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Why should you be investing in outdoor dining?

We’ve finally made it! Hospitality will start to open again this month, starting with outdoor dining, hopefully for the last time.

Although it may be the only way to reopen for some, outdoor dining shouldn’t just be looked at as a short-term solution for the pandemic, it should actually be considered a long-term opportunity for future growth. In this blog I’ll go through some of the key considerations if you are thinking about to investing in your outdoor dining offer.

Brits have grown to love al fresco dining

It appears that one of the lasting legacies of the pandemic is how consumers have grown to love the more casual format of dining here in the UK.

The industry already has been fantastic at creating experiences that are comfortable and memorable, no matter the weather. We all know how unpredictable the weather can be, particularly at the moment where we’ve seen the best of the summer and the worst of the winter in the space of a couple of weeks!

Consumers now expect you to be able to provide facilities that protect you from the elements as a very minimum or they will go elsewhere.

Grow loyalty with a safe welcome back to hospitality

When you are planning space to provide a comfortable experience, remember that hygiene and safety needs to be central to that. This remains vitally important of course as we come out of lockdown, but it’s important in the longer term too since there will be differing levels of confidence for a while still. For those who are more hesitant about going back into public, if they have a safe and comfortable experience with you, then this will drive loyalty to your outlet.

Use it as another route for generating revenue

The good news is it seems like anticipation remains high as 76% of consumers are likely to visit a venue with outdoor seating within a month of reopening.[1]  Even when indoor dining resumes, your outdoor space still gives you a chance to use your space better so you can serve more people at peak times.

If you invest well in making it as comfortable experience as possible, people are likely to return too, no matter the weather. In fact, 75% of people said they would be happy to eat/drink in a heated outdoor area even in the winter.[2]  This truly demonstrates how well consumers have adapted to al fresco dining and that they want to continue with this casual type of dining well into the future.

 

Want to know more about how you can capitalise on the opportunity? Our outdoor dining guide has more insight, menu suggestions, and tips for using your space to help you do just that.

For everyone reopening this month, I wish you the very best of luck for a prosperous future!

 

Sources:

[1] CGA, Consumer Countdown to Reopening Series, 2021

[2] Mintel Eating Out Review, Inc the Impact of Covid-19, Dec 2020

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