Outdoor patio heaters are a must-have for any restaurant with an outdoor dining area, especially during the colder months of the year. However, with so many different types and models of heaters on the market, choosing the best one for your restaurant can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll break down all the important factors you need to consider when choosing the best outdoor patio heaters for your restaurant.
Any restaurant with an outdoor dining area can benefit from investing in outdoor patio heaters. These heaters provide warmth and comfort to diners, allowing them to enjoy their meals outside even when the weather is chilly.
What Are Outdoor Patio Heaters?
Outdoor patio heaters are devices that use propane, natural gas, or electricity to produce heat. They come in various sizes and styles and are designed to be placed on restaurant patios or outdoor dining areas to keep patrons warm.
When Should You Use Outdoor Patio Heaters?
Outdoor patio heaters are most commonly used during the fall and winter months when temperatures start to drop. However, they can also be useful during the spring and summer when evenings can still be cool.
How To Choose the Best Outdoor Patio Heaters?
Choosing the best outdoor patio heater for your restaurant requires considering several factors:
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of the heater you choose depends on the size of your outdoor dining area and the number of patrons you typically serve. Generally, a single tall patio heater can cover an area of about 8-10 feet in diameter.
Outdoor patio heaters come in three main fuel types: propane, natural gas, and electric. Propane heaters are the most popular choice for restaurants because they are easy to move around and don’t require a gas line. Natural gas heaters are cheaper to operate but require a gas line to be installed. Electric heaters are the most expensive to operate but are a good option if you don’t want to deal with gas tanks or lines.
Style and Design
Outdoor patio heaters come in various styles and designs, including tabletop, freestanding, and wall-mounted models. Consider the aesthetic of your restaurant and choose a heater that complements it.
Make sure the outdoor patio heater you choose has proper safety features, such as an automatic shut-off valve and a tilt switch, which will turn off the heater if it tips over.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Patio Heaters
- Keep patrons warm and comfortable
- Extend outdoor dining season
- Come in various fuel types, sizes, and styles
- Add ambiance and aesthetic appeal to outdoor dining areas
- Can be expensive to purchase and operate
- Can be a fire hazard if not used properly
- May require additional safety precautions
Alternatives to Outdoor Patio Heaters
If outdoor patio heaters are not a viable option for your restaurant, there are alternatives you can consider:
Fire pits provide warmth and ambiance to outdoor dining areas. They can also be used for cooking and roasting marshmallows.
Enclosed Outdoor Spaces
Enclosed outdoor spaces, such as tents, igloos, or greenhouses, can provide warmth and shelter to diners while still allowing them to enjoy the outdoor atmosphere.
Blankets and Heated Seats
Providing blankets and heated seats to diners can add extra warmth and comfort to outdoor dining areas.
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Outdoor Patio Heaters
Installing outdoor patio heaters requires careful planning and preparation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you install your heaters safely and effectively:
- Determine the number and size of heaters you need based on your outdoor dining area and the number of patrons you typically serve.
- Choose the fuel type and style of the heaters you want to install.
- Measure the area where you plan to install the heaters to ensure they fit properly.
- Install a gas line if necessary or purchase propane tanks for your heaters.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble and install the heaters.
- Test the heaters to ensure they are working properly before using them with customers.
- Train your staff on how to use and maintain the heaters.
Comparison of Top Outdoor Patio Heaters
Here are some of the top outdoor patio heaters on the market, along with their features and specifications:
|Heater Name||Fuel Type||Coverage Area||BTUs||Price|
|Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater||Propane||46,000||18 feet in diameter||$139.99|
|Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater||Propane||48,000||16 feet in diameter||$249.00|
|Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Finish Table Top Patio Heater||Propane||10,000||7 feet in diameter||$149.99|
|AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-CGTHG Commercial Glass Tube Heater||Propane||40,000||10 feet in diameter||$329.00|
|Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat Electric Heater||Electric||6,000 watts||160 square feet||$1,295.00|
Tips for Using Outdoor Patio Heaters
Here are some tips to help you use your outdoor patio heaters safely and effectively:
- Make sure the heater is on a flat and stable surface before turning it on.
- Keep flammable materials away from the heater, including furniture, umbrellas, and hanging plants.
- Never leave the heater unattended when it’s turned on.
- Turn off the heater when it’s not in use or when you’re closing up for the night.
- Regularly check the heater’s components, such as the propane tank or electrical cord, for wear and tear.
The Best Outdoor Patio Heaters for Your Restaurant
The best outdoor patio heater for your restaurant depends on your unique needs and preferences. However, here are some top picks based on popularity, affordability, and effectiveness:
- Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater: This affordable propane heater provides plenty of heat and has a durable construction.
- Hampton Bay Stainless Steel Patio Heater: This sleek and stylish propane heater is easy to assemble and provides heat for a large area.
- Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Finish Table Top Patio Heater: This compact and portable propane heater is perfect for small outdoor dining areas or tabletops.
- AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-CGTHG Commercial Glass Tube Heater: This impressive propane heater has a stylish design and provides ample heat for larger outdoor dining areas.
- Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat Electric Heater: This high-end electric heater is perfect for restaurants that don’t want to deal with propane tanks or gas lines and can provide heat for a large outdoor space.
FAQs about Outdoor Patio Heaters
- Are outdoor patio heaters safe to use? Yes, outdoor patio heaters are safe to use as long as they are used properly and all safety precautions are taken.
- How much does it cost to operate an outdoor patio heater? The cost of operating an outdoor patio heater depends on the fuel type and the amount of heat required. Propane heaters are typically the most expensive to operate.
- How do I know how many outdoor patio heaters I need for my restaurant? The number of outdoor patio heaters you need depends on the size of your outdoor dining area and the number of patrons you typically serve. A general rule of thumb is one heater per 8-10 feet of outdoor dining space.
- Can I use outdoor patio heaters indoors? No, outdoor patio heaters are designed for outdoor use only and should never be used indoors.
- Do outdoor patio heaters come with warranties? Yes, most outdoor patio heaters come with manufacturer warranties that cover defects or malfunctions.
Choosing the best outdoor patio heaters for your restaurant can seem daunting, but with careful consideration of factors like size, fuel type, style, and safety features, you can make an informed decision that will keep your customers warm and comfortable during their outdoor dining experience. Remember to always follow safety guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using outdoor patio heaters.