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How to Prepare Your Business’ Outdoor Space for Winter Use

During the summer – especially the summer we’ve just had – your business’ outdoor space is probably a goldmine. We love to wine and dine alfresco long into the balmy summer evenings. But, in the cooler months, outdoor hospitality begins to look a little less attractive.

The trouble is that your restaurant, bar or cafe’s outside space can more than double your capacity. When patrons no longer want to use it, it can greatly diminish your earning potential. 

Thankfully, the government’s extension to pavement licences now continues until September 2023. So, if your hospitality business invested in outdoor facilities to take advantage of your access to a pavement licence during social distancing you can continue to benefit from it. 

This is all well and good, but now people are a bit less afraid of a horrific virus, they’re a bit less willing to sit in the cold and wet for entertainment purposes. So you need to make it as comfortable as possible.

Here’s how to keep your customers using your outdoor space this winter.

Provide shelter from the elements

People don’t mind the cold too much, but wind and wet conditions are big no-nos. Shelter is everything when it comes to outdoor drinking and dining in the colder and wetter months.

Outdoor dining spaces like pods, igloos, domes and bubble tents are perfect for seasonal use and can be dressed beautifully to provide a unique environment for your patrons to enjoy. They also provide a sense of novelty and interest, and the ability to dress them for a specific occasion is an added bonus.

If you don’t have the space for individual bubbles, then retractable canopies, gazebos or awnings can provide seasonal shelter that can be customised to suit the weather. There’s also the option to include integrated lighting and speakers to create the kind of ambience that keeps customers coming back.

Remember to dress your outside space for the weather

Cold and slippery conditions just come with the season and are unavoidable. For your furniture, opt for natural materials such as wood and bamboo. Ensure seat covers are waterproof. It’s best to avoid metal for outdoor furniture, which basically feels like ice under-bottom on a cold day. Not a crowd pleaser.

For floors, invest in attractive, scratch-resistant flooring solutions that are non-slip even in wet conditions and are suitable for year-round use. Naturally, we recommend composite decking as the perfect solution for year-round durability and comfort for your hospitality business’s outdoor space.

Give your customers the ability to warm themselves up

No matter how cold it is outside, achieving a comfortable body temperature with the right tools is usually possible. With shelter taken care of, all you need to do is offer some safe patio heating options. And having blankets, cosy soft furnishings and winter warmers available on the menu helps your customers find that all important feeling of hygge. Somehow, this Danish principle manages to trick us all into feeling cosier when wrapped up outside with steaming mulled cider than inside enjoying the central heating. Crazy, but true.

Our HD Deck® is the perfect solution for your business’ outside hospitality space. Order free samples here.

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