Commercial Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide

Commercial outdoor furniture buying guide

| Oct 20, 2023

Utilizing your outdoor space is an excellent business decision since it can bring more patrons to your space and allow you to earn more revenue. Before you can open your outdoor space to the public, you need to furnish it to ensure your guests will be comfortable. Learn how to choose commercial outdoor furniture that will add to the aesthetic and experience of your outdoor area. Whether you need benches in a park, lounge chairs by the pool, or dining tables outside a restaurant, know what to look for to make the most of your investment.

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider for Choosing the Right Outdoor Furniture

The type of furniture you’ll need will depend on several factors, including your business’ industry and the size of the property. Ask yourself the following questions to determine how to choose the right outdoor furniture:

  • What is the purpose of my business? A business in any industry that has outdoor space can benefit from commercial outdoor furniture. While a park may need sturdy benches and picnic tables, a restaurant should have comfortable seating and decorative planters. As you look at furniture, consider your industry and what can help you care for your customers and employees.
  • How large is my property? Use a tape measure to discover the exact square footage of your outdoor area to give you an idea of your furniture’s dimensions. Think about how many clients or employees you have to accommodate to figure out how many seats and tables you should order. Make sure there’s enough free space for everyone to walk and eat comfortably.
  • Climate: The climate of your location will determine what kind of furniture you would need to make sure it stays clean and sturdy all year long. If you’re in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, consider investing in furniture covers or a large storage bin. You should also design your outdoor space with several umbrellas or awnings to protect your furniture and guests from the weather.
  • Flexibility: If you manage a party venue or a restaurant, you may need seating that you can easily store away when you’re not using it. Think about whether you rearrange your outdoor furniture often or if you want your chairs and tables to stay in place.

Patio Furniture

An outdoor patio provides space for various things, including dining, private events or parties; extra space to accommodate guests; or an area to simply enhance your guest experience. Regardless of how you use it, there are many ways to furnish your patio depending on the desired function, or you may choose to use a combination of different furniture types. When choosing patio furniture, be sure to keep the following in mind to help you find the most useful and fitting patio furniture for your outdoor space.

Patio tables

Patio Tables

There are various types of tables you should consider including on your outdoor patio. Depending on the space you’re creating, you may have dining tables, coffee tables or end tables. Dining tables are ideal for offering guests an area to sit down and enjoy their food and drinks outside, while coffee tables and end tables can be used to create conversation or lounge areas.

Outdoor table frames are commonly wood, metal or melamine to provide a durable, weather-resistant structure that will hold up under heavy use. Tabletops can be the same material as the frame, or they can be glass, tile, laminate or granite, among others. While most outdoor tables are made to withstand the elements, metals like iron and aluminum tend to be more durable than plastics. Durability is crucial, especially in locations where the weather allows for outdoor spaces to be used for more than one season.

Choose a material for your outdoor tables that will complement the design and aesthetic of your indoor space to keep them connected. Many materials for patio furniture come in several colors or finishes so you can achieve the look you’re going for. Be sure to think about how the material of your tables will heat up in the sun — for example, metal surfaces tend to retain more heat. To help make an outdoor space more comfortable for guests, consider looking for patio tables with an umbrella hole so you can protect your furniture and guests from the sun.

Depending on your situation, you may prefer to have tables and patio furniture that are easy to move and store. Aluminum tables are lightweight, so it’s easy to rearrange your space. Foldable tables offer a flexible option for those looking for temporary patio furniture.

Patio Seating

Patio seating can take many forms. In terms of chairs for a dining table, you’ll want to choose a similar material that will match the table’s material. The biggest factor to consider when it comes to your patio chairs is comfort. Pay attention to the shape of the seat and chair back, as materials like metal are more comfortable when they’re ergonomic. With an ergonomic chair, cushions become optional.

In addition to pairing chairs with your dining tables, other options include rocking chairs, outdoor sofas and chaise lounges. These seating options are perfect for creating a relaxing, comfortable conversation area.

For example, you might position a sofa and other lounge seats around a coffee table to create an outdoor space where guests can gather with their friends and family to enjoy drinks and quality time together. Rocking chairs can be paired with an end table or be placed around a fire pit for guests to relax with the soothing rocking motion. Chaise lounge seats are a great option if you’re looking to provide your guests with a seat that allows them to lean back and kick their feet up.

Restaurant Furniture

Because your guests will need somewhere to sit and enjoy their food and drinks, outdoor restaurant furniture will mainly consist of dining tables and chairs. Here are some considerations to make when looking for your tables and chairs.

Dining tables

Dining Tables

When choosing dining tables for your outdoor space, one of the most important things to consider is the material of the table. Outdoor tables are often made of aluminum, resin, wood, wrought iron, steel or plastic, and tabletop materials can vary widely. Your tables’ material is important for a few reasons, including:

  • Aesthetic: Because your tables will take up so much space, they’ll be key in establishing the look and aesthetic of your outdoor restaurant space. For example, wrought iron has a classic look, steel looks industrial, and wood can look rustic and natural. Consider how you can extend the aesthetic of the interior to the outdoors and what that might look like for your tables.
  • Durability: While most outdoor tables are designed with durability and resistance in mind, some materials will be stronger and last longer outside than others. For example, wrought iron is known to be sturdy and can last for years under heavy use. However, this material doesn’t do as well near water. Pool and beachside restaurants will benefit more from tables made from resin since it’s more resistant to damage from the sun, salty air and chlorine.
  • Maintenance: Just like wiping down and cleaning your indoor dining tables, you’ll need to keep your outdoor tables clean as well. Some tabletop materials are easier to clean and maintain than others, which is why you’ll want to keep this in mind when considering the material. For example, wrought iron requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep the table in good condition. On the other hand, aluminum requires little maintenance, and synthetic wood is easy to wipe down.
Outdoor seating

Outdoor Seating

When it comes to seating, your outdoor chairs and barstools will likely vary from your indoor ones. Restaurant outdoor seating typically doesn’t have cushions so the seats are easy to clean, move and store in one piece. Instead, outdoor chairs are typically more contoured to body shape for comfort. For example, the seat and back will be curved to make the chair more comfortable.

Another option you should keep in mind is whether you want your outdoor chairs to have armrests or not. It’s less common for indoor dining table chairs to have armrests, though outdoor seating often does. This option is ultimately up to preference. Armless chairs are often better for restricted space because they can be pushed under the table easily. Armless chairs are also typically easy to stack when storing them. However, armrests provide a place for your patrons to rest their arms off the table and can add an extra level of comfort.

Another aspect of comfort is associated with the material of your chairs. Metal tends to be most durable and economical, plastic is lightweight and has numerous color options, and wooden chairs offer sturdy comfort. While you’ll want to keep material in mind when considering the comfort of your chairs, you should also consider how the chair material will look with the table material. You may choose chairs that match your tables or work with the aesthetic.

Park Furniture

Whether you’re furnishing a park or other seating area, there are many ways to offer comfortable places for patrons to enjoy their time outside. Consider these seating options for parks and other outdoor areas.

Picnic Tables

Picnic tables offer a family-friendly way to enjoy outdoor time. Picnic tables are staples in large outdoor spaces like parks and recreation areas. Large public spaces like this make it difficult to keep track of individual chairs and tables, so picnic tables are advantageous in these spaces because the seats are attached to the table. Picnic tables make great furniture options for people to rest on a hike, enjoy lunch with friends or host an outdoor birthday party in the park.

Picnic tables are also great additions to ice cream shops and other restaurants that may not offer an indoor dining area. Rather than invest in separate patio furniture pieces, a picnic table or two may be the perfect choice for your outdoor space.

Picnic tables can be made of various colors and materials, including wood, plastic and aluminum. They can also have two or four benches around the table and can be various shapes like rectangular, square or circular. Some picnic tables can be mounted to the ground, though most are considered portable so you can rearrange them or move them as needed.


Benches are versatile additions to any outdoor space. They’re both decorative and functional pieces of furniture. Provide a spot for people to rest while on a walk around your park, a place to observe flora and wildlife or a seat to take in the scenery. Patrons at parks, walking trails and other outdoor facilities will appreciate and enjoy having the option to sit on a bench and watch the world pass by.

While benches are common in parks, they can also be great additions to your patio, waiting area, outdoor bar or other commercial outdoor space. Benches make great conversation areas or simply a place for guests to sit with each other while they wait or enjoy drinks.

Adirondack Chairs

Another great option for park furniture is Adirondack chairs. Guests have come to love the look and comfort of an Adirondack chair. Adirondack chairs are easy to settle into and many guests may find themselves wanting to spend all day in your chairs. With so many color options, you’re sure to find ones that will complement your outdoor space. Whether you use them in a park, around a fire pit or on an outdoor deck, guests will be able to enjoy their time in your space.

Pool Furniture

Pool furniture is a necessity if you want guests to stay at your outdoor pool all day and enjoy themselves. You can add comfort to your pool facility in numerous ways. Be sure to consider adding these items to your pool complex.

Lounge Furniture

Many guests at your pool will likely be there to soak up the sun and relax. Standard chairs don’t allow for leaning back and kicking your legs up, so be sure to include lounge furniture around your pool. Most pool guests will expect to see lounge chairs surrounding the pool, so these are often a must-have. Chaise lounges are a common choice for many outdoor pool complexes because they’re available in numerous styles and materials.

Chaise lounge chairs feature an extended seat to allow guests to prop their legs up and get some sun. The back of the chaise lounge chair reclines and is typically adjustable so each guest can find the best level of comfort for themselves. These popular chairs come in several materials like metal, wicker, plastic and wood, and they may come with or without cushions and lounge covers depending on the style. Chaise lounge styles can be as decorative or simple as you like, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your pool area.

Lounge sets are another popular type of lounge furniture, which often include pieces like lounge chairs, sofas, ottomans and coffee tables. The seating in these sets typically has cushions to make them even more comfortable and can come in various materials and styles. Lounge sets can be mixed, matched and rearranged to make the space your own. Lounge areas are great for poolside chats, drinks and more. In the colder months, you can rearrange these versatile sets around a fire pit.

Poolside Dining

If you offer food options or have a poolside restaurant, dining tables will be essential. Guests will need a spot to sit down at a table and enjoy their meal or snacks rather than eating off their laps in a lounge chair. It’s important to be mindful of the table and chair material in this case because the people using them are likely to be wet. Poolside dining furniture should be water-resistant and made of a material that won’t be quickly damaged by chlorine.

Metal tables are popular because they’re sturdy and durable. For dining chairs, metal is also common, and sling backing offers a more comfortable yet water-resistant option.


Aside from outdoor tables and chairs, you can add numerous accessories to your outdoor space to make it more enjoyable, functional and comfortable. For some accessory inspiration, consider how these three additions could benefit your outdoor space.

Fire Pits

Fire pits can make any outdoor space cozy while entertaining guests long after the sun goes down. Propane fire pits or tables serve as inviting centerpieces in a variety of seating areas. From rooftop bars and patio restaurants to poolside parties and park pavilions, fire pits create an atmosphere that will keep your guests coming back. Create a cozy corner on your patio with lounge furniture, low tables and a fire pit. Consider offering s’mores for a unique experience your guests will return for.

Outdoor Heaters

Use commercial patio heaters to make your outdoor space comfortable even after the warm weather passes. Open your outdoor space in the spring and keep it open through the fall with outdoor heaters so guests can enjoy your space when the weather gets chilly. Outdoor heaters come in various shapes and sizes. For example, there are table-top heaters, mountable wall heaters and stand-alone models.

Unless you choose to mount them — since they’ll already be up and out of the way — outdoor heaters can be moved and stored away for extra space or when they’re not needed. Outdoor heaters allow you to keep your outdoor space open as it gets colder outside, which means you can continue to accommodate more guests and earn more revenue.


We mentioned looking for patio tables with umbrella holes, so now you need umbrellas to go in your tables. Umbrellas provide shade for your guests to keep them as comfortable as possible during their visit. Aluminum and wood are the most common frame material, and the canvas material can come in nearly any color or pattern so you’re sure to find umbrellas to complement your aesthetic.

While some people may enjoy the sun, others may not want to feel too hot while they eat or sit outside. To make it easy for your staff to put umbrellas up and down as your guests’ needs change, look for umbrellas with either a pulley or crank system. Just be sure to train them on how to use the umbrellas you choose so they can seamlessly help your guests when the time comes.

How to Plan A Budget for Site Furnishings

Before committing to a set of new outdoor benches or tables, it’s important to evaluate your budget first. Once you look at your business’s needs, you can calculate approximate costs for your site furnishing project.
Here are key considerations for your commercial business’s outdoor furniture budget.

Size and Accommodations

One of the first steps to take is measuring your outdoor area. You need to know how much room is available to determine what size furniture pieces you can fit comfortably into your space. If you choose items that are too large or if you buy too many, they will likely overcrowd the space.
Your business should also consider how many patrons you want to accommodate. Once you have an idea of the area’s measurements and the quantity of furnishings you’ll need to suit your customers, you can begin making cost estimates for all your outdoor pieces.

Furniture Type

When choosing furniture pieces for your business’s outside space, ensure you are prepared to invest in materials that will be durable and long-lasting. You also want to identify a style that pairs well with your store. If you have a modern-looking business, you may want sleek, simple items. If your store’s design is more traditional, you may want furniture pieces that are more intricate and detailed.
Your outdoor space should complement your business’s style. The material and type you choose will impact your spending.

Shipping and Delivery

When planning your site furnishings budget, be sure to factor in any costs associated with shipping and delivery. It’s a good idea to plan ahead of time and consider whether your team will help with the unloading process upon delivery. These factors will all contribute to your overall budget needs.


Landscaping design can help elevate your outdoor space and create a more beautiful area for your outdoor furnishings. Your business may want to consider investing in professional landscaping services to achieve your overall vision. Elements like potted flowers, plants or trees help add natural beauty to the outside of your business, and you can use them to create well-established boundaries and perimeters around your space.


To raise additional funds, small businesses can reach out to local donors and ask them to sponsor their outdoor seating area. One example could be customizing your outdoor bench with a plaque that thanks the donor for their contribution. Fundraising initiatives can help cover some of the costs and build greater connections between your business and the local community.

Tips for Buying Commercial Outdoor Furniture

As you look for outdoor furniture for your business, invest in a furniture company focused on leadership, responsiveness, reliability, and value. Follow these tips for finding the decor you need for your commercial patio:

1. Pay Attention to Quality

Quality is an essential element in choosing the right outdoor furniture. As you shop, research durable, weather-resistant materials, especially for your specific climate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take notes on which brands you like the best.

2. Make It Visually Appealing

Aside from being comfortable and durable, your furniture should also be aesthetically pleasing. Restaurant owners should use art and greenery to make their eating spaces more inviting. As you look for furniture, remember that you’re not limited to the neutral tones you find in natural materials. Choose bright finishes or bold splashes of color to design your chairs and tables.

3. Try It Out

To make sure the furniture is comfortable, try it before you buy it. If you’re buying your furniture online, check out reviews before placing your order. Read whether customers returned the product or were satisfied with their furniture.

4. Get Exact Measurements

Use your tape measure to determine the exact square footage of your space before you place an order. You can put painter’s tape on the wall or floor to remember where you want to place your furniture. While the furniture may fit into an area, you should also think about how much free space people have to walk around.

5. Add a Protection Plan

Outdoor furniture is a hefty investment for your business, but it often includes a warranty for a small fee. You may also consider buying furniture covers or a basket truck to put your cushions in when you’re expecting rain. Make your property last longer by storing them away when they’re not in use.

How to Buy Commercial Site Furnishings

When your business is ready to purchase site furnishings to enhance your outdoor space, follow these four steps to complete the buying process.

1. Measure Your Space

The first step in buying site furnishings is to measure your outdoor space meticulously. Ensure you know exactly how much room each item will take up, and avoid overcrowding with too many pieces or items that are too bulky. Just as you did for your budget planning, make sure to choose pieces that will accommodate your patrons and create a comfortable, inviting space.

2. Plan Your Setup

Once you understand the size of your space, the next step is to plan how you will set it up. The key is finding an arrangement that is suitable for your shoppers and looks visually appealing. For example, you can use chalk or tape to plot out your setup. Making adjustments will be much easier when you utilize these tools beforehand rather than waiting until your furniture has already arrived.

If you are unsure how to organize your outdoor space, turn to an expert for assistance. They can help you find the most suitable way to arrange your furniture according to your specific needs.

3. Place Your Order

Once you know how you will organize your furniture, it’s time to order the options you selected. Ensure you stick with your budget and find options in the color and material you want.

Choosing commercial site furnishings is seamless when you know exactly what you want for your business. By taking steps to prepare both your budget and outdoor space, you will be able to place your order with ease and feel good about your decisions.

4. Prepare for Delivery

Once you’ve ordered your site furnishings, ensure you have a plan for delivery. You may need to have storage space available for when the items arrive, so make sure that is prepared before the delivery day. Decide which of your team members will help out during the process. They may need to unload large boxes and unpack each item, so enlisting your staff for assistance can make delivery go faster and more smoothly.

With adequate planning, buying your site furnishings can be simple and seamless.

Find Your Commercial Outdoor Furniture With Wabash Valley

Regardless of the outdoor space you’re furnishing, you’ll need quality products that will impress your patrons and last under heavy use. Wabash Valley is a trusted provider of commercial outdoor furniture. We offer a wide range of outdoor furniture products and accessories to help you make your outdoor space functional and attractive to guests. Investing in your outdoor space can draw new guests to your space, keep repeat customers coming back and help you stand out from competitors.

With solutions for many industries and applications, we’re confident we can help you find what you need to complete your outdoor space. Contact our team to request a quote or learn more about our products.