Nothing tastes better than that first sip after a long day. So after months of waiting, it’s safe to say the UK is eager to get their orders in when pubs across England open back up.
But it isn’t quite business as usual just yet. Although pub owners will be opening their doors as early as this month, they’ve got to make sure their customers are seated outside at a safe distance from one another.
It’s fine for those hot summer months, but April weather can be a little temperamental, as us Brits know all too well. One day it might be time to bust out the summer wardrobe, and the next you might be reaching for your winter coat. This means your beer garden needs to be ready whatever the weather, so customers don’t choose to hide away indoors instead.
Here are a few tips on how you can make sure your outdoor space is ready to welcome thirsty punters, come rain or shine.
Keep your customers sheltered
Whether it’s shade from the sun or shelter from a storm, your beer garden’s going to need some sort of cover for the volatile April weather.
If you want to go all out and make your beer garden a permanent feature of your pub, you could consider investing in a wooden roof shelter with decking. But if it’s just a temporary fix you’re looking for, temporary marquees and gazebos work just as well.
There’s even the option of awnings for pubs that don’t have a lot of outdoor space. This option means you can easily create a sheltered space with the simple touch of a button depending on what’s going on with the weather.
Table service to keep warm
If there’s one positive thing punters will take away from the pandemic, it’s that social restrictions have meant table service is now a must-have.
During the winter months, your staff were probably growing accustomed to taking orders and settling the bill while on the move. And since restrictions are likely to be in place for the next few months, it’s important to have the right equipment to keep your business running smoothly.
Pay at Table technology now lets your staff take payments, split the bill and even collect tips directly at the table from contactless card machines. So if it’s a sunny day, your customers can enjoy more time with their mates instead of queuing at the bar. Or if it’s cold, cloudy and grey, your staff can tend to customers while they stay sat by the heater.
Turn up the heat with outdoor heaters
Speaking of heaters… April evenings aren’t known to be the warmest, so if it’s a particularly chilly day, or if the setting sun is making the air a little cooler, patio heaters could work wonders to keep your customers cosy.
Some beer gardens often have large, outdoor heaters that also double up as statement piece. It’s a great way to give your beer garden a little personality, as well as making sure your customers have warmth on colder days.
If you’re only looking for a temporary solution, you can invest in smaller, standard heaters that warm several tables at a time.
Get furniture that weathers every storm
It’s no surprise that comfortable guests will stay for longer. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the furniture you put in your beer garden is both resistant to water and comfortable – as well as being arranged in line with social distancing rules. With the right furniture, you can make your customers’ al-fresco experience one to remember.
Plastic furniture might seem like an obvious solution, but there are pros and cons. It won’t rot or stain, but it is light – so there might be a bit of disruption if it’s a particularly windy day. An alternative could be to look for synthetic wood or metallic furniture, which are built specifically for outdoor use.
Whatever material you choose, make sure you invest in high-quality, comfortable benches, tables and chairs from the outset – you’ll need your beer garden intact whatever the weather is saying. And don’t forget, at the end of each day, it’s important to stack and cover any furniture that’s being left outdoors, this stops it from rotting and getting dirty.
Bonus tip: blankets and cushions are a nice touch
It doesn’t matter if it’s a cool summer evening or a chilly spring afternoon, blankets and cushions could be the homely touch to your beer garden that keep your customers ordering drinks all night long.
Once your beer garden is good to go, taking care of the payments part is easy. Paymentsense helps pub owners take fast, secure payments on the move. Get your free quote today and start accepting contactless payments in your pub.