Hospitality—your time is now! The nation has been counting down to pubs, bars and restaurants being able to serve food and drink in their outdoor dining areas once again, and we’re almost there. It’s been a long time coming. People have been pining for pints at their local, pizza at their favourite restaurant, gin and tonics in a busy beer garden. So if you run a hospitality venue, you need to prepare for your place to be packed out again soon… A recap on rules and restrictions From Monday 12 April, restaurants and pubs are allowed to serve food and drink, but customers must order, eat and drink while seated at a table in an outdoor dining area. Restrictions are lighter—people won’t need to order a substantial meal, and there’ll be no 22:00 curfew (hurrah!). The rule of six still applies. Social distancing must still be observed. And customers must wear masks when not seated, e.g. when they’re being seated or going to the bathroom. What does this mean for my venue? It means putting a few measures in place for your grand reopening. Here are four ways to make sure your customers are comfortable and your outdoor dining area is Covid-secure: Get ready for the rain While committed British boozers are unlikely to let a little rain stop them drinking, a torrential downpour would be disastrous without being able to dash inside for shelter—but even a light drizzle is going to ruin an evening meal (no one’s going to finish their pasta underneath a storm cloud). Prepare for the worst weather to make sure your customers have the best time. Our Café Series Cube adds walls to the traditional parasol, giving you a fully waterproof covered outdoor dining area to protect your people from the elements at any time of year—even in winter. Turn up the heat Even if it’s not raining, you need to be prepared for the cold weather, too. While it’s a good time of year to be alfresco drinking and dining, the good old English weather is unpredictable and you need to make sure your customers are warm in your outdoor dining area. Our heavy duty Nova Parasol turns up the heat when the temperature drops. It’s attractive and practical and gives light on dark nights, and the heater comes with either remote or timer switches. It’s available in five sizes, so you can choose the best fit for your venue, and we can even help you with the installation. Create sophisticated spaces If you’re serving swanky summer cocktails in the sunshine, you’re going to want to go for upscale décor in your outdoor dining area… Removing the centre pole from the equation, our luxury Cantilever Parasols expand the possibilities of your outdoor space and elevate it to the next level. They have a chic and contemporary look and offer 360° rotation, so you can keep your customers shaded from the sun while they sip on another Aperol Spritz. Get personal with printing Making your outdoor dining area stand out from the crowd means making it on-brand, unique and personal—so get creative with your parasol printing. We can brand up your umbrellas with your company logo, slogan, or any quirky message or design printed onto the roof panels or valance. It’s even more important if you’re working a pop-up event or a street food festival—make sure you show your customers who you are and where to find you again. Only serving outside temporarily? Don’t worry—we’ve still got you covered. You can transform your outdoor dining space temporarily by hiring our parasols while you serve up food and drink in the great outdoors over the next few months, and go back to your venue’s usual indoor set-up whenever the government restrictions allow. Or if you just want parasols and shelters for a one-off event, we’ll sort that, too. As one day, not far from now, a world of festivals, parties and weddings await us once again! But for now—it’s all about the alfresco drinking and dining.