Creating an Outdoor Restaurant on a Budget
An outdoor restaurant can be the center piece of your town. Combined with our plates, your restaurant would be truly unique. With a roof to keep out the elements of Mother Nature, a sink to wash up and electricity to cook even at midnight, an outdoor restaurant is the perfect solution to barbecuing year-round. But prices can really be a deal breaker when contractors charge an arm and a leg (sometimes a first born child) for building an outdoor barbecue from scratch. You can easily create your own outdoor kitchen on a budget with these great ideas and self-trialed techniques.
Triangle of Cooking The three most needed items in a restaurant are the pantry or refrigerator, the sink and the cooking area. This is what is known as the triangle of cooking. The triangle forms while you are traveling back and forth from these areas. Getting food from the fridge, pantry or work surface (countertop), transferring said food to the sink for cleaning and food disposal, and then finally adding food to the grill or other cook surface.
Planning for the proper positioning of each point in the triangle is crucial to a successful outdoor restaurant layout. A preexisting grill can easily be modified to hold extra counter space, a pantry or other storage space. All materials should be kept a minimum of two inches away from any hot part of the grill, otherwise let your imagination and budget materials run wild.
Roofing An all framed asphalt shingled roof might cost a fortune, but there are other alternatives. Cheap vinyl patio covers are perfect covers for a rainy day, without the huge price tag and legal permits. Another great alternative we use when camping; a tarp. While this may only be a temporary solution, it will protect your outdoor restaurant from the elements on the cheap.
Electricity Getting power to the outdoor area doesn't always require an expensive visit from your local electrician. Conduit and a shovel are all it takes to run electricity to your outdoor grill. Attaching an outdoor line and running conduit is as easy as reading my articles, Installing PVC Conduit and Basics of Electrical Connections.
Plumbing While you're digging a trench, you might as well dig one for plumbing pipe. While you should never run electrical lines where plumbing lines are planned and vice versa, as long as you are at least a foot away from each other. Plumbing can be attached to an existing outside faucet, hose bib or spigot.