Cafe Diplomatico Increases Patio Coverage and Outdoor Dining Revenue with ShadeFX’s Turn Key Solution

In the heart of Toronto’s bustling Little Italy neighborhood lies Café Diplomatico, one of the city’s most authentic Italian restaurant and pizzerias. Situated on a busy downtown street, this family owned café is hailed as a historic landmark and a community ‘hot spot’ for almost 50 years.

In addition to offering affordable pricing, authentic cuisine and an inviting atmosphere, the café also boasts a large outdoor dining space. The restaurant’s patio covered a 60’ x 15’ area in a simple, yet welcoming side-street area in the heart of the city. While the patio brings patrons up close and personal with all the charm that Little Italy has to offer, this patio failed to provide protection from the elements, designated a true ‘dining space’ or offer diners any semblance of ambiance.

Despite having roll out awnings, the patio’s dining availability was virtually unusable in inclement weather conditions. While the space facilitated the practical dining needs of guests, it failed to function or feel like an extension of the internal dining space.

Fueled by the need to meet customer expectations and to boost their outdoor dining revenue, Cafe Diplomatico made the decision to transform their outdoor space and bring their under-utilized patio to its full potential.

The Requirement:

Not ones to rest on their historic success, Café Diplomatico knew that in order to maintain their market positioning in the near and long-term future, they had to address several of their diverse business and operational challenges. These challenges included a lack of adequate capacity, the need for an integrated dining experience and the ability to expand the use and duration of the patio area. Overcoming these challenges would enable the café to upgrade their customer’s patio dining experience, enhance their competitive positioning and expand their revenue contribution.

The restaurant needed an innovative and permanent solution that would help the patio become a draw for area consumers. Traditional solutions (canopies, awning and umbrella’s) could enhance the aesthetic appeal, but did little to provide the protection and usability to transform the space.

In order to provide both aesthetic appeal and the desired functionality, the restaurant knew they needed to completely renovate their existing patio space and come up with a new design that would draw in new customers, challenge neighborhood competition and re-establish Café Diplomatico as one of the city’s top dining establishments.

The Solution:

After extensively researching premier sun and rain solutions, the café selected ShadeFX to help develop a new, innovative patio solution. Ultimately, ShadeFX was commissioned to deliver an entirely new design for the cafe that would offer protection from the elements and add beauty and engagement to the space.

ShadeFX was given the vision, goals and timelines of the project and worked with the owners to design, build and install a custom solution. The solution incorporated a robust combination of protection, function and ambiance components to transform the patio space into an outdoor dining room that served as a cohesive extension of the restaurant’s indoor space.

The solution includes a custom-built aluminum structure (powder coated in black) with four retractable canopies, rain gutters, and glass railings. Using bold, red retractable canopies paired with modern furniture and glass partitions, ShadeFX not only helped the cafe create a functional patio but one that would stand out in the neighborhood and grab the attention of those walking by.

“We chose ShadeFX to design and install our complete patio solution. It has allowed us to extend our table coverage from 15 to 30 tables, expand our patio’s use and season by two months and helped our business exceed patio revenue projections. ShadeFX managed our project from conception to installation, including the structure, retractable canopies, rain gutters, and glass railings. Our customers can now enjoy our patio day and night, during diverse weather conditions and most importantly, when our competitor’s patios are closed. Thanks ShadeFX.”

– Rocco Jr. Mastrangelo, Owner, Cafe Diplomatico

The Result:

ShadeFX’s design incorporated the protection needed to facilitate the operational, competitive and professional goals of the restaurant while expanding the overall usability of the patio.

The newly minted patio space delivered on its expected results and improved restaurant performance in the following areas:

  • Increased patio season by 33%, adding over two months to the typical season
  • Increased usable square footage by 50%, growing the patio from 60’ x 15’ to 90’ x 15’
  • Doubled outdoor dining capacity from 15 tables to 30 tables
  • Improved competitive positioning and value perspective with guests
  • Boosted revenue projections for the following year

The resulting space offers the protection when needed and open-air views when desired. Café Diplomatico now has dining options to accommodate all types of guests, whether they want the intimate ambiance of the indoor dining room or to indulge in the beauty of Little Italy’s authentic neighborhood on their protected outdoor patio.

Contact ShadeFX to revitalize your outdoor space and help increase your outdoor dining revenue. Get started today.