Bringing the inside out: Extend your outdoor capacity with outdoor seating

The importance of providing outside seating 

Over the past few weeks, hospitality venues in England (depending on their local restriction tiers) have been focussing on providing increased outdoor seating ready for when Lockdown 2.0 is lifted.  

These efforts are being made to maximise the number of covers they can provide, whilst offering customers an environment they can enjoy, and where they feel safe and able to socially distance.  

Whilst venues with gardens and existing alfresco dining areas have found this relatively simple to implement, others with little or no outside space are looking for creative and cost-effective ways of achieving this. 

outside seating

The good news is that assistance is available 

Recent measures by the Government recognise that providing additional outside space can be an issue for some venues. They have therefore eased measures for applying for pavement licences in order to make the process much cheaper, easier and quicker.   

Although the costs may vary, depending on local authorities, the fees are capped at £100 and the consultation period has reduced to five working days. These measures are aimed at generating much needed income into the hospitality industry and protecting as many jobs as possible. 

A licence – which is granted by the local authority – permits the business to use furniture placed on certain highways adjacent to their premises to sell or serve food and drink.   

However, there are still some restrictions in that the outdoor seating needs to be removable and can be moved easily and stored securely away of an evening. 

Further support is also available with some local authorities offering street furniture grants to assist small, independent businesses who already provide table service for food and drink.  The amount of assistance varies between authorities and depends on the extra number of covers being created. 

Once you have obtained a street licence, applied for any relevant grants, and arranged the necessary insurance cover, it’s time to decide what furniture suits your premises and business needs… 

outside seating

What’s your style? 

The type of outdoor furniture you choose reflects your brand, but whatever your style there are a few basic points to consider: 

Is it weather resistant?   

British weather can be unpredictable, so your outside seating choice needs to be able to withstand the elements. From heavy rainfall to blustering winds, there’s a lot of damage that could occur with the wrong choice of outside seating.  

Not only is this costly, but it could have an impact on customer safety too, so it’s important that you get this right! 

Is it hygienic and easy to maintain?   

In line with current COVID-19 safety guidelines, pubs, restaurants and other venues should “Clean surfaces and objects between each customer use. For example, cleaning tables, card machines, chairs, trays and laminated menus in view of customers before customer use.”  

Wipe-clean surfaces which don’t require table coverings are ideal for outdoor use and meeting these guidelines. 

Is it stackable and easy to store?   

Flip top tables and chairs which can stack are the perfect choice for when you need to pack all your outdoor seating areas away at the end of the day. 

It is easily configurable?   

Can you easily and quickly move tables together to cater for larger or smaller parties? Although, at the time of writing, customers cannot dine together in more than groups of six, it will be helpful for your outdoor furniture to be easily configurable for when restrictions ease again. 

At Eclipse, we offer a wide range of outdoor seating choices 

From modern Plastic rattan, vibrant polypropylene to our stylish Extrema tables, designed with the extreme in mind, we have a range of outdoor tables and chairs to suit any venue.    

Paired with our range of heaters, screens and accessories we can assist venues to create cosy outside spaces even when summer has ended which will keep your customers coming back time and time again. 

Ready to get your outdoor seating ideas on the go?  

Simply click the button below to start your shop… 

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