The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Commercial Outdoor Umbrella
Looking to purchase a commercial outdoor umbrella for your business?
In this detailed buyers guide, we’ll cover everything you need to help you choose the best commercial umbrella for your business. Ready? Let’s dive in!
What we’ll cover:
- Commercial Umbrella Vs. Non-Commercial Umbrellas
- Benefits of Commercial Outdoor Umbrellas
- Types of Outdoor Commercial Umbrellas
- Parts and Components of Outdoor Umbrellas
- Choosing the Right Size Umbrella
- Weather Resistance and Durability
- Choosing the Right Fabric
- Customizing and Branding Your Umbrella
- Picking the Right Accessories/Options
- Pricing and Budget
- Maintaining Your Umbrellas
- Safety Concerns
Having a business that serves customers outdoors such as a restaurant or hotel means that you may need some kind of outdoor shade for a variety of weather conditions. After all, you don’t want your customers to turn away from your place just because it’s too hot or starts pouring, do you? This is where a commercial patio umbrella comes into play.
The major difference between a commercial patio umbrella and a normal one that you can find at your local store or online is that commercial umbrellas are mostly larger and built durable for commercial usage. This is simplifying in many ways, as there are plenty of other differences which we will cover here.
Residential umbrellas typically are not built to last compared to their commercial counterpart. While a common home umbrella is used as decoration, commercial umbrellas are built as add-ons for your business both for style and functionality.
We see them everywhere; from the simplest ice-cream shop to the most contemporary, sophisticated dining outlet in the heart of the city. There are a few reasons why commercial patio umbrellas are favored over other types of outdoor furnishing:
They are affordable. Unlike floor tiling, wall paneling or constructing outdoor patio areas which can be extremely expensive, outdoor umbrellas are relatively inexpensive in comparison. Considering the fact that they can create that exact same effect we want for our outdoor spaces, it is no wonder they are usually the first option considered by business owners.
They are foldable. It is also very easy to store away outdoor umbrellas when you no longer need to use them. This gives you the flexibility to free up space almost immediately in any outdoor setting. You can go from having a luxurious dining area to an open dance floor with minor effort.
They can be personalized. Commercial patio umbrellas can be personalized or custom-made. In a commercial setting, branding is everything. And having an outdoor umbrella at your restaurant means you have an extra vehicle for marketing your name. This can be done at a reasonable price when ordering the umbrella quite easily, which reduces the stress of you having to pay for expensive signs and decorations.
They are user-friendly. There is no need for complicated manuals or help from any professional (except for some particular types of offset umbrellas) in the daily setting-up and down of these umbrellas. Commercial patio umbrellas from Poggesi are even easier to manage. You can shift the umbrella from one spot to another without much effort, making your outdoor space different with each move. On top of that, you can open and shut them as you please, to allow as much sunlight or shade as you wish.
Choosing a commercial patio umbrella is pretty straightforward, as long as you have a clear idea as to what you have in mind. For many, it is also a lot of fun, especially since it is a part of turning imagination into reality. Let’s break down each type of commercial umbrellas you can choose from.
Centerpost umbrellas are your most common umbrella where the pole in the center connects to a base. Typically this is used for seating arrangements where you have an umbrella in the center of a table. You often see this set up at restaurants.
Center Post umbrellas are a great option when setting up a table or for stationary options that require electric cables or for side walls. Poggesi’s center post umbrellas also allow for non-removable furniture when you want to keep furniture in place, thanks to the telescopic system in the main pole.
Cantilever Umbrellas / Offset Umbrellas
Offset umbrellas are the contemporary versions of the conventional outdoor umbrella. They are different from their predecessors because their stands are not conventionally in the center but “off” to the side – they can be mounted on a variety of bases from inground to bolt down to stand alone with weights. They are great for areas with restrictive space, where it would not always be possible to put up an umbrella on an upright stand.
Cantilever umbrellas are every bit just as versatile as normal ones. They can be easily adjusted and provide flexibility in placement. One major benefit of these umbrellas is that they can be easily extended outward as needed. They are also very easy to adjust, typically you can operate these with a single handle crank to adjust or rotate the umbrella 360°, tilt or adjust the height of the canopy.
This part of the umbrella is meant for stabilizing the entire umbrella system and keeping your umbrella standing strong in any weather. The base can be implemented in a variety of options depending on the umbrella model including concrete blocks, in-ground, iron bases, and much more.
They can be found in wood, aluminum, wrought iron, and steel. Plastic ones are less common as many fear they may lose their durability faster in this form, due to its stand having to bear the full weight of the umbrella. Poggesi umbrellas poles are made of commercial grade aluminum with a maximum thickness of 0.125 inches.
Internal winding mechanism to raise and lower the umbrella.
Also known as “bottom crown”. Holds the lower ribs (“ballenas”) together, using an indented pressed lock-in system. Depending on the models, crowns can be made in powder-coated aluminum or resin.
Also known as “medium crown”. Only in center post models. Holds the small intermediate ribs together, using an indented pressed lock-in system. Depending on the models, crowns can be made in powder-coated aluminum or resin.
Also known as “top crown”. Holds the main ribs together, using an indented pressed lock-in system. Depending on the models, crowns can be made in powder-coated aluminum or resin.
All our umbrellas are sewn using a double stitching system, with top quality polyester thread. The double stitching feature is key to the canvas strength and durability. Poggesi umbrellas can be personalized with stitching that matches the fabric, or a contrasting one.
Canopy / Fabric
The canopy is perhaps one of the most important parts of the umbrella and is made up of a sturdy fabric that will keep your customers covered from the sun, rain, and other elements. Fabrics come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials. They can also be highly customized with custom stitching, binding, your company logo, and more.
The binding is “icing on the cake”. It is an acrylic narrow fabric which is folded on the edge of all the canvas finishings. Poggesi umbrellas can be personalized with bindings that match the fabric, or a contrasting one.
Only for cantilever models. Center of the umbrella vent, which is raised through the system that allows airflow combined with a proprietary design.
Only for cantilever models. The sidearm connects and supports the canopy and main pole.
Only for cantilever models. Attached to the main pole, this arm contains an endless screw mechanism that allows total control of the umbrella with the use of the crank.
Only for center post models. The upper part of the main pole, this arm allows the umbrella to raise while it closes. This implies that nothing has to be removed under the umbrella, at the time of closing or opening.
Patented design triangles, made of resin, matching the color of the structure. Their purpose in life is to hold all the ribs together, with stainless steel rivets and screws. The emblematic “P” logo can be found in all Poggesi umbrellas.
To have the best outcome in your commercial outdoor space it’s important to consider size and placement. By selecting the right size umbrella you can provide ample amounts of shade to your guests.
By understanding your space and size requirements you will also be able to decide whether you will need a single umbrella or multiple umbrellas to cover the necessary area.
When selecting the best umbrellas size for your space, the first step is to measure the square footage of the area in question. With your measurements, you can then reach out to an umbrella expert and request assistance with choosing the best umbrella for your needs.
Trust us, it’s much better than winging it and having an umbrella that doesn’t fit your space.
If you are a design firm or landscape designer you may need to meet specific guidelines or specs as well and could run into issues if you order an umbrella on the whim without measuring your space first.
If in doubt, make sure to ask for help from our experts.
In choosing a commercial patio umbrella, you need to ensure a few things – mainly, durability and weather-resistance. As it will be exposed in all weather at all times, you need to find patio umbrellas that can withstand harsh conditions. With fair wear and tear, all commercial patio umbrellas should look well-seasoned and not weather-beaten or worn out. There is no point getting a commercial patio umbrella for its relatively low cost if it has to be replaced every year.
Rust-Resistant Pole and Components
For this reason, at Poggesi we chose aluminum for our pole structures and parts. Not only is aluminum highly durable and rust-resistant, they are also lightweight compared to solid wood and wrought iron ones. Wood and iron umbrellas, while being very durable materials, tend to be very heavy, which makes them very difficult to shift from one spot to another. This reduces your mobility and restricts you to finding permanent spots for these umbrellas, which may not always be possible.
Aluminum umbrellas are also easy to paint over and look good in literally any color. This allows for flexibility in customization and being able to repaint your umbrellas to help keep a refreshing look.
Your canopy should also be highly weather resistant, which we’ll touch on more in the next section.
Touching a bit more on the canopy, it’s important to choose the right fabrics and style for your business. At Poggesi we use Sunbrella fabrics for our canopy material.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
You also want to choose an umbrella with a canopy that is mold and mildew resistant. Depending on your area and weather conditions your umbrellas could be exposed to all types of weather. Here in South Florida, at Poggesi headquarters, it can be sunny one minute and raining the next.
Know your weather and make sure to choose an umbrella that can withstand all ranges of weather from downpours and snow to longterm sun exposure.
Choose a fabric that is fade resistant. Since your umbrella will be outdoors it will be exposed to direct sunlight for hours. With a lower-end umbrella that has poor material, your new umbrella will look old and faded in no time.
Since our umbrellas are built with marine-grade acrylic fabrics all bearing a 10-year warranty against color fading, you can be worry-free about your umbrellas losing their color for a long time.
Protection from UV’s
Perhaps the most important reason of having an outdoor umbrella in the first place is to protect your guests. Some umbrella fabrics that are not made for commercial purposes can allow UV rays to pass through the umbrella canopy making their purpose moot.
We recommend selecting an umbrella that has a thick UV resistant canopy fabric. At Poggesi, we use Sunbrella brand fabrics which have earned high recommendations from the Skin Cancer Foundation to help prevent sun-induced damage to the skin which is a great benefit to your guests.
As a business, branding is crucial to growth. That is why it’s a great option to choose an umbrella that can be customized.
With custom umbrellas, you can turn your outdoor area into a marketing and branding machine. It’s like having your own sidewalk billboard 24/7 days a week.
If you don’t believe us, just think about the last time you saw a Starbucks. Think about the iconic umbrellas at every location and how you instantly recognize the brand.
By having custom branded umbrellas you can create a mental imprint in the mind of your customers subconsciously brand your company in their thoughts.
At Poggesi, this is our specialty and why most companies choose to work with us. We offer bespoke umbrellas and can customize nearly every part from the pole color down to the stitching. Whether you are looking to just add that extra touch of elegance to your outdoor restaurant seating area or planning to launch a chain of branded restaurants you’ll be in good hands.
When doing your homework and choosing the best umbrella for your needs, also consider the addition of accessories and options.
Most umbrellas available for purchase on the market typically come with generic options. As a business owner or designer helping a business choose an outdoor umbrella you may need more.
There are many types of add-on accessories and options available when choosing an umbrella:
If you need to make your umbrella mobile and would like to move it around you may want to consider wheel add-ons. These will allow you to easily relocate your umbrella wherever you want with less effort.
Designers typically love lighting features of umbrellas. Lighting can be essential to creating the perfect mood for an outdoor setting, especially at night. If you have evening events and patrons, you may want to add a nice touch of LED lighting to your umbrella to create a unique ambiance that will wow your customers and provides them coverage at the same time.
Perhaps the most common concern when searching for an outdoor umbrella is pricing. With so many options to choose from it can quickly get confusing as to whether you are getting the best quality and price balance.
It’s important when choosing your umbrella that you look at your budget to understand your options. How much are you willing to spend on an outdoor umbrella will help you determine which route to go.
If you have a budget under $1500, it will be difficult to find a commercial quality umbrella that will withstand tough weather conditions and last a long time for your business. Typically, a budget over $1500 is much better when choosing a commercial umbrella as you will have more options available to you for customization and size.
Again, it’s important to balance your budget with quality or else you may regret choosing a lower priced umbrella option that will fade, rust, or even worse break at the first sign of harsh weather.
You have important things to do like run your business, that’s why when looking at commercial outdoor umbrella options, maintenance and upkeep is a very important factor.
We hear stories all the time of business owners that purchase generic outdoor umbrellas only to hate the process of trying to keep them clean, maintained, and free of rust or mildew.
With a high-quality and higher end patio umbrellas, you can save yourself from the frustrations of dealing with these common issues.
Choose an umbrella manufacturer that has a high-quality fabric that is mold and mildew resistant to keep your maintenance efforts to a minimum. Also as we’ve discussed in this guide, choose an umbrella with a pole and parts that are rust resistant.
Make sure to check with the company you’re considering to see if they have simple care instructions and that it is fairly easy, and cost-effective to maintain.
Also at a minimum, your umbrella manufacturer should have some type of warranty or maintenance program to ensure that if anything does go wrong you’re not stuck on your own.
This has been a long guide so far, congrats for hanging in there, you’re well on your way to becoming an umbrella expert! Our last item on the list in this ultimate guide is commercial safety concerns & compliance.
Safety of Your Customers
As a business owner, one of your top priorities other than providing your customers with your amazing service is their safety. When choosing an outdoor umbrella you’ll want to deeply consider safety as a determining factor.
Be selective and choose a brand that addresses the safety of your customers. At Poggesi, we are TÜV certified which ensures some of the highest international safety and quality standards. Please make sure you choose a commercial umbrella that will be safe for you, your customers, and employees.
Not only do you want to keep your customers safe and happy, you want to keep your city happy too. You’ll want to make sure your umbrella and umbrella set up meets your city compliance and codes or else you could face some hefty and unnecessary fines.
Poggesi has helped many business owners with this process and staying compliant, in fact, we wrote an entire guide on it here for our Miami Beach customers.
Some Final Thoughts
As always we write these guides to help you the consumer and business owner choose the best option for you when it comes to selecting an outdoor umbrella. We hope this detailed guide has been useful for you and made you feel more confident in choosing the right umbrella for you.
If you want help choosing the right umbrella for your business, schedule a call with a Poggesi Concierge to get assistance in picking the best size, model, and type for your business.