6 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs A Retractable Roof

Retractable roof for outdoor restaurant

In Australia’s varied climate, restaurants require a flexible and reliable form of weather protection in order to maximise capacity and revenue all year round.  

The solution? A retractable roof – and they’re becoming an increasingly common sight in Australian hospitality venues. Let’s look at what they are, how they work and why they’re an invaluable asset for restaurants.

What Is A Retractable Roof?

A retractable roof is a motorised waterproof fabric roof that can be extended or retracted to suit any weather. They can either be installed from scratch with their own support posts or an addition to the existing pergola or roofing framework.  

Utilised across residential and commercial spaces to cover patios, courtyards, bars, restaurants and pools, retractable roofs are the ideal solution for a variety of applications.

How Can They Benefit Your Restaurant?

In an industry that relies so heavily on atmosphere, it’s vital for restaurants to deliver a comfortable and enjoyable environment for their customers all year round.  

A retractable roof offers restaurants these benefits and more. Let’s take a look at 6 ways they can benefit any hospitality space:

1. Your Guests Can Dine Rain, Hail Or Shine 

With a retractable roof, you can say goodbye to weather permitting dining. They are truly an all-weather option, allowing the covered area to operate rain, hail or shine.  

At the press of a button, transform a fully exposed outdoor area into a cosy and covered space in seconds. This means your patrons always have shelter from the sweltering sun and pouring rain – an invaluable asset for restaurants.  

To add to your peace of mind, all Helioscreen retractable roofs are 100% watertight. Featuring integrated water seals, gutters and robust waterproof fabric you won’t have to worry about any pesky drips or leaks.  

2. Flexible Light Control For Every Season 

Guests love to soak up the winter sun, but don’t want to roast in the hot summer heat. So, if a restaurant can offer their customers the luxury of both, success is almost a given.  

A retractable roof does exactly this. They give restaurants greater flexibility of light and glare control compared to fixed roofs or uncovered outdoor areas.  

When open, retractable roofs offer obstructed sun and views of the sky. When closed, they completely protect your guests from the harsh sun and heat. This flexibility means your restaurant can easily adapt to comfortably accommodate customers no matter the season or time of day.  

Retractable roof system above outdoor bar

3. Effortless Operation For Busy Staff

When your restaurant is busy, the last thing you have time for is manually opening umbrellas and patio enclosures or vice versa when conditions become unsuitable. Instead, restaurants require effortless and instant weather protection.  

Motorised retractable roofs are ideal for restaurants that lack the time to extend or retract their shade covers throughout the day. Operational at the touch of a button, Helioscreen’s retractable roofs are the definition of effortless. And with optional wind and rain sensors, your retractable roof can instantly react to whatever the weather throws at it.  

4. They Preserve Your Furniture

Quality and appealing furnishings are imperative for drawing customers into your restaurant. However, fabrics and furniture fade and ruin faster when constantly exposed to the elements.  

So, if you’re investing in quality furnishings for your restaurant, you’ll want to protect them when you can.  

Installing a retractable roof helps keep your restaurants furnishings and fabrics looking pristine for longer, shielding them from the damaging effects of the sun, wind and rain. Doing so could save your restaurant thousands of dollars on having to replace these items every few years.  

5. Enhance Street Appeal

Australians love to sit outdoors whenever the weather permits. So, it’s no surprise that restaurants that offer ample outdoor seating are always bursting with customers, particularly in summer.  

So, to make your restaurant stand out and appeal to passing foot traffic, a flexible outdoor seating area is a valuable advantage. And when it does rain, having a watertight space where guests can still enjoy the outdoors will only further enhance your restaurant’s appeal.  

6. They Maximise Your Space

Hate to see your alfresco dining space go unused throughout the cold winter months?  

With a retractable roof, your restaurant can significantly extend the use of any outdoor area. As they create a whole new functioning space, your restaurant can run at full capacity and drive more revenue no matter the season.

How Do They Compare To Awnings?

If you’re considering a flexible shading solution for your restaurant, you’re probably tossing up whether a retractable roof or awning is the perfect fit for your venue. So, we’ve done the hard work for you.  

Both retractable awnings and roofs make great, versatile shading solutions. However, there are a few key variables between the two that make them ideal for different applications. These include: 


Awnings are durable against most weather conditions, with an average rating of 6 on the Beaufort Wind Scale. This means they can withstand moderate to strong breezes before having to be retracted.  

Retractable roofs on the other hand have a rating of 11. This means they can withstand dangerous gale force winds – making them a more durable alternative to retractable awnings.  

Rain Protection  

Retractable awnings are designed to withstand moderate rain, with their pitch allowing for effective water runoff. However, they are not designed to hold large pools of water and should be retracted in heavy rain to prevent any damage.  

In contrast, retractable roofs serve just as well as a form of rain protection as they do sun protection. Often constructed with integrated water seals, gutters and waterproof fabrics, they can block out 100% of rain, making them a more ‘all-weather’ alternative to awnings.  


If you are looking to shelter a large outdoor area of your restaurant, a retractable roof is the favourable option.  

Retractable roofs can project significantly further distances than folding arm awnings – with the maximum projection of awnings 4.5m compared to retractable roofs whopping 10m! 

Retractable roofs are also stackable, meaning you can couple as many systems as you please to cover an outdoor area of any size seamlessly.  

Why Choose A Helioscreen Retractable Roof? 

Retractable roofs are an investment, so you want to make sure you choose a quality solution built to last. That’s why choosing a reputable retractable roof provider like Helioscreen is so important.  

What makes us one of Australia’s leading retractable roof suppliers? Let’s take a look.  

Customisable To Your Restaurant  

When investing in a retractable roof for your restaurant, you want to make sure it fits your space and aesthetic perfectly. So, when searching for a retractable roof supplier, look for a vendor that can customise a retractable roof to suit your needs. 

Helioscreen offers a range of frame and fabric colours and shapes to choose from, so you can be sure your retractable roof perfectly complements your restaurant. We even offer the option to add a second layer of fabric on the underside of the roof to create a unique, decorative aesthetic.  

Roof with Scalloped second fabric Helioscreen

We also offer the option to add sun and wind sensors and integrated dimmable LED lighting so your guests can dine comfortably no matter the conditions.  

View some examples of how we’ve customised retractable roofs for venues all over Australia.

Made With Quality, Durable Components 

Helioscreen retractable roofs are made with only the highest quality components. Designed and engineered in Europe, all our parts are successfully tried and tested to ensure they withstand Australia’s harsh climate. 

And as we stand by the quality of our products, all Helioscreen retractable roofs come with a 5 year warranty on the motor, fabric and hardware. For restaurants, this means you’re investing in a quality form of weather protection that’s built to last.

Choose Australia’s Leading Retractable Roof Supplier 

The right retractable roof makes a more comfortable experience for your patrons and adds functionality to your restaurant’s outdoor space.   

When choosing a retractable roof for your home or business, it’s important to prioritise a durable and functional system that will provide long-lasting protection for your outdoor area.  Helioscreen is Australia’s leading supplier of retractable roofs for a variety of residential and commercial buildings. Contact us for more information. 

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