Alfresco dining is here to stay
Venues were granted temporary rights during the pandemic to serve guests on the pavement to mitigate lost space indoors due to social distancing rules. Pubs and restaurants have praised the scheme and credited alfresco dining with their survival through the pandemic.
Well, it looks like these rights are here to stay and we will see more alfresco dining solutions on our streets.
Hospitality businesses have been lobbying for alfresco dining to be made permanent since restrictions have eased and it looks like, through new legislation, this will be honoured. Given this great news that is sure to benefit so many businesses, we would like to share some of our top tips to help create an appealing alfresco experience.
The Great British weather has proven itself to be unpredictable in the best of times so we encourage you to consider some sheltered areas. Not only is this going to help when that unexpected rain comes, but it also gives customers a shady place to sit when the sun is out too.
One way you can add shelter is by building a gazebo out of the materials of your choice to encourage alfresco dining in all weather conditions. This is a more permanent solution and we recommend using weatherproof materials that can stand the test of time like aluminium for example. Wooden structures do look great and can complement the building and decor but it’s worth bearing in mind that they will need more maintenance throughout the years.
If you’re looking for an easier solution and perhaps a less expensive one, why not try adding parasols over tables?
Use barriers to separate from walkways
For most venues, the outdoor space will likely be at the front of the building where there is a pavement or road nearby. The lifted restrictions will see more of these alfresco areas on pavements and it is a good idea to separate diners and drinkers from the heavily used walkways.
To do this you can add cafe barriers to outline the space designated for your venue and keep your tables within that parameter. These barriers are extra sturdy and you can get all different colours or even choose to have your own branding on there.
Another option would be to use planters as barriers, which would give the same effect as the cafe barriers but these would add some natural colours and feel to the space. You might choose to have larger plants in these to block the view of the pavement or road to give a more private experience.
Why not try using both cafe barriers and planters?
Make sure there is enough lighting
When the weather is warmer people like to stay out a bit later than usual and make the most of the summer days. Make sure there is enough lighting in your outdoor space so these people can see clearly. It might be that the light from inside is enough but if not you should consider adding some outdoor lighting.
To keep the atmosphere calm and relaxing we recommend staying away from brighter lights and perhaps try string lights. It’s a huge bonus if you can find some solar-powered lighting to save on your running costs.
Have enough comfortable seating
Now, this might just be the most important piece of advice: make sure you’ve got plenty of comfortable seating. Armchairs and sofa sets with coffee tables are a great way to not only attract new customers but also to keep them enjoying your services for longer. Remember, all of this will be viewable from the pavement so a comfortable and appealing seating area is sure to stick in people’s minds.
Here are a few of our products that we would recommend for this:
Lastly, it’s so important that you maintain your service levels when introducing more tables outside. You don’t want those customers to feel like they’ve been forgotten, especially if they’re dining. So keep check backs flowing and make sure those alfresco diners feel like they’re getting high-quality service from your business.
If you have any queries about how Eclipse Furniture can help your business to create the perfect alfresco dining experience, just get in touch.