Alfresco Table for Two: Pros and Cons of Outside Dining

You probably miss eating out in your favourite restaurant. And you’re wondering how you can enjoy eating out in the new normal. Since restaurateurs are keen in following COVID-19 health protocols, outside dining serves as a safe alternative for everyone.   


Outside dining is also good for the whole restaurant industry. It allows restaurant owners to continue serving their patrons, while customers can enjoy gourmet dishes they’ve always wanted. This is not a new concept. Many restaurants have been doing this setup for years, and that’s for a good reason. Want to know why? First, let’s discuss what outside dining is.


Outside Dining Explained

Have you heard of the term “al fresco”? It is an Italian word that loosely translates to “in the cool air.” That’s why when the term is used in dining situations, it connotes to eating outdoors where you enjoy the breeze of the fresh air. 


Al Fresco dining is popular in Australia where the climate is temperate. You get to enjoy awesome weather all year-round as you dine in a casual, festive, and eclectic atmosphere. In Melbourne alone, 2390 cafés and restaurants offer outdoor dining. That number is considerably high. Thus, it’s important to know the benefits and disadvantages of this setup for both restaurant owners and diners. 



It offers a new and refreshing experience.

Occasionally, you want to get into the groove and embrace the eclectic vibe of the city. With different go-to places and hangout spots, Victoria truly offers a unique gastronomic adventure that both locals and tourists can enjoy. However, not everyone is comfortable eating inside restaurants for obvious reasons.    


With outdoor dining, you can step outside your homes and into your favourite dining spots just like you used to, even before the pandemic. It’s a safer and equally enjoyable experience for everyone. 


It provides plenty of seating for customers.    

Have you ever queued at the restaurant for you to be seated? This is probably one of the most frustrating things one can experience when dining out. You’re hungry and excited to try new dishes only to find out you need to wait half an hour because the restaurant is having a full house. 


Thankfully, al fresco dining helps solve the problem. It increases the seating capacity of the restaurant, which means you’d be accommodated quicker than usual.


It adds a layer of interest to dining out.

Eating gourmet meals is among the many reasons why we love to dine out. You want to try new places and enjoy something new – and outside dining is all that and more. Whenever you eat at an outdoor seating setup, you get to embrace everything. 


Lunch outs or date nights become more interesting. You don’t have to be surrounded by fancy furniture pieces or trendy-themed locations. You get to be one with the environment – be it the lively city streets or the serene mountain sights. So, this makes it a more unforgettable food trip. 



It might only work for when the weather is great.

Victoria has one of the best places in the country because of its predictable weather. It has warm summers, marvellous springs, mild autumns, and crisp winters. This makes outside dining in Victoria very ideal. However, in some cases, it’s also the biggest disadvantage. 


When it rains or if it’s too hot outside, people wouldn’t want to sit outdoors. They would rather dine comfortably indoors than sit outside with all the elements. That’s why it’s also strategic to design outdoor dining spaces to be weather-proof and comfortable no matter what. 


It can feel overwhelming and confusing at times.  

Outdoor dining may have a lot of perks both for restaurant owners and customers, but it comes with some disadvantages. For most customers, it may be quite difficult to follow up on orders and move around the space – especially when it’s limited.   


That’s why it requires a proper floor layout to make the place spacious. When a restaurant simply adds chairs and tables outdoors, it shows. Instead of achieving a great and interesting space, it would feel off-putting and cluttered. This can affect not only the satisfaction of potential customers but the performance of the staff as well. 


It can be a “bugging” experience. 

Eating outdoors is all fun and games until the bugs come and bug you. They can be extremely annoying when you just simply want to enjoy a nice meal. Everything – free bread, salsa chips, pizza, salad, or even cold desserts – looks appetising to bugs. Wheflies come hovering around, they destroy the whole outdoor dining experience. 



Some people love dining outdoors, while others don’t. It all comes down to preference. Outdoor seating can be a worthwhile investment for restaurants. It increases the seating capacity for customers to have a pleasant dining experience. 


That drives restaurateurs to consider outdoor seating plan, especially during the pandemic. It surely is an effective marketing strategy. Since it is a huge monetary investment, the unpredictability of different factors (like the weather) that could affect the plan’s success should also be considered. 


With COVID-19 restrictions, al fresco dining opens opportunities for everyone to enjoy eating out. So, if you’re planning to try outdoor dining, always weigh the pros and cons. Better yet, check the weather if it’s a good time to dine outdoors so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises along the way.   


Experience Outside Dining at Cucina Dolce!

Do you miss dining out with friends and family? Are you celebrating something special today? Looking for the best outside dining restaurant in Chelsea? Head on over to Cucina Dolce! 


Take a slice of our best-selling Prosciutto and sip a glass of Chardonnay knowing that you’ve tasted the tastiest Italian pizza Melbourne has to offer.   


And what’s more? Our dishes and pizzas are made from the best natural ingredients to satisfy all your Italian food cravings. Other than wood-fired pizzas and entrees, we also have a selection of salads, meal deals, and desserts that you would surely love! 


For a relaxing dinner night out, contact us today at 03 9772 9091. For more information, you can also message Fred at We are more than happy to serve you! 

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8/426 Nepean Hwy

Chelsea Vic, 3196