We made it! April is here, and the countdown is on to the return of eating and drinking with actual people in actual pubs, bars and restaurants, as the government’s roadmap to ease lockdown sees England’s hospitality venues set to reopen for outdoor service on Monday 12 April.
We couldn’t be more ready. Because no amount of living room fireside drinks could cut it compared to Christmas cocktails in twinkling bars this winter, just as no amount of dinner in the garden compares to alfresco dining on a red wine and garlicky-scented restaurant terrace.
And no amount of homemade quarantinis, barbecues for two, and Zoom quizzes could ever compare to the Great British tradition of boozing in a busy beer garden with your favourite folk, eating burgers, sharing chips, and sipping citrusy G&Ts or pints of lager from plastic cups. Oh, how the nation has longed for this!
Get your outdoor dining area ready for action
So if you’re the proud owner of one of England’s glorious restaurants or watering holes, then it’s time to get your place ready to be packed to the rafters of happy punters once again.
And that means getting your outdoor space prepped, stocked, and Covid-secure. It’s a big responsibility—but we’ve got your back. Here are the top five things you need to consider to get your outdoor dining area ship-shape for service:
- Use shelters to keep customers warm and dry
Let’s be honest, after such a dry spell of drinking, punters are unlikely to let a little thing like the rain stop them drinking outdoors this spring…
But as you’re not going to be able to let people take shelter inside if the heavens open, you need to provide the shelter outside, and your venue will be much more sought-after if punters know their precious drinking time won’t be spoiled by the bad British weather.
We’ve got a range of shelters and parasols to choose from, but one of our most popular is the Elite Bistro Cube. It’s strong, robust, fully waterproof, and has been designed to be left up all winter, so you can keep using this to create a covered outdoor dining area beyond the summer months.
- Provide shade for hot summer days
While the nation might faux-despair of the UK’s incessant drizzle, the reality is that we also have long, hot summer days ahead of us, too. And if you have a scorching outdoor dining area, you need to give customers the option of shade to keep them comfortable.
Our parasols come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, so you can tailor your covered outdoor dining area to suit your brand’s style. We offer a full personalised branding service too, so you can get your company logo, details, or anything else printed on your parasol.
- Keep your outdoor dining area light after dark
You also need to make sure you’ve sorted lighting. And it’s not just about ambience—you could miss out on valuable hours of service after the sun goes down if your outdoor dining area is too dark to enjoy eating and drinking in.
If you can connect up to the mains electricity, the 3-Way LED Mains Lighting is probably the one for you. It has 240v mains powered lighting with three adjustable light settings, so you can change it depending on the time of day. It also comes with a clamp that easily attaches to the centre pole of any of our instant shelters.
If you’re going to struggle with connecting to the mains, that’s no problem—our Rechargeable LED Strip Lighting & USB Charger requires no power, and once fully charged it lasts for up to 16 hours.
- Create Covid-secure sanitising spaces
We know—while we all want to bask in the reopening of hospitality in the great outdoors, we must do so with care and caution, and that means putting measures in place to make sure your space is Covid-secure.
Hand sanitising is still essential to stopping the spread of the Covid-19, and our battery-powered Instant Shelter Automatic Hand Sanitiser Dispenser lets your people use it easily in your outdoor dining area. It attaches to any of our shelters, it’s touch-free, quick to refill, and has a capacity of 1000ml.
Use it on one of our Sanitising Station Tables. They take seconds to deploy, they’re highly portable, and come with a personalised printed tablecloth. A couple of Covid-secure measures like these will help you to keep your staff, your customers and your business safe, so everyone can focus on the most important thing—alfresco drinking and dining and being together once again.
To find out more about Surf & Turf’s instant shelters and accessories, check out our range of products today.