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Increase revenue made from outdoor space this winter

By Roché Systems

- Last updated on GMT

Alfresco dining and drinking: Roché awnings have resulted in increased covers at the Junction Bar, Chesterfield
Alfresco dining and drinking: Roché awnings have resulted in increased covers at the Junction Bar, Chesterfield

Related tags Property Branding + marketing Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators

Summer 2022 has been the summer of sport. With Wimbledon, The Open, the Women’s Euros and the Commonwealth Games, UK sports fans have enjoyed a competition-filled season. But it’s not over yet.

The Men’s World Cup is set to take place in Qatar on 21 November for the first-ever World Cup held in the winter months, and providing covered outdoor space could become even more important when catering for beer-thirsty fans.

The World Cup is undoubtedly a huge cause for celebration, every four years driving up the UK economy as fans head to pubs, bars and restaurants to cheer on the nation with friends. The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) previously predicted England fans drink around 14m​ extra pints at the pub during World Cup group stages, and former BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds claimed: “When it comes to watching England at the World Cup, only being at the game itself can compare with being in the pub.”

With the recent Government announcement that pavement licences will be extended for pubs, bars and restaurants, and the increased levels of live sport, how can your pub, bar or restaurant get World Cup ready?

How awnings could change the World Cup experience

Awnings mean more seats and happier customers. More seats and happier customers mean more sales. When winter truly begins here in the UK, with the evenings beginning at 4pm, it’s no doubt that putting up properly fixed awnings instead of gazebos changes the game. Mostly because bars are able to give customers a good outdoor seating option. Long gone are the days of sitting around a damp wooden table, freezing under an umbrella. Awnings now have integrated lighting within the frame that create the perfect atmosphere during the evening, similar to being inside. They let bars offer temperature-controlled areas by putting in powerful infrared heaters, which means the beer doesn’t freeze in your hand. And restaurants can even offer food service outside as it’s a comfortable temperature for eating and drinking and light enough to see your meal.

Perhaps lots of pubs and bars are put off by the aesthetic side of things, after spending a great deal of money creating a building that looks and feels good for the customer, there is fear of destroying the ambience. But awnings can blend in nicely, with hundreds of colour selections and the option of bespoke signwriting made to match the current branding and design of the pub.

How other operators have increased revenue from their outdoor space

“We have two patio awnings installed to cover the pub’s beer garden. Weather can discourage people from eating outdoors – the awnings mean they have somewhere to retreat to and gives us more space to spread out tables and chairs which has been important post-pandemic. It resulted in a significant increase in footfall and revenue from previously uncovered outdoor dining space”

Simon Watkin, Junction Bar, Chesterfield

What options are available?

Popular choices for the food and beverage industry are patio awnings as well as pergolas and freestanding designs as they can be configured to cover larger spaces of up to 40m². These can be combined to achieve even larger spans for venues looking to provide outdoor dining experiences or host events. Mostly, people are looking for sturdy and water-resistant awnings as it’s no secret the British winter can be harsh. Think wind-resistant and water-resistant designs to make sure customers stay toasty and warm even in the coldest of months.

Other options include glass rooms which not only protect customers from the elements but also give tables a more private feel amid a busy, booming pub with panoramic views and the option of sliding glass doors for easy access. If you’re more concerned with controlling the amount of light and keeping the space well ventilated, then louvered roofs could be the answer helping create the perfect outdoor environment with high quality aluminium louvers that rotate to provide shelter or open to help customers enjoy what the sun has to offer.

Ultimately, these types of products are going to allow pubs, bars and restaurants to take advantage of the government's extension to the pavement licence and get ready for the soon-to-be World Cup madness. Providing extra seating for customers without compromising on the look and feel of the existing space or the overall customer experience.

How other operators have increased revenue from their outdoor space

“By having an awning, we’ve improved both revenue and footfall by around 10%, extending the seasons, and letting customers sit outside when it's warm enough without the need to retreat inside during light rain”

Andy Maddocks, Mothership Group / Colours Hoxton

What are the extensions to pavement licences?

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority, which allows pubs and restaurants to place removable furniture such as tables and chairs on the outside of their premises which can provide extra space for customers.

Currently, pavement licenses are in place until 30 September 2022. However, the Government now intends to extend the duration of this amendment until 2023. The extension to pavement licences allows places to think about building more permanent structures to make their customers more comfortable.

Something a bit more sturdy than previous years’ haphazard gazebos or parasols. When outside seating-only restrictions were placed last year the hospitality industry scrambled to put together outdoor seating arrangements which left many pub-deprived customers sitting in the rain with only flimsy umbrellas for protection. But as the hospitality industry begins winter World Cup preparations in true, there’s still plenty of time to invest in something better.

To get your revenue estimate, visit the Roché Awnings website to find out how much could be earnt from your outdoor space. Not sure which solution would work? Contact the team today by emailing or call 0800 060 8844 and make sure your pub, bar or restaurant is World Cup-ready.

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