Nothing sets apart a dining experience more than a wood burning fire. Those quaint country inns have know this for centuries. High-end restaurants have counted on wood grills to add depth of flavor to seared meats alighting not only taste buds, but our sense of sight and smell. Now, new restaurants have started to bank on the allure of flickering flames and cozy seating areas by providing outside fire pits to waiting guests and al fresco dining areas.
Recently a new restaurant opened in my town. Everyone was buzzing about the “awesome” fire pit out front with chairs and couches. The best part of the fire pit was the wait staff there to take a cocktail order, encouraging guests to relax while sipping a favorite beverage while waiting for a table. In fact, the welcoming effect of the wood burning fire pit was so strong that it became the preferred “happy hour” spot in town.
Most wood burning ovens and grills are inside the restaurant where chefs and food prep take place. Don’t cheat outside diners by keeping all the wonderful wood burning experience behind closed doors. If food items are smoked, roasted, or grilled, enable the diners to enjoy their wood fired meal within the glow of a fire pit. When dining outside, fire pits are the perfect way to capture the cozy, comforting feel of a fire on the patio.
As temperatures start to dip, fire pits are the perfect way to keep extending restaurant seating. Instead of moving all the tables inside the restaurant in early fall or keeping tables inside in early spring, the addition of a fire pit can keep the outside dining experience alive longer and earlier. For restaurants in milder climates, fire pits can become lasting fixtures, permanently extending customer seating to the patio.
Restaurant fire pits in either a waiting or outside dining area, ensure the patrons experience the best wood burning fire possible. Don’t force diners to sit by a smoky, inconsistent fire. Make sure to use the right wood to ensure the fire starts quickly, burns efficiently and cleaner.
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