Is Your Beer Garden Summer Ready?
The sun is starting to come out a lot more and the temperatures are rising nicely, summer is on it’s way.
It’s the perfect time to act to create outside space that your customers will love to spend time (and more importantly) money in.
You might have a nice lawn, a spare piece of paved area, or the option to create outdoor tables on the pavement, here’s how your tills can benefit from fresh air!
Licence Do’s & Dont’s.
Contacting your local authority and talking through your plan should be your very 1st action. Some licences cover outside areas and some don’t. If you are looking at tables out on the front of your premises your neighbours will need to be notified so make sure you get the right legal advice and don’t breach planning conditions.
Put people outside and it is inevitable you will get noise. To avoid noise notices with potentially hefty fines work with your neighbours from the beginning and keep them informed.
Consider notices outside re noise levels and respect and also a curfew on how late customers stay outdoors if you have very close neighbours.
Health and safety is a huge consideration to avoid legal action. A separate risk assessment for outside space is very worthwhile. Think hazards, slips and trips and ensure your public liability insurance covers you for the outside areas without exclusions.
Your staff will need some extra guidance and reminding to keep an eye on the outside space to make sure it is safe and clean for customers.
Tables will need wiping, glasses collecting, and spills dealt with promptly to avoid hazards and pesky wasps!
Give your customers something nice to look at. If you have a lawned area then it should be trimmed, weeded, and have some colour from pots, and planters.
Plants and shrubs are especially important on a hard standing beer garden to soften it and make it a more attractive space all round with some nice summer scents!
You should provide plenty of tables and chairs that are hard wearing & cleanable as they will be heavily used. Bins are useful for crisp packets and other rubbish, ashtrays and beer mats too.
If you are providing umbrellas bare in mind that in windy conditions these can become lethal and should be stored away.
Lighting including fairy lights can look really good and also keep customers safe when they walk around when the light is fading.
If you are concerned about close neighbours and noise and want to encourage customers back inside later on then don’t provide too much lighting to help encourage customers to move inside naturally.
Consider patio heaters to prolong the times your outside space can be used.
Do you have fences that need a lick of paint or areas that have been used for storage? Remove rubbish, paint, and add a few hanging baskets or planters to smarten up your look. Pinterest and Instagram have some great ideas for repurposing your pub staples into attractive garden decoration.
Does your beer garden go straight into a car park or road, do you need any area gated, are you going to look to attract children? If you are adding play equipment it needs to be commercial standard. Do you want your garden to be dog friendly?
All of these target audiences require consideration and awareness of risk and the effect on other users.
For a large majority of the year the beer garden is the domain of smokers. You need to think about how you can make your garden work for smokers and nonsmokers especially if you are going to serve food outside.
If you are a food led premises (or even if you are not!) if you are planning to utilise your outside space to cook and serve food, eg a family bbq you will need to make extra considerations for your food safety.
Correct cooking and storage for any out of your ordinary food offerings needs careful consideration to avoid any issues.
We hope you have found this blog useful.
We would love to hear from you about your pub beer garden successes or what advice you would give a fellow publican on creating their beer garden. Just email us on email@example.com.