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A Guide to Buying Patio Heaters for Your Restaurant

Are you searching for restaurant equipment to help your guests stay comfortable throughout the cooler months? A patio heater could be that perfect addition.
But how can you choose the right model for your restaurant? And which options offer the best value for the long-term? We’ll address these questions in this complete buyer’s guide to patio heaters.

The benefits of patio heaters

Buying patio heaters for your restaurant can help you to:

  • Extend the outdoor season

If you’re a restaurant with a view, you have a competitive advantage over other restaurants in your area. It’s important you’re able to capitalize on your advantage by extending the outdoor season for as long as possible.

Patio heaters are ideal in this respect because they allow you to welcome guests to your patio throughout the year. They keep the area warm even while temperatures outside dip below the freezing point.

So, a new set of patio heaters could make your restaurant the number one local option for patrons this winter time.

  • Create the ideal outdoor space

By using outdoor heaters, you can design your patio according to the requirements of your patrons. You don’t have to rely on creating seating arrangements around heating vents. 

You can move patio heaters around the patio to achieve that perfect ambiance. This also means that you can arrange the outdoor patio for upcoming special events at your restaurant. If you have a group gathering booked, you can host them in your patio area at any time of the year.

  • Give the appearance of luxury at an affordable price

Another benefit of patio heaters is they give your restaurant the appearance of luxury that each of the top restaurants across Canada showcases. Discerning patrons will see that your restaurant is willing to go the extra mile to make them more comfortable and will be more willing to select your business for their upcoming special occasions. 

The best part? Despite giving the appearance of luxury, patio heaters can be purchased at an affordable price-point. Zanduco Restaurant & Supplies offers several quality products that can be installed in your restaurant without over-extending your budget.

  • Completely safe to operate

Unlike other outdoor heating products, there are very few risks in operating patio heaters in your restaurant. They don’t produce an open flame and the base of the unit stays cool to the touch. Your team will easily be able to safely move the equipment at any point during the working day. 

Many systems also come with dynamic safety features, such as an automatic shut-off when they’re tilted over a set level. Your patrons and your team will remain completely safe while using patio heaters to stay comfortable.'

The different types of patio heater

Freestanding patio heaters

When you don’t need the patio heater to stay in the same place throughout the year and would like the option of optimizing your outdoor space for each event, freestanding heaters are a great choice. Most of these systems use propane gas and don’t require mounting brackets. 

Another benefit of freestanding products is each of the heaters has its own controls. So, you can choose to use only the heaters that are needed at that time. 

Wall or ceiling-mounted heaters

Wall or ceiling-mounted heaters are a great option if you require consistent heat directed throughout your patio space. A benefit of mounted heaters is that they can provide reliable heating throughout the year. You can simply turn the system on and off as required to ensure your patrons are comfortable. 

Wall-mounted heaters are also very flexible and can be linked together to create heating zones that can be controlled with the touch of a single button. Wall-mounted heaters also allow for more space for tables across your patio.

How to choose the best patio heater for your restaurant

So, you’ve now learned more about the styles of patio heater we offer and the benefits these heaters can bring to your restaurant. But how can you select the right heater for your business? Take the following into consideration when making your choice.

Coverage area

How large of an area can be covered by the heater? This could be included within its BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating. But some heaters are more efficient than others, so make sure you’re careful when reviewing the product pages. Usually, the product page will provide exact details about the coverage area for the unit.


Wind-resistance is important to consider when selecting any outdoor equipment. Wind-resistance, as it relates to patio heaters, has to do with the capacity for the system to heat the surrounding area given a specific level of wind. The heaters with the highest level of wind-resistance are infrared heaters because they heat objects rather than the air around objects. 

Two-stage heaters

Two-stage heaters are a great option for those days when your restaurant needs one heat level during the day and one at night. There are two key benefits to two-stage heaters: they can help cut down your energy bills and they provide you with the highest level of control over your outdoor patio. While they’re a little more expensive than single stage options, two-stage heaters will offer your business long-term value.

The difference between propane, electric, and natural gas heaters

Now that you know a little more about what to look for when you review the options, it’s time to compare heating power choices. You’ll find that there are three standard power options for patio heaters: propane, electric, and natural gas.

Propane heaters

Propane models are generally the best choice when mobility is important to you. Propane heaters are convenient to use and can be moved throughout the patio for flexible heating.

Electric heaters

Electric heaters have smaller component requirements, and therefore take up a smaller space on your patio. Another benefit is that they offer the best wind-resistance compared with natural gas and propane options. You’ll also find that electric heaters come with a greater range of heat settings, providing you superior control over your patio space. However, electric heaters are generally more expensive to operate.

Natural gas

Natural-gas heaters offer low-cost operation. So, many natural-gas models provide a great starter choice if you’re selecting your first patio heaters. Natural-gas systems also provide higher heating coverage compared with the other models. But you’ll be limited in the number of locations you can place a natural gas heater.

Turn to Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies for the newest patio heaters

We continually update the patio heaters in our catalogue to provide you the right options for your business. Our current selection includes top-class products such as the 16" Column Heater 120V/60hz/1ph from OMCAN. 

The model delivers high-efficiency heating with a carbon-fiber heating element. It’s also built with the latest in heating-safety systems and includes a 360-degree tip-over safety switch to protect your customers and your staff. And the smaller size of the 16" Column Heater 120V/60hz/1ph means it’s convenient for moving throughout your patio. 

Or why not consider the 83" Propane Outdoor Patio Heater 42,000 Btu? Produced from the finest stainless steel, this heating system can accommodate an 80-lb tank to provide prolonged periods of warmth for your loyal patrons. The OMCAN heater features a powder-coated body for durability and an intuitive heater-control system for simple use. 

Call Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies now for affordable restaurant equipment 

We hope you’ve learned enough to make an effective decision about your patio heater requirements. There are many options to select from and it’s important you make the right choice for your restaurant. But don’t worry, if you need more information. We’re here to help! 

Our team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies has spent many years advising our clients in choosing quality restaurant equipment. We know the products and the manufacturers. And we’re recognized for our commitment to excellent service. We can answer your questions and help address any equipment issues you’re having in your business. 

Ready to speak with an equipment expert? Contact our experienced team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies today.