Sidewalk Cafe Barriers: Everything you need to know

If you want to give your restaurant’s outdoor seating space a café look, you can fulfill your wish by installing sidewalk café barriers. By choosing good-quality café barriers to surround your restaurant’s outdoor seating space, you not only get ample branding and advertising space but also a plethora of benefits such as proper entrances and exits, and safety for your customers seated outside. Moreover, if your restaurant lobby is always congested or you want to form a waiting line, you can make the most of sidewalk café barriers to organize the outer space of your restaurant. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything about sidewalk café barriers. Read on to know more.

What are sidewalk café barriers and what purpose do they serve?

Sidewalk café barriers are essential dividers or barricades that keep the outside area in a restaurant (also known as a sidewalk café), separated from the pedestrians on the sidewalk. Sidewalk café barriers provide a pleasant and safe place for diners to have a wonderful dining experience at your restaurant.

Without sidewalk barriers, your restaurant, store, lobby, or hotel can become unorganized with patrons and customers wandering around. Typically, the perimeter of sidewalk cafes that extend beyond 3 feet into the pedestrian areas are required to be enclosed by sidewalk café barriers that are high-quality, easily removable, and maintained in a good condition.

Also, sidewalk cafes serving alcohol are required to be surrounded by sidewalk café barriers in any case. For these establishments, the barrier access points are carefully monitored by the restaurant staff. Eating establishments and restaurant owners must comply with government standards to only serve alcohol within the designated enclosure area.

Sidewalk cafes that extend less than 3 feet and do not serve alcohol are not required to be enclosed by sidewalk café barriers but may choose to have them anyway for advertising, safety, or aesthetic purposes.

What are the types of sidewalk café barriers on the market?

There are different types of barriers that are acceptable for sidewalk cafes. But typically, a sidewalk barrier should be at least 36 inches high and must be easily removable, free-standing, yet steady enough to withstand the wind. The bases of the barriers should be flat and sturdy and the metal is typically a quarter or half-inch thick.

Types of barriers on the market are:


Many restaurants use outdoor planters as sidewalk café barriers. They place them at the corners and entrances of the sidewalk café. However, the planters must not be more than 3 feet high, should be kept clean, and should be removed daily at the end of the business day.

Sectional fencing

Most of the restaurants and eating establishments use firm fence sections strategically placed end-to-end to produce the appearance of a single rigid fence. Sectional fencing can be made of wood, aluminum, or metal, and painted and finished in a color of your choice. Many sectional fencing segments also comprise steel, fabric, aircraft cable, and iron elements.

Prohibited barrier materials

Here’s a list of materials that cannot be used in sidewalk café barriers:

  • Chain rails
  • Chain link
  • Rope rails
  • Flag poles
  • Buckets
  • Newspaper stands
  • Waste holders

Other important things to remember when choosing sidewalk café barriers

Apart from the points mentioned above, there are 3 other critical factors that you need to consider while looking for a suitable sidewalk café barrier for your restaurant or eatery:

  • The sidewalk café barrier should be free-standing. It should not be permanently attached to any sidewalk or structure.
  • The sidewalk café barrier must be stable and well-balanced.
  • The sidewalk café barrier must be hard for pedestrians to trip over, topple, or remove.

What are the benefits of installing sidewalk café barriers?

Here’s a list of the top benefits of sidewalk café barriers for your restaurant:

Safety and security

While dining outside is a great experience, that’s not always the case, especially when you’re bombarded with pedestrians along a busy street. Sidewalk café barriers act as partitions and keep pickpockets, bag snatchers, and pedestrians away from the outside area of a restaurant. Your patrons will naturally feel safer and actually be safer within the confines of barriers. The barriers also protect the chairs, tables, and other decoration items from the incoming trash, debris, and strong winds.

Advertising and branding

If you’re struggling to capture the attention of the pedestrian traffic, sidewalk café barriers can be of great help. In fact, this is where the importance of custom sidewalk café barriers comes into the picture. You can custom print promotional messaging, sponsor advertisements, scenic imagery, and logos on the barriers to draw the attention of potential customers. You can also get the barriers customized to hold large menu signs or vertical signs that can fit into the same base being used by the sidewalk café barrier.


Not just restaurants but all kinds of businesses can benefit from sidewalk café barriers. They can be installed in a variety of layouts and customized to meet the specific needs and configurations of business owners. A well-planned barrier layout can also help visually-impaired customers to find the entrance of your sidewalk café or simply keep the entry well-organized.


Sidewalk café barriers provide your outdoor dining area with a more inviting look. A significant characteristic of using these sidewalk café barriers is that they appear clean and hardly require any maintenance. This is mostly true in the case of rust-free aluminum frames coupled with canvas or PVC barriers that are waterproof and windproof. They are designed to last for years. Their bases are mostly made of galvanized steel, high-grade aluminum, or stainless steel, and the sidewalk cafes barriers can be delivered powder-coated, mill finished, or metal finished. 

How to order custom café sidewalk barriers?

If you’re looking for versatile, low-maintenance, and high-quality sidewalk café barriers, our custom barrier solutions can be a suitable choice for your business. You can use them year after year, without worrying about wear and tear by weather, heat, water, etc. You can use them in different outdoor settings and customize them to suit the requirements of your business. Our custom sidewalk barriers are made of superior-quality materials to emulate your designs and concepts.

Have a custom sidewalk café barrier requirement? Let’s talk. Call us at 212-461-1625 or request a quote online now. We’ll get your custom barricade designed and delivered quickly.

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