Retractable awning for restaurant in NYC

The Spring 2019 NYC Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Awnings

As a restaurant owner, you should consider investing in awnings. They not only protect your restaurant from extreme weather conditions but also enhance the appeal of your restaurant. However, before you begin exploring the market to find the perfect awnings for your restaurant this Spring, it’s important that you identify the type of awning that’ll suit your restaurant the best, decide the purpose of using the awnings, and find the best custom awnings manufacturers in NYC. Don’t have enough knowledge about awnings? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. In the Spring 2019 NYC Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Awnings, we’ll cover all the above topics in detail.

Deciding on your awning type

The first and most important aspect of installing an awning outside your restaurant is deciding the type of awning that’ll work best for your business. Here’s what you need to check:


There are 2 main types of awning models that are ideal for restaurants: Patio Awnings and Freestanding Awnings.

The Patio Awnings are fixed to the wall and extend outward over a restaurant’s seating area or smoking zone. If you have a wall-mounted awning design in mind, you can choose Patio Awnings.

The Freestanding Awnings are not wall-mounted. They are simple and sturdy freestanding structures comprising Patio Awnings fixed onto them. They are popular for open and large spaces such as pool-side restaurants, garden-restaurants, lawns, etc.


Different types of materials demand different amounts of maintenance. The two most widely used materials for restaurant awnings are fabric and aluminum.

Outdoor fabric awnings are available in a plethora of colors. But, they require more maintenance than aluminum awnings. Whereas, aluminum awnings are sturdier, and typically do not allow a lot of customization when it comes to the design and colors.

Restaurant owners typically use fabric awnings. Vinyl fabric is very easy to maintain and provides a clean look. Canvas fabric made of natural fiber or cotton can easily get dirty and require more maintenance to retain the vibrancy.


The size of the awning would depend on usage and the overall size of the available space. A small awning can be used as an elegant décor piece, while a bigger awning provides more coverage and shade to your restaurant’s open space.

Side panels

If you want to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your restaurant, you can also add side panels. They can completely change the architectural look and feel of the awnings. You can also use them as dividers between different tables in your restaurants to provide your customers with a more secluded and private space when dining in your restaurant.

Style and design

Restaurant awnings can play a significant role in enhancing the overall look of your restaurant. So, make sure you pick the design and colors carefully. How often have you visited a restaurant just because of its look?

A stylish, attractive, and clean awning gives a sophisticated touch to your restaurant. The awning designs need to blend with the restaurant’s overall theme and branding.

Static or retractable

Retractable awnings allow you to roll-up the awning when not in use. You can enjoy ample sunlight during winters and pull-down the awnings during summers. Therefore, retractable awnings can be a great pick for patio-based restaurants. The motors and switches allow you to control the awning. Some advanced retractable awnings also come with automatic wind and sun sensors. However, retractable awnings are typically not designed to withstand heavy snowfall or rain. So, they can get damaged during bad weather conditions.

Static awnings can be used to segment spaces in your restaurant. For instance, the bar area. They can also double-up as advertisements.

Using your awning for branding and advertising for your restaurant

By customizing your restaurant awning with text to advertise your restaurant’s business, you can draw more customers. One of the best uses of restaurant awnings is to display your restaurant’s address in a way that it is clearly visible to the customers.

You can use the colors of your logo and brand to give the awning a more brand-oriented look. This can establish the recognition of your brand and capture the attention of potential customers.

Choosing your awning manufacturer and installer

Finding the right awning manufacturer is one of the most critical decisions of your restaurant awning project. Purchasing an awning for your restaurant is indeed a big investment, and you expect it to last for several years. Since quality and durability go hand in hand, it’s important that you pick the right awning manufacturer and installer to help you achieve a restaurant look that is splendid.

Here’s a quick list of things you should check before you hire an awning manufacturer and installer for your restaurant:

Cheap awnings vs. custom awnings

When it comes to the aesthetic appeal of your restaurant, you cannot afford to compromise on the quality of the awning for the price. Most custom awnings are a little expensive. So, avoid going after the price factor. Don’t settle for cheap awnings just to pamper your pocket. Make sure you pick an awning manufacturer who can provide you with beautiful and superior-quality custom awnings for your restaurant.

Local manufacturers vs. overseas

It’s always best to work with local manufacturers than overseas manufacturers. Local awning manufacturers and installers are easily available whenever you need them. A face to face discussion is always more effective than a discussion over the phone, especially when you’re ordering custom awnings for your restaurant. Moreover, the shipment time and cost would be more in the case of an overseas manufacturer.

In the case of local manufacturers, the awnings are supplied and installed by the same company. However, in the case of an overseas manufacturer, you’ll have to request installation from a different company.

License and insurance

Before you hire the awning manufacturer and installer, make sure you check their license and insurance credentials. Licensed awning manufacturers know exactly what they’re doing. You can also ask them to provide you with a tour of their showroom or office to get a feel of their workmanship and materials they’re using. State-of-the-art manufacturing facilities show you that the awning manufacturer is innovative and will be able to produce high-quality customized awnings based on your requirements.


Don’t forget to check the reviews and ratings of the awning manufacturer and installer on Google or third-party review sites before you hire them. You can request for references from restaurant owners whose projects were similar to yours in terms of scope and style.

Permits and legal 

If you’re planning to install a restaurant awning in NYC, you must check the city’s awning installation permits and guidelines first. NYC has special rules and regulations when it comes to the installation of commercial awnings such as storefront awnings, window awnings, front door awnings, etc. Let’s dive deep into them:

Awning design and lettering regulations

A storefront awning, outdoor awning, or front door awning for a commercial business such as a restaurant is subject to the design of the awning and lettering regulation put forth by the city.

  • The awnings lettering cannot be more than 12 inches in height or cover over 12 square feet in space.
  • You can only display the name and address of your restaurant on the awning.
  • The fabric of the awning should be water-resistant, matte-finish canvas.
  • The awning must be vertically striped or a solid color that relates to the branding of the building.
  • All signs, letterings, and graphics that are a part of the awning design should be painted on the skirt of the commercial awning.

Installation regulations

You must receive a permit for installing a new commercial awning in NYC. The permit covers the installation of static and retractable awnings.

  • Retractable door or window awnings must curve according to the curved configuration for the door or window openings.
  • Static front door or window awnings should comprise a straight slope and open sides.
  • All the awnings must not exceed the length of the door or window and should be installed at least 8 feet above the sidewalk.
  • None of the commercial awnings should damage the original features of the building.

Maintenance and repairs of existing commercial awnings

You must get a permit for the replacement or repair of an existing outdoor commercial awning. Maintenance does not require a permit.

Our custom awning design process explained

Now that you know everything about restaurant awnings, are you ready to order custom awnings for your restaurant? We, at Awnings New York City, can provide you with high-quality commercial awnings for your restaurant. Here’s what our custom-design process looks like:

  • Fill out the Request a Quote form.
  • Capture images of your restaurant, brand, logo, colors, etc.
  • Schedule an on-site consultation with our awning experts.
  • Pick your colors, awning model, shape, design, size, etc.
  • Once we know your requirements, the manufacturing process starts in NYC.
  • Once the custom awning is manufactured, the installation will be done by our top awning service providers.

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