What does your venue need to make the outdoor areas work hard for you this summer?
You might have all manner of fantastic events and menus planned to make this summer great for business, but ensure you get the basics right to accommodate customers comfortably too.
Woodberry, the outdoor furniture specialists, have five top tips on maximising your outdoor spaces to work hard for your business.
- Zone your areas
Firstly, think about what you want to achieve from your outdoor areas, and who your customers are. In the summer you are likely to be catering for larger group gatherings and more families at different times of the day.
- Will you be serving food as well as drinks outdoors?
- Will you only serve food in specific areas, for example on a deck or patio near to your building?
- Are you targeting families or groups of adults?
The best way to optimise outdoor spaces is to mix different types of furniture (dining tables, bar height tables, chairs or stools).
This creates zones and breaks up the space into areas that customers can easily identify as dining or drinking or family friendly.
Also, have several different sizes of table, 2,4 6 or 8-seater tables. You don’t want a couple having dinner to take up a 6-seater table that you could have accommodated a group at.
People are still cautious to share communal tables so smaller groupings of tables might work the hardest for you (Especially if these can be moved together to create larger tables as needed).
- Sun Shade
Tables with parasols are always going to be the more popular choice for your customers so they can enjoy some shade if they need it, especially if you have families or older people.
Parasols and jumbrellas also allow you to be eye-catching from the roadside to passers-by.
One size does not fit all. For safety sake and longevity of use, buy commercial grade parasols that have robust frames and canvas with pulley mechanisms for ease of use.
Depending on the table size, choose the right diameter of parasol to shade the table and those sitting to it.
Woodberry offers a range of sizes and colours of commercial grade parasols.
For safety, always ensure that you have the right weight parasol base for the size of parasol.
Parasols up to 2.7m in diameter work with a 30kg parasol base but increase the weight if you are going over this diameter. A 40-50kg base is recommended with a 3m parasol.
Be mindful if you are in a more windy or exposed location that you might need a heavier parasol base and ensure parasols are put down when not in use to avoid breakages.
- Speedy Service outdoors
Depending on the size of your outdoor space, and how busy you get at peak times in the outdoor areas, you might want to consider an outdoor bar or food servery or collection point.
If you are planning any summer events like BBQs, Pizza nights or Street food then these areas become natural focal points.
Consider a weatherproof shelter in your outdoor area that can be opened for busy periods and events. Depending on the size of your area this could be a small outdoor cabin or a gazebo with a weatherproof roof that allows space for a bar or servery area, and for customers to sit or stand underneath.
Woodberry offers a range of outdoor serveries, dining cabins and gazebos in different sizes from 3m to 16m long.
- Weatherproof and cosy
Enable customers to sit outside longer and until later in the evening. Weatherproof certain outdoor areas and your business is no longer reliant on the British weather!
Can you include any outdoor shelters in your garden areas?
Free standing pergolas and gazebos with weatherproof roofs enable you to extend your indoors outdoors. Up to a 2.5m height, these do not need planning permission (unless you have specific historic protections on your venue).
Woodberry offers a range of different sized gazebos and covered pergolas that can include weatherproof side blinds for extra protection.
Provide warmth with patio heaters; electric wall mounted patio heaters under shelters or free standing gas patio heaters in outdoor areas.
Customers will also appreciate little touches like blankets or cushions.
- Make it attractive and eye catching
Your outdoors is a great advertisement for your venue, if it can be seen by passers-by from the road or pavement.
What impression does it currently give? Is it likely to attract people in for food and drinks? It is attractive to your type of audience?
Amplify your outdoors and make it more eye-catching with brightly coloured plants, stand-out furniture, parasols and festoon lights.
No matter what, ensure your outdoor furniture is clean and well maintained. Woodberry has a series of cleaning and maintenance guides on their website. https://www.woodberry.co.uk/category/maintenance/
For ideas and more advice
Woodberry’s expert team are always on hand to help talk through any ideas or questions you might have regarding outdoor furniture, gazebos, shelters and heaters.
Give them a call on 01926 889922
Or browse the website