What does a socially distanced future look like for the hospitality industry?

If you are anything like us, you are trying to predict how the future of your business will look when lockdown restrictions start to ease.

What will customers need to feel safe and celebrate a little more freedom?

With the summer months looking like the time we might see some easing of lockdown restrictions, your outside space is going to play an even more vital role in your business.

As long-time suppliers of outdoor furniture to the hospitality industry, we’ve thought a lot about how your outdoor space can work hard for your business post lockdown. We hope these ideas might help…….

Things we know

  • We are still going to need to socially distance – tables at least 2m apart
  • Outdoors is perceived to be safer than indoors and more easy to socially distance
  • Staff and customers are going to need protecting and will need reassurance that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe
  •  Customers are going to be keen to return to your venues to get a semblance of normality back

Things we think

  • Customers are going to come out in couples or family groups, we still might not be able to socialise with friends
  • If the kids are still off school, families will be more flexible to come to your venue at anytime of day, do you offer brunch or morning coffee?
  • Table service will keep people socially distanced rather than approaching the bar/café/ restaurant to order
  • Take away hatches or outdoor bar/serveries would be a good option to avoid people coming inside, just think about how people might queue at a social distance
  • People have got used to pre-ordering online – can you offer this? Book an outdoor table, pre-order food and drink and pay for in advance to minimise social contact
  • Virtual quizzes are proving incredibly popular – can you host a quiz outdoors or other live entertainment
  • Customers will stay longer. Unless you have time limits on tables, customers are likely to stay longer as they make the most of being out of their homes
  • Customers might stay out in all weathers – if they’ve made the effort to come out of their homes and they feel safer in your outdoor space than indoors, they will sit out even if it rains. Have you got parasol provision to enable them to eat outside without getting wet…
5 parasols in cream, blue, green and terracotta arranged on a lawn
A 2 seater wooden picnic table where the bench seats have backrests loccated on a patio
A Patio over looking the Chilterns Forest with a range of wooden 6 and 8 seater round picnic tables on it
Brightly coloured wooden cabins that look like beach huts in a pub garden for people to sit in undercover

Optimizing your Outdoor Space

Zoning works

Separate outdoor smoking areas from non-smoking customers. If you can, zone couples seating apart from family size tables

Clean, refurbish or buy new outdoor tables

Customers are going to be sensitive about hygiene, the table needs to be clean.  Talk to us about easy wipe down solutions for table tops, pop-up portable sinks and for step by step advice on caring for and maintaining outdoor furniture

Maximise your outdoor covers

People are going to feel safer outdoors but tables will need to be 2m apart. Talk to us about finance schemes and rental options if you want to maximise your tables outside

Kerb appeal

Your venue will need to look open for people to venture in. Brightly coloured parasols or planters will show people you are open but you will need to focus on marketing to spread the word as well

How we can help

We have plenty of ideas but we would be delighted to talk through any you have and discuss how we can help.

As our workshop is on site, we have the ability to create bespoke solutions for you. But these ideas might help the whole industry?!

Please give us a call 01926 889922