Pubs are now reopening after a long hibernation. Thankfully, ‘Super Saturday’ wasn’t the ‘lager frenzy’ many people feared it might be. Drinkers were delighted to be back, but the return has been cautious. There is no doubt it will take time for customer’s confidence to return. Understandably, many will feel more comfortable sitting outside rather than inside. So, it seemed appropriate for us to share some ideas on outside pub refurbishment.
Why you should consider Outside Pub Refurbishment:
Research shows that transmission of coronavirus is less likely in outside spaces. This means many of your customers will prefer to remain in your pub garden. Additionally, tables now require increased spacing between them. An external area with spacing between tables may feel atmospherically better than the somewhat sterile environment of emptier indoor spaces.
Of course, the popularity of outside drinking areas has been growing for several years. What started as a necessity with the smoking ban has seen an increase as the nation has seen warmer summer temperatures.
How to Maximise Outside Spaces:
Utilising car parks is a great way to maximise outside space when you start to think about outside pub refurbishment.
At Fairland, we’ve been creating divisions with planters. And fencing is a relatively inexpensive way of hiding any ugly, but necessary service surroundings.
Consider using a striking photo mural to set a scene. We loved seeing a beach scene, complete with sand at one pub.
Another simple idea is to incorporate bench seating (sufficiently distanced) in an area that would typically serve as a walkway.
The Government is introducing a new process offering a streamlined and cheaper route for businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway and supporting them to operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place. Already, in several parts of London’s Soho, the roads are closed after 5 pm, and tables and chairs are put out. This trend is being adopted throughout the country. We have noticed business owners operating in the ancient and narrow streets of Fowey, Cornwall taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions.
Many pub operators are making the most of their spaces and achieving great results from returfing, replanting flower beds, installing fake grass and offering bench seating under canopies, separated by planters.
Preparing for the Great British Weather:
As is so often the case July has brought with it some unpredictable weather. This is always a challenge for hospitality premises. But this year when outside spaces are going to be vital for the industry’s recovery, it’s important to consider some simple solutions.
Consider erecting canopies over outside tables or large jumbrellas. Some of these even have integrated heaters. Mobile heaters can also make a huge difference to retaining your customers on a chilly evening.
Other COVID Measures to Reassure (or Impress) your Clientele:
For some outside pub refurbishments, we have been installing temporary serving hatches from the pub to the pavement to serve drinks. Other operators have found that the simple positioning of tables across doorways has helped with outside serving.
One very positive impact to come out of COVID is that we have all begun to recognise and appreciate our local communities so much more. Pubs and restaurants serving local produce or supporting other local suppliers are tapping into this public goodwill.
A good operator who creates an aesthetically pleasing, yet safe environment, has welcoming staff, reasonably spaced tables, an effective booking system with a supporting mobile app will soon begin to see clientele starting to return.
In the meantime, if you need help with outside pub refurbishment or creating safer spaces, please contact us HERE. We can help!