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  • Industry insight: Why alfresco dining is the new normal

    Alfresco dining overlooking the coast
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Industry insight: Why alfresco dining is the new normal

    Alfresco dining has become more important and popular than ever. See how hotels can tap into this to serve more customers in every season. Canopies UK explores…

    Alfresco dining overlooking the coast

    When bars and restaurants reopened their doors last July, people flocked to enjoy the summer sunshine in beer gardens and outdoor terraces.

    Alfresco dining has long been a desirable experience. Many of us can picture walking along the promenades or cobbled streets of holiday destinations looking for the perfect spot for lunch or an evening cocktail. While this isn’t possible all year round in many countries, particularly the UK, the enthusiasm is certainly there. At the first sight of blue skies, Brits can be seen headed outdoors to eat and drink.

    Since the onset of the pandemic, alfresco dining has become necessary. We know it’s much safer to socialise in groups sitting outdoors, and when it’s possible to, many people prefer to do so now.

    An outdoor alfresco dining experience

    Image credit: Canopies UK

    Adapting to the new normal

    It’s been suggested we will be living with the threat or presence of pandemics forever. While this idea is a hard pill to swallow, it means societies will find new ways of operating. The way we socialise being one of the main priorities.

    It follows that hotels, bars, and restaurants are turning to underused outdoor space to create seating and event space. Designing an outdoor seating area that’s comfortable, appealing, and sheltered, is a way to expand your offering and differentiate from the competition.

    Removing weather as an obstacle

    We might have the best intentions to enjoy breakfast outdoors or share an evening drink under the stars. But not every destination can rely on warm, dry weather all year round. The solution is to treat the outdoor area as you would an indoor space.

    With a bespoke canopy system, you control the climate of your outdoor area. The retractable sides and roof offer flexible shelter and you can heat, light, and ventilate your space to exactly how you want it. Your outdoor area becomes profitable no matter what the weather is doing.

    Transforming spaces for the future

    Seamlessly blending outdoor and indoor areas is the future of hotel design. Multipurpose terraces, balconies, and rooftops are features guests will look for, particularly when hosting events.

    The Savage Garden rooftop canopy installed 12 storeys high on the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Tower of London has become an important function space. Bernadette Gilligan, General Manager of the hotel, explains: “Come rain or shine, guests can enjoy everything from drinks to private events in the space. The retractable canopy – designed and built as bespoke for Savage Garden – means that the terrace can be cosy and covered during winter, and the perfect sun trap come summer.”

    Building: Hilton Double TreeLocation: LondonClient: Canopies UK

    Image credit: Hilton Double Tree

    Hotels that can make their venues as versatile as possible are the businesses that stand the best chance of welcoming more guests in the future. Embracing outdoor dining and the alfresco experience is a promising move in the right direction.

    Canopies UK which designs, manufactures, and installs bespoke dining canopies for hospitality venues, most notably the Skyroof and Cantabria systems, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Canopies UK

    Hamish Kilburn / 04.02.2021

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