Re-open your pub or bar safely – and make the most of your outside space

As the Government plots out its roadmap to recovery, and pubs and bars can start to re-open, initially serving customers in an outside setting only, we are excited to see people making their way back to the hospitality sector, and have looked at some ways to help them feel safe, welcome and hopefully keep coming back!

Swot up on the rules and guidelines

Make sure you know what you can and can’t do, in the case of COVID-19, ignorance is neither bliss nor an excuse. Make sure you check out the GOV.UK website for all the recommendations for maximum capacity, spacing regulations, any curfews, and licence requirements and restrictions.  Staying informed will keep you legally compliant and ensure you remain open during the journey through each step of the roadmap.

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Use your space

During the times when you can’t serve customers indoors, it is a great time to look at new ways to safely increase your capacity by utilising space you would not normally think of. Perhaps there are areas of your car park that you could section off to safely increase the number of tables, sticking to guidelines obviously.  

Is your venue on a street where you could add some pavement seating areas?  Brightly coloured tables and chairs, sparkling festoon lights, and some strategically placed plants could make even the most uninviting outside space look welcoming and encourage passers-by to pop in.

Just make sure you have checked with the necessary authorities that you can serve food and drink in these areas. Many councils are working with the hospitality industry to issue more pavement licences at this time, so contact your local authority to ensure you are covered.

Talking of being covered…the beautiful British weather does have a reputation for being changeable so you may want to consider adding a gazebo or marquee, or if your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, simply adding some garden umbrellas to enable customers to shelter from the elements should they need to can be an advantage.  

Let me entertain you

It has been a very long year, with the absence of live music, entertainment and sport. You could create that feel-good atmosphere in your venue by adding some quality, much longed-for fun. You could create a mini festival with some live music, face painting, hay bales, bring Glastonbury to your pub garden this summer!
And of course we have the return of the European Football Championships this June, having a big screen to show the home nation games could encourage fans to your garden area where they can watch the game safely with friends.

Perhaps a theme day is more up your street? Come rain or shine you could host a beach party to help those who are staycationing but who are missing their beach cocktails and Caribbean food and music.

Whatever entertainment you decide to put on, remember to ensure you are correctly licensed to play music or have the TV on in your venue. Further information about the licences you may need is available here.

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We can’t wait to see pubs, bars and hospitality venues back open this summer, we can all work together to get business back to its best and #restoretherhythm to the country.

Share your pictures with us using #restoretherhythm #saveoursummer #weareopen

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