Taking Your Hospitality Business Outdoors
It's no secret that outside space is a valuable commodity for hospitality businesses. After all, it offers guests a chance to enjoy an al-fresco meal with friends or family, or simply relax with a glass of wine in the sunshine. But with so much competition out there, how can you make sure your outdoor space is maximising your profits? Carry on scrolling for our top tips!
Protection from the elements
Our temperate climate means that Britain generally suffers from cool, wet winters and warm, wet summers. In short, it rains a lot so you’ll need to ensure your outdoor area can be enjoyed equally whether customers are basking in brilliant sunshine or sheltering from a shower. You can find a variety of options when it comes to providing shade and protection from the elements. From marquees, gazebos or igloo pods all the way through to solid timber framed pergolas - there's literally a solution for every budget, terrain, and layout! However, you’ll need to check the conditions in your premises licence for your outdoor trading parameters before investing.
Creating a warm environment
Next, you need to think about how you can heat the area both economically and efficiently. Again, there are several different options – all with different pros and cons – from infrared heating that heats only where needed, through to braziers or outdoor fireplaces which add ambience and drama.
Whatever your choice, heaters should be positioned in a way that supplies even heat distribution across both the seating and food-serving areas. Another point to consider is the nature and direction of prevailing winds. Thoughtful placement of heating in areas most susceptible to ingress of cold air, using wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, suspended, or portable heaters, will create warm and welcoming spaces where guests can dine and relax comfortably at any time of the year.
Too comfortable to leave
Furniture should be another key consideration, gone are the days when it was sufficient to scatter an array of picnic benches throughout an outdoor space. Today’s customers are looking for far more, they want the fresh air and space of the outdoors along with the comfort and relaxation of indoors. Your furniture choice is the one area that will help any outdoor setting rise above any competing establishment and encourage customers to stay longer and spend more money.
Shed some light on the matter
Then there’s lighting, it stands to reason that it should provide enough illumination for customers to move through your space safely without fear of tripping over unseen hazards. However, good lighting can also transform an ordinary outdoor setting into one that oozes ambience, warmth and encourages customer retention. So, from spotlights to path lights, recessed floor lights to solar lights, string lights to lantern lights, you’ll need to ensure your choices meet both the functional and aesthetic needs of your project.
Attracting al-fresco appetites
Finally, you need to think about your food offerings. Are you looking to simply extend your dining areas outside, blurring the lines between inside and out? Alternatively, are you looking to provide more of a dramatic experience, capturing customer attention with the theatre of an open outdoor kitchen or BBQ? It’s a great way to entertain guests and the appetising aromas may even persuade those who had only visited for a tipple to put in an order. In addition to increasing revenue, a second kitchen space outdoors takes pressure off the indoor back of the house, helping to increase speed of service, too.
So, as the summer season draws ever near, now's the time to start thinking about enhancing your outdoor space. Imagine your customers enjoying a beautiful summer evening in your very own outdoor oasis, complete with stylish furniture, custom shading, and warm lighting. Here at Beacon, our partners have everything you need to make your dream a reality. They offer a range of products and services that will not only create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere but will also extend your business outside. Don't wait until the last minute, start planning now to entertain your customers into the warmer months and beyond. If you need assistance, simply speak to your Beacon Procurement Services Manager for expert help in sourcing your perfect partner head over to our supplier directory to see the leading businesses we work with.