The 5 secrets for
a stable parasol base

If you use parasols, you obviously need parasol bases. But they can sometimes be a real nuisance. They get in the way of your customers and your serving staff. They can make it difficult to place your tables and chairs. You can even fall over them! Here are some tips to help you on your way.

Choose the right parasol base

How do you choose the right base for your parasol? The range of choice is huge. A Google search for ‘parasol base’ gives 738,000 results.

  • Do you want to re-use your existing bases for new parasols? Ask your supplier if this is really a good idea.
  • Will your supplier give you a guarantee if you use other bases?
  • As a minimum, take account of the following matters when choosing a base: weight, surface area, height of the pole tube, method of fixing the pole in the pole tube.

Base basics

  • Materials
    Bases are available in many different kinds of material: stone, concrete, plastic, wood, metal, cast-iron.
  • Hollow or solid?
    A base needs to be heavy. That makes it stable. Some materials (stone, concrete) are solid. Others are hollow (plastic) and need to be filled with sand or water to give them weight.
  • Free-standing or fixed?
    A free-standing parasol needs to have sufficient independent weight and stability. This means that the bases are generally large and clumsy. As a result, they can hinder both your customers and your staff. A good alternative is a small metal plate that you can screw into the floor. Or an anchor you can concrete into the ground. This provides secure fixing and nothing gets in anyone’s way.

In the ground

“We sink our parasol bases into the ground. This is a deliberate choice. It not only gives the parasols a stable footing, but also means we don’t have to move them. Faced with the same situation, I would immediately do the same again.”

Three-star chef Geert Van Hecke (De Karmeliet, De Refter, Zet’Joe)

Make your fillable base as heavy as possible

To make your fillable base as heavy as possible, it is a good idea to first fill it with sand and then pour in some water. The sand will absorb the water, making it heavier.

Be smart when moving your parasols

Do you need to move your parasols? Most people grab hold of the pole and start pulling. Not a good idea. Your parasol pole works like a lever, so that when you pull it you exert huge pressure on the joint between the base tube and the base foot. This weakens the tube, so that it will eventually break, making your base useless. You need to move parasols by pulling on the base, not on the pole. Bases with handles and/or wheels can make this much easier.

Think about buying parasol bases with wheels

If you need to move your parasols frequently, their weight can be a real problem. They are big, heavy and awkward to manoeuvre. Pushing, pulling or carrying this kind of weight is not good for your back. And it’s a real pain if the moving needs to be done when there are already people on your terrace.

  • Some parasol bases have handles. This makes them easier to grip and move.
  • A base with wheels can easily be rolled to its new position.
  • The wheels need to be fitted with a brake, so that the parasol doesn’t start to roll away on its own when the wind gets up.

Sink your parasol bases into the ground

Parasol bases often get in the way. They are big, heavy and you are always bumping into them with your feet. This is irritating for your customers, but also for your serving staff.

  • Using thin base plates reduces the risk of trips and falls. Nobody likes to fall – especially if you are carrying a full tray of glasses.
  • You can reduce the plate size still further by screwing it’s flush into the ground.
  • The ideal solution is to cement your parasol base beneath the surface of your terrace. With this option, there is nothing left to trip over. But think carefully where you need to put your parasols. Once they are positioned, they are there to stay. Seek advice from a parasol expert.

Pick the right parasol
(and your terrace will be packed)

50 parasol tips for the catering world

The book of 'parasologist' Pierre Christiaens for the
catering professional who wants to get more out of his business.

Pierre Christiaans

"Parasologist" and author

How can you get more out of your terrace? Why can the right parasol help to make your terrace more pro table? And how do you choose the right parasol?

In this book, ‘parasologist’ Pierre Christiaens offers insights based on his more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the world of parasols for catering businesses. With dozens of awards, his company Symo Parasols is most highly acclaimed parasol producer under the sun.

Pierre is most proud of his honorary title as ‘Maestro dell’Artigianato’ (Master Craftsman) of the City of Rome.

Symo Parasols also created the famous Sywawa ‘Sunbelievable’ design parasols.

In 2007, Unizo nominated Pierre Christiaens as the most creative entrepreneur of the year.

This book allows you to benefit from that creativity and entrepreneurial skill.
Because with the right parasol you can get so much more out of your business.