A blog on al fresco dining in England in October may seem a little crazy, but, these uncertain times call for unique measures! So, bear with us as we run through some unique al fresco experiences and raise the question whether al fresco is the ‘new normal’.

Navigating Covid-19

Covid-19 is definitely having a colossal impact on the hospitality sector at the moment, so it makes sense to start our blog off with it.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions such as social distancing and the 10pm curfew, restaurants, bars and cafes are all running at limited capacity and therefore limited profits. It goes without saying that having an outdoor dining area instantly boosts your number of covers and can therefore help your venue to boost capacity without compromising on safety measures. That means you don’t have to turn away any customers due to full capacity and can accommodate more diners and boost your profits.

Your online seating area can also be added into our table booking system so you can take bookings for both your indoor and outdoor seating, even giving diners the option of indoor or al fresco dining.









Safety First

Continuing with the Covid theme for now, scientists state that well-ventilated or outdoor spaces help to prevent the virus from spreading. Therefore, al fresco dining is just one way you can help to reassure your diners that your venue is Covid-safe, a vital point in boosting consumer confidence and encouraging diners to book your restaurant or bar in these times.

It also gives those guests who are more wary of dining out at the moment a safer option that means they’ll one, have the confidence to dine with you, and two, choose your venue over a competitor: win-win!

Photo shows Evuna restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

An Exciting Dining Experience

Whether it’s due to economic uncertainty, or safety concerns, people are increasingly wary of venturing out to pubs and restaurants at the moment. Therefore, they sometimes need an extra special reason to head out: take the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, for example. But, not everything has to be about discounts. Providing an exciting dining experience can be just enough to get diners through the door and an exciting al fresco experience is just the ticket.

The Lancaster Arms have introduced their Dining Domes which are available for hire for up to six people in line with current government guidelines. Their quirky appearance is ideal for enticing diners to visit for a truly unique al fresco dining experience. Plus, they’re dry and warm meaning they’re suitable for all year round.

Not only do these domes provide diners with a unique culinary experience but, in the age of social media, diners are bound to share their evening in the dome online, thus intriguing more potential customers, increasing bookings and brand awareness.













Warm and Inviting

Now, we know what you’re thinking: extra capacity and extraordinary dining experiences are all well and good but who will want to sit outside in the Great British winter?! But, al fresco dining can be suitable all year round.

Just take our European counterparts who, even in colder climates, predominantly enjoy outdoor dining thanks to outdoor heating and investment in outdoor spaces. But, you can look much closer to home for great al fresco dining initiatives! Owd Nells Tavern have invested in large outdoor heaters and marquees so their diners can enjoy the benefits of al fresco dining all year round. In fact, their outdoor terrace is just as inviting as their cosy tavern, leaving diners spoilt for choice and proving that al fresco dining can be a fantastic option for both diners and restaurants!

It’s clear that al fresco dining is a great option to boost restaurant or pub capacity and provide diners with a unique experience that gets them through the door. In fact, although al fresco dining is playing a huge part in the survival of restaurants in Covid times, we’d say it’s an option that’s going to be here to stay, and one that will see hospitality venues take their offering to the next level. 

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