Dining Alfresco: A Buyer's Guide to the Best Outdoor Dining Set

Dining Alfresco: A Buyer's Guide to the Best Outdoor Dining Set

Balmy summer evenings evoke images of relaxed alfresco dining, romantic meals under the stars, and endless brunches. 

Whether your café is in a leafy backyard, along a seaside promenade, or on a busy city street, you need outdoor dining furniture to match your business demands. 

Form and function are a given, but you should also consider style, comfort, and aesthetics. 

So, how do you choose the right outdoor dining set for your business? We’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help you pick the best outdoor dining set for your commercial setup.

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Dining Set for Your Space?

Here are some factors to consider before choosing your commercial outdoor furniture.

Take Stock of Your Space 

One of the first things to think of is how much outdoor space you have. Create a seating plan for your patio based on your business theme. 

If you don't have ample outdoor space, you can create an intimate dining arrangement with two seats and small tables. Depending on your business concept, you can choose a 4-piece dining set for family dinners or a sectional for group dining if you have enough space. 

Keep in mind that restaurants and cafes can get super busy. Be sure to allow ample room for movement for your staff and your customers. If you plan to serve outside seasonally, set aside a piece of your outdoor space for storage.

Determine the Theme/Look for Your Outdoor Space

Design a theme or aesthetic for your outdoor space at the outset. Choosing a patio dining set will be easier once you have a clear vision of the style you want to embrace. Consider the following questions:

  • Do I want a traditional dining area or something more modern and minimalist?
  • Do I want a clean, formal look or a cozy, farmhouse aesthetic?
  • Should my outdoor space be uniform or eclectic?

The answers to these questions can impact the style and design of your outdoor space. A formal dining set, for example, is more appropriate if you want a minimalist outdoor setting high on function and comfort.

Consider Dining Chair & Table Styles

Matching the theme of your business with the right choice of chairs is crucial. If you own a company where people gather for long work lunches or leisurely dinners, comfortable seats are necessary.

Consider curved shapes, comfortable armrests, cushioned seats, and ergonomic chairs with excellent back support. These chair designs provide a relaxing environment, inviting people to linger longer.

If your business has a view, an outdoor swivel chair works well, providing guests with 360-degree views of the surroundings. If your company is a quick-service eatery, functional folding chairs or picnic-style dining benches are a wise choice.

Tables in formal restaurants for group dining should be rectangular or squarish. Round tables are ideal for small group dinners or intimate meals.

If your outdoor space gets a lot of sun, choose tables with a parasol arrangement.

Choose a Suitable Outdoor Dining Material

Placing furniture in an alfresco setting comes with a set of concerns.

Depending on your region, the climate can wreak havoc on your outdoor space anytime. Hot and humid weather conditions can cause warping or breakage, while wet weather can foster mold growth. You’ll want to ensure your outdoor furniture can brave the elements and remain durable. 

Aluminum is one of the most popular choices for outdoor dining furniture. Thanks to its lightweight structure, you can move it easily. Outdoor aluminum furniture comes with a powder-coated varnish, protecting it against the elements. 

Teak is another rigid material that can withstand the elements. Natural oils in teak keep it from breaking and distorting. Prolonged sun exposure causes the natural stain to fade, revealing a silvery patina tint. You can also consider other types of wood for your patio furniture, including hardwoods.

Wicker furniture is an excellent choice for outdoor dining. It is right on trend in aesthetics, drawing focus with its rustic, organic style. It works well in most dining settings, whether a café, a resort-style cabana, or an upscale fine dining patio. Outdoor dining wicker furniture is typically made from one of two resilient materials:

  1. Polyethylene (PE)
  2. High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

The synthetic materials provide structural strength to the dining furniture, allowing it to retain its shape for years.

Refer to our patio furniture material guide for more information.

Outdoor Dining Set #1: Rattan Comfort for a Relaxed Café Vibe

This 5-piece rattan armchair set brightens up your patio layout. Despite its 5-piece design, this dining set is space-effective. The five pieces include four rattan-woven armchairs in a striking grey color and a square rattan table with tempered glass.

The chairs boast a curved design with a comfy backrest. The frame is built from powder-coated aluminum, making it rust-resistant. Removable cushions add to the comforting atmosphere. 

The stackable construction of this dining set is one of its best features. It lets you stack and store the furniture when not in use. However, because of its weather-resistant finish, somebody can use it all year. 

You can also customize the fabric and colors of the cushions to match your business theme. There’s a range of fade-resistant, high-quality Sunbrella cushions to choose from. 


  • Table: 36"D x 36"W x 30"H
  • Chair: 22"D x 25"W x 31.5"H

Outdoor Dining Set #2: Resort-style Sectional for Large Group Gatherings

Nothing brings people together like a comfy, pillow-decked sofa where they can unwind for hours. This sectional is ideal for transforming your patio space into a lounge-style setting or a comfortable hangout for friends and family.

The sectional set has an L-shaped rattan weave, which creates an intimate and friendly atmosphere. Two rectangular coffee tables anchor the room, and two ottomans offer elbow room for additional place settings. 

The sectional's rattan-HDPE synthetic coating means it can resist all weather conditions. Other features include:

  • Tempered glass for tabletop
  • Customizable cushions by Sunbrella
  • Powder-coated, rust-resistant aluminum frame


  • Left Sectional: 66"D x 29"W x 29"H 
  • Right Sectional: 75"D x 29"W x 29"H
  • Coffee Table:47"D x 27"W x 25"H
  • Ottoman: 15"D x 15"W x 13"H

Outdoor Dining Set #3: Elegant Dining Set for Formal Alfresco Evenings

Create a contemporary alfresco space with clean contours with this elegant dining set from the Sunset West Laguna collection. The sophisticated, high-quality driftwood finish and the commercial-quality construction make it a top-notch choice.

The chairs have a wide slat back for maximum lumbar comfort. They also offer deep-seated comfort, which encourages relaxation during long dinners. The set features a teak-inspired finish for durability and elegant aesthetics that complement a formal restaurant setting.

The rectangular table is wide and long enough to accommodate hearty meals, making your visitors feel at home. Pair this dining set with hanging lanterns for the ideal alfresco meal. Other features include:

  • Customizable Sunbrella cushions with special-order fabrics
  • Welded and powder-coated aluminum frame for all-weather endurance
  • Smart-angle design for comfortable seating


  • Dining Chairs: 25"W x 25"D x 37"H
  • Dining Table: 90"W x 42"D x 29.5"H

Outdoor Dining Set #4: Alfresco Set for a Laidback Bistro Atmosphere

Outdoor commercial spaces don’t always have to be large to be inviting. A quiet, intimate location with well-arranged seats for two can also attract guests. Transform your compact space into a romantic retreat or a laidback haven for solo patrons. 

The Home Triora Cast Aluminum set lends a Parisian-style bistro setting to your space. It includes two chairs and a round table with elaborate design work. The wrought-iron style finish is the USP of the set, finished with powder-coated paint, which makes it:

  • Weather-resistant
  • Rust-resistant

The table tops are made from natural materials such as:

  • Slate
  • Travertine
  • Marble
  • Quartz

The aluminum frame has a 5-year limited warranty, whereas the paint finish has a 2-year limited warranty.


  • Chair: 19"L x 15.35"W x 34"H 
  • Table: 24"L x 24"W x 28"H 

Other Considerations for Your Patio Dining Set

You should also keep the following factors in mind while choosing your patio dining set:

Pick Easy-to-Clean Options

We understand that running a business can be stressful. Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture setup can be challenging. You want a high-quality dining set that won’t require much upkeep and will last for years. 

Somebody can clean teak, rattan, wrought iron, and aluminum with a simple soap-and-water solution. A few require a protective coating or varnish every few months.

Performance fabrics like Sunbrella are made from quick-drying materials. They are also stain- and fade-resistant, minimizing the time and effort for cleaning.


Despite the all-weather label, many outdoor dining materials will deteriorate when exposed to direct sunlight for an extended time. Invest in stackable dining furniture that you can store until you're ready to open for business.

If your patio is open seasonally, you must consider storage during the off-season. Choose lightweight furniture over large pieces to make off-season storage easier for you and your staff.

Key Takeaway: Buying the Best Outdoor Patio Dining Set

Ultimately, buying dining furniture for your outdoor commercial space has one clear goal: customer satisfaction. You want to ensure that your outdoor dining furniture is durable, can withstand the elements, provides comfort, and is seen as a place for prospective and loyal patrons. 

You can achieve this in many ways. Invest in the most suitable furniture material for your business. Create a theme to help you personalize your outdoor dining furniture. Accessorize to make the most of your furniture design and to create a welcoming environment for your guests.


The best way to go about the above is to place your trust in a reputable retailer that understands your needs. Modern Patio Design is your go-to place for all your outdoor dining set needs. We offer diverse furniture options you can customize and adapt to your business goals. 

Contact us for more details. Our staff will gladly assist you in choosing the right outdoor furniture for your home or business.