Get ready for summer…..

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Our top tips for making the most of your outdoor space

April is set to be warm, with summer predicted to arrive early. For many years we have worked with our customers to create inviting outdoor spaces. Over the last 18 months in particular, we have helped pubs and restaurants maximise and update their gardens and outside areas in a bid to meet Covid restrictions while creating additional revenue streams. These external spaces can now be utilised by customers looking to make the most of the warmer weather, but for establishments who are still looking to maximise and refresh their outdoor areas in time for the arrival of warmer weather, here are our top tips:

  • Paving or decking can quickly smarten up an outdoor area, and separate garden spaces. While relatively easy to fit, they can become dirty over the winter months so clean with a power-washer to smarten them up. Incorporating planters or tubs with greenery and flowering plants will bring colour and freshness, and soften a space, while small trees and shrubs, either planted out in the garden or in containers, will bring shade and greenery.
  • Getting the lighting right is essential. While the area should be well lit, for safety and security reasons, it shouldn’t be flooded with light, softness is the key. Strings of bulbs or fairy lights will create a magical atmosphere, while low-level lights will ensure that walkways and steps are well lit. Also heating, while the warm weather is coming in, evenings can be chilly so it’s important to think about what heating can be installed (or even adding a basket of blankets) to ensure that customers are happy to remain outside when the sun goes in.
  • Consider zoning an outdoor space. Create different areas for drinking, eating, or for different customer types, with different kinds of furniture: low sofas for the more relaxed areas, chairs and tables for diners. Pergolas can help to define different zones, while also adding visual interest or small trees or shrubs in containers.

One of the drawbacks of a pub garden is that customers often need to go back inside the pub for drinks, increasing crowds inside. A solution is to create an external bar area, which can be done simply and cost-effectively, and food options can also be incorporated. Think pizza ovens and outdoor smokehouses. The intoxicating smell of barbecue on the grill or margarita pizza fresh from the oven will entice customers walking by