across:

  • Tilting Umbrellas

To keep up with the sun and get maximum shade throughout the day, a tilting umbrella is an excellent and convenient choice in a commercial set-up.

  • Cantilever Umbrellas

Cantilever umbrellas are similar to tilting ones but have a wider range of motion. They’re a luxurious choice and sturdy enough to withstand extreme weather. This means they will last for a long time and are a good long-term investment.

Cantilever Umbrellas

  • Free-standing umbrellas

These umbrellas include free-standing poles that can be set through the centre of the table to shade seated customers. Their tilt is not adjustable but they’re one of the most affordable designs.

  • Offset umbrellas

Tilted offset umbrellas are actually cantilevers but have maximum mobility. They’re particularly suitable to be used poolside along with chaise loungers. Like the traditional cantilever, they’re sturdy, beautiful and long-lasting.

  • Flat rectangular umbrellas

Unlike umbrellas with flat tops, these have a peak. Their design makes it possible to extend it to the maximum amount to get the most shade. They come in various colours so finding the perfect match for your café should be easy.

Flat rectangular umbrellas

Choosing Based on Materials

The material used to make patio umbrellas is another important factor that determines its longevity. It also influences the aesthetics of your restaurant as every material has a unique texture.

  • Wood

Wood is a timeless and classic material that has a natural and sophisticated look. If maintained well, wooden handles and hinges can last for years and add an appealing touch to your café. If you have wooden or wicker patio furniture, umbrellas with wooden hardware will complement them perfectly.

Wood Patio Umbrellas

  • Aluminum

A sleek, durable and modern alternative to wood, aluminum requires little maintenance and will look as good as new for many years. It’s also lightweight and comparatively inexpensive. Aluminium hardware looks best in a minimalist set-up, and these umbrellas can be simply wrapped and stored because they’re so light.

  • Fibreglass

This is the most popular material primarily because these umbrellas are lightweight and durable. They’re also far more flexible than wood or aluminum and won’t break even on a windy day. Moreover, they don’t rot or rust. You can also find patio umbrellas with fibreglass ribs and an aluminum pole that gives you the benefits of both materials.

Choosing Based on Shape

Patio umbrellas come in a variety of shapes. The following are the various perks of each:

  • Rectangular

Rectangular patio umbrellas are best suited to elongated and oval tables. They’re thinner than other shapes which make them best for narrow outdoor spaces.

  • Square

Square-shaped umbrellas work well with symmetrical patios to provide maximum shade. Their sleek and eye-catching design make them a great choice for a luxurious outdoor restaurant. The symmetrical shape imparts a visual balance to your patio which is why it’s considered a safe décor option as well.

Square-shaped umbrellas

  • Round(ish)

Round, hexagonal and octagonal umbrellas are also classic choices when you want symmetrical and balanced décor for your business’s patio. When you have a lot of greenery on your café patio, round umbrellas complement it best. The need to prune tree branches frequently is also minimized as they complement the shape better than other patio umbrella types.

Other Important Criteria to Keep in Mind

Paying attention to the following will ensure that you choose the best outdoor umbrellas for your café and make it a wise investment with which you will be satisfied.

  • Assess the landscape

Before buying your outdoor umbrellas, analyze the landscape thoroughly. Take note of the shape and measurements of the tables so the umbrellas are proportional and provide enough shade. If there’s an outdoor grill or kitchen, that should be considered as well.

  • Size of the umbrellas

Outdoor umbrellas have different canopy sizes. Make sure that the size you choose covers the table well but doesn’t look overwhelming when there are multiple umbrellas in the vicinity.

  • Mechanics

The hinge, ribs and opening/closing system of the umbrella should be smooth enough that they don’t pose problems when you have guests at the table. The locks and hinges should function smoothly and must be able to resist all weather conditions.

Choosing an umbrella to make your outdoor restaurant more welcoming and cozier is a time-consuming process when you are spoilt for choice. Keeping in mind these factors will make it easier to determine the ideal options without getting confused.

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