As the world returns to a sense of normality post-pandemic, a love for the great outdoors and the “staycation” are amongst some of the most prominent new norms for Brits.
Since the start of the pandemic, an additional 18,000 restaurants listed ‘outdoor dining’ as part of their offering, however, for establishments to capitalise on the growth of this new-found trend, it’s important to utilise the full potential of any outdoor spaces and secure them for year-round protection.
By investing in and monetising outdoor spaces, commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars and hotels can reap the rewards, resulting in an increase in revenue, footfall, reputation and overall business success.
Preparing outdoor spaces for year-round use can provide venues with additional seating/eating areas, expanding their capacity and enabling them to welcome more guests – especially during busier periods such as public holidays, the festive season and national/regional events.
Capitalise on ‘beer garden’ & alfresco dining culture
As summer approaches, many Brits will flood towards pubs, bars and restaurants in search of a pint in the sun or an al-fresco style lunch/dinner, and with many businesses competing for their attention; it’s essential to provide an outdoor space that’s not only comfortable but is aesthetically pleasing too.
Although soaking up the sun will be a priority for many, it’s important to provide substantial shading to offer a welcomed break from the heat. Awnings provide instant shade and shelter from direct sunlight (both heat and glare) and offer outstanding UV protection (typically 95% minimum UV block). In addition, they deliver a much-needed cooling effect to the indoor room adjacent to where they are positioned and help stop fixtures and furnishings from fading.
Prepare for rain
The 2022 World Cup being held in December taught us that regardless of weather and time of year, the masses will still flock to local watering holes in support of national/popular events. To support these busy times, utilising all available space is important and, in the winter/wetter months, waterproofing outdoor spaces is imperative. It’s likely that more temporary covers such as brollies and parasols won’t stand up to adverse conditions and although retractable awnings can protect and shelter customers from sun, shade and light rain showers at the touch of a button, they can be susceptible to damage from high winds.
Modern pergolas with retracting or rotating fabric or aluminium louvered roofs offer a more pragmatic solution – they can be left open throughout the warmer months and fully closed during the winter, providing protection from heavy rain, gale-force winds and even snow. Side screens, LED lighting and infrared heating also provide customers with additional comfort and warmth, enabling businesses to make the most of their outdoor commercial space at all times of the day (or night) and in any weather.