It’s the hot and humid Australian summer and you are thinking of ways to make your guests comfortable in the outdoor dining space of your café or restaurant. One way to protect your customers from the unbearable heat and the harmful rays of the sun is to install an outdoor umbrella. The shade of the umbrella will not only keep your guests cool in the sun but can also add a dash of colour to your outdoor space to make it feel more vibrant. Even if it drizzles or rains, the outdoor café umbrella can always shelter your patrons.

Another good news for you is that commercial umbrellas are a bit different from residential ones and are made of materials that are meant to last long and be durable enough to handle inclement weather conditions daily for many years in a row.

However, there are various aspects that you need to consider before buying the right café umbrellas. The factors that could influence your decision are the umbrella’s size, type, material, and colour. The primary decision, though, will be to choose the size and shape since most manufacturers offer similar materials and colours. 

It could again prove to be a tricky task because outdoor umbrellas come in different shapes and sizes but the most common are square, rectangular, and round. Each shape and size will determine how much shade coverage your area will receive. In this blog, we will tell you the difference between the umbrella sizes and shapes and how much shade each device offers… 

What is the right shape for an umbrella?

Before we delve into how much shade a round or square or rectangular umbrella can offer, we thought we must tell you an important aspect. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the shape of an umbrella. An ideal way to decide on the shape of a café umbrella is based on the area that you want to be shaded. 

For instance, if you are trying to cover a table at your restaurant, the shape of your umbrellas should be based on the size of the table. So if your table is round, you can use an umbrella that is large enough to shade the entire table and chairs.

On the other hand, if you have a square table, which is more popular in commercial settings like an outdoor seating area at a restaurant, a square umbrella might be the go-to choice. The same applies to rectangular dining tables. 

Use a proper base for your outdoor umbrella

A base is necessary for any outdoor umbrella because it provides the weight and stability that is needed to prevent the umbrella from being lifted or tipped over by the wind. Regardless of the type of base you choose, quality, durability and safety should be your top priorities.

A simple rule of thumb is that a large commercial umbrella would require a larger and heavier base for proper support. The recommended weights for your base are:

  • If your umbrella’s size is 2 m or smaller, the recommended base weight is anything between 20-29lbs.
  • If your umbrella’s size is 2.5 m to 3m, the ideal base weight is anything between 30-39lbs.
  • If your umbrella’s size is 3-3.5 m, the recommended weight for the base is anything from 40+ lbs. 
  • For a 3.5-4 m umbrella, you must get a base that is anything from 50+ lbs. 

Tilt mechanism

Irrespective of the shape and size of your outdoor café umbrella, you must choose products that can be tilted, rotated, lifted, or lowered to allow movement from left to right, forward and backward without altering the umbrella base. Umbrellas with tilt mechanisms are more flexible because they can shield you from as much heat as possible throughout the day by pivoting their angle with the sun moving over the course of the day. This will also add a personalised experience for your customers. The tilt function can also be adjusted to offer a full 360-degree rotation. 

Wrapping up

In conclusion, we must advise you to consider the size of your table and desired area you want to shade before determining the size and shape of an outdoor umbrella. The other factors that you must also keep in mind are the tilting mechanism, base requirements and pricing of an umbrella. For example, the price of a rectangular umbrella can be a bit more expensive than a traditional round umbrella. 

We would want to leave with one last thought and advice and that is to always buy top-quality products. Compromising on quality will affect the durability of the product and your money will go to waste. A premium quality commercial umbrella offers both strength and a stunning appearance and is perfect for restaurants, resorts, or cafes. So it is always better to buy products that you can use for years.

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