architecture - engineering - construction blog

Enhancing Outdoor Dining Spaces with Planters for Security and Privacy

June 7, 2024

As warmer weather approaches, outdoor dining spaces, or al fresco dining areas, become increasingly popular. These spaces not only attract more patrons but also provide a refreshing environment for diners. Key elements of an ideal outdoor dining space include barriers that protect patrons from vehicular and pedestrian traffic, provide privacy, and reduce ambient noise. Planters filled with lush greenery offer an aesthetic solution that enhances both security and privacy.

Outdoor dining has evolved significantly, with many restaurants expanding their dining areas onto sidewalks, parking lots, and even streets. This trend is not only a response to increasing demand for outdoor dining but also a way to comply with state and local social distancing guidelines.

Enhancing Outdoor Dining Spaces with Planters for Security and Privacy

A Unique Solution for Urban Spaces

In metropolitan areas like New York City, large planters are commonly used to enhance safety and beautify bike paths and pedestrian plazas. This concept is now being applied to outdoor dining areas such as patios, parklets, and streeteries. Large planters serve as both attractive decor and functional barriers that protect diners from traffic while creating a pleasant dining environment.

For example, the Step Planter has become a popular choice for sectioning off dining areas from traffic. These planters, available in various sizes and colors, provide an aesthetically pleasing and practical solution for defining outdoor dining spaces. Made from durable polymer resin, they are lightweight and maintenance-free, making them ideal for areas that may need to be reconfigured or stored after business hours.

Meeting Safety and Aesthetic Guidelines

Local codes often stipulate specific requirements for planters used as barriers. Common guidelines include that planters must be removable, clean, well-maintained, at least 18 inches wide, and no taller than 36 inches. Many cities have relaxed regulations and waived fees for outdoor dining, allowing restaurants to expand their dining areas into patios, parking lots, sidewalks, and streets more easily. This flexibility has been crucial for the recovery of local economies and the survival of many eateries post-pandemic.

Designing for Safety and Ambiance

Outdoor dining allows restaurants to serve more guests while maintaining safe social distancing. However, it also presents challenges in ensuring diner safety from vehicular traffic. Planters offer an effective solution, allowing restaurant owners to creatively define and protect their outdoor dining spaces.

Parklets and streeteries transform unused spaces, such as parking spots and sidewalks, into functional dining areas. Guides like Parkade's Parklet Guide offer design options, safety guidelines, and cost considerations for setting up these spaces. Outdoor planters not only create ambiance but also act as physical barriers, enhancing the dining experience while ensuring safety.

Similarly, patios benefit from planters that block traffic, reduce noise, and create intimate, visually appealing spaces with seasonal flowers and greenery. These elements combine to deliver natural beauty and a sense of seclusion, enhancing the overall dining experience.


Outdoor dining is here to stay, and enhancing these spaces with planters provides both practical and aesthetic benefits. When planning to transform outdoor spaces into inviting al fresco dining areas, consider the use of planters for their dual role in security and beautification. For more information on using large commercial planters to create outdoor dining spaces, visit TerraCast Products.

@terracastpro #terracastpro #publicsafety #planters

Company: TerraCast Products LLC

Product: Planters



Landscape Design