You may be used to using any sort of dish you want with your outdoor furniture. However there are certain considerations that you need to think about when dealing with such an environment. The fact that you will have alcohol around changes things. Another change is the fact that guests will probably want to move their drinks around to different areas of your patio during a party. So we want to give you a bit of food (and drink) for thought on how you serve them everything.
So what are we talking about when we tell you to avoid them? We’re talking about fine china which can be easily broken. Delicate wood or metal that has not been properly treated and can be damaged by drinks. Candle holders which could have a drink spilled on them and flare up. Any of these can be more or less appropriate depending on your guests and what sort of event you have created.
Outdoor Bar Stools are usually quite durable but you want to avoid having serving dishes which are too large for them. This is because you may find out that you do not have as much space as you need due to some food a guest brought or other unexpected events and may need to use them as an additional serving section.
Any serving arrangement that is open topped and could have a drink spilled into it or have a short rainstorm fall into it could be a problem. This rules out quite a few serving dishes if either of those are a problem. Ideally you should have a few with closed tops for your larger foods. Protecting your large main courses is much more important than some small snacks or appetizers.
Any serving piece that needs flame may be a mistake as a choice of outdoor furniture. Why? Because no one wants to spill their drink in there and have it catch fire. That can put a damper on any outing extremely quickly.
Some of them you just want to avoid because they’re completely tacky. Amazon.com has an inflatable salad bar that looks like a pool toy. It’s just begging to have a hole punched in it by someone being careless and wind down. We trust you to have a decent idea of what works and what does not.
Finally some pieces of outdoor serving sets don’t work just because your guests would not like them. If you are going for a wine tasting party do not serve favors on NFL plates. If you are going for a small brew outing with television then keep the fine wine glasses away. Figure out what your guests want early on so that you can keep them happy.
Novelty pieces are fun but can also cause problems. Some people have beer towers which are an interesting idea to start with. However it’s not so fun when someone stumbles into it and spills a huge amount of beer on your guests along with the furniture.
Drinking responsibly is perhaps the best way to avoid many of these outdoor furniture pitfalls. However that cannot always be guaranteed when meeting new friends or having a neighborhood outing. With parties if something can go wrong it often will.
This advice goes doubles for those of you who have outside restaurant furniture. They’re no longer just guests they are your clients. If any of these come up and their good time is ruined because of it then you could be out of some money for a while. Bad word of mouth from having your setup put together incorrectly can be lethal to the health of any business. Follow these simple tips and you should be able to avoid most of the trouble.