If your business has an alfresco, patio or other outdoor area, you’re likely considering getting some café blinds if you don’t already have them. Also known as bistros or pergolas, these are shades which help make outdoor seating areas suitable for any weather.
Given that these shades allow you to use your outdoor space in any season of the year, they are absolutely worth the investment – they can even help you increase revenue!
Navigating the myriad of shade options these days can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. This article shares everything you need to know about buying and maintaining your dream café blinds.
Your style options
Here are the three most common styles, each with their own benefits and drawbacks:
Made from sheets of clear plastic, the classic style is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think of café blinds. They are a cost-effective way to provide weather protection for your guests whilst making the most of your alfresco area. Classic shades come in many operation options, such as buckles & straps, and zippers.
Rope and pulley
You might prefer a more flexible and durable mesh shade, which operates via rope and pulley. As it can be split and adjusted to suit any doorway or difficult area, this is a great option for uniquely-shaped outdoor areas.
The latest in café blinds technology, Ziptrak is highly innovative and versatile. They are designed with a tracking system which allows you to move your shades up or down seamlessly with the touch of a button. They can also be locked in place to prevent any flapping in the wind.
Avoid getting tricked into buying poor-quality shades by visiting your seller in person and inspecting the shades for yourself. Buying them online might be cheaper but you have no idea what you will actually end up with. There are many showrooms available which will allow you to personally see and feel different types of materials so that you can test for quality and ensure it’s what you need.
Many providers will offer consultations and expert advice and installation for your café blinds, too.
Some things to consider when shopping for your shades include:
- Is the material sufficiently blocked-out or clear, as I want?
- How well do they protect from the elements?
- What is the level of sun protection they offer?
- Is the material sturdy and durable?
- Do they control temperature (are they sheer or insulating)?
- Are they waterproof or simply water-resistant?
- Do they provide much privacy?
- What does the warranty cover?
- Are the operation mechanisms high-quality?
- Where is each component made?
- Are there any terms and conditions I need to know?
Maintaining your shades
Keep your café blinds in tip-top condition by regularly cleaning and maintaining them. Ask your provider for specific maintenance information, as all shades will differ in requirements somewhat. While natural wear and tear is inevitable, there are things you can do to slow this process down. You may need to use a cleaning solution, or simply hosing them down with water might be enough. This all depends on the fabric being used. You may also need to polish them occasionally, and/or consider an anti-static product to prevent PVC from sticking.
Keep your outdoor entertaining area in use every month of the year by installing some high-quality café blinds – your guests are sure to appreciate them. Ensure you purchase the right ones for your budget and space by doing your research and having a consultation with a reputable shades provider.