Why does winter always seem to last forever in this country? Months and months of dark nights and cold, wet weather conspire to keep us indoors for most of the year.
But now it’s May, things finally seem to be improving. The evenings are lighter and the sun is shining (in between the showers, anyway).
Whenever I think of summer, I think of long, hot afternoons sitting in beer gardens. It’s a quintessential part of the British summertime!
But as a pub owner, how do you make sure it’s your garden that’s in season this summer? Here are a few tips for making sure your beer garden is heaving with thirsty customers:
#1 Give your garden a makeover
Chances are you’ve been neglecting your garden during the autumn and winter months. So make sure you give it a spruce up so it’s ready for warmest months of the year.
Replace or repair any damaged furniture and clear up any weeds or litter. If you’ve got any plants and or flowers, get a gardener in to give them some attention.
#2 Make sure people know you have one
This might seem like an obvious one, but you should make sure people know you actually have a beer garden! Depending on the layout of your pub, it might be hidden away round the back. So add some signage to show people the way.
If you’re on social media, take appealing photos of your garden in the sunshine and post them for your followers to see. This will be sure to draw the crowds in when the weather’s at its hottest!
#3 Have parasols – and umbrellas – on standby
We might be talking about summertime here, but this is still Britain! Rain is never far from the horizon, so it’s a good idea to make sure your garden isn’t a washout if there is a downpour.
Have table umbrellas/parasols available just in case. It might be worth thinking about having an awning or gazebo on standby too.
Not only will you be keeping your customers dry if the worst happens, they will also be grateful for the option of a bit of shade when we get lucky and the skies stay clear.
#4 Install patio heaters
During the day, the sun should keep your punters toasty and warm. But once the sun goes down, it can get quite chilly. Make sure your garden is still an appealing place to be after sundown by adding patio heaters.
Just don’t forget to factor in the cost of keeping them running, as patio heaters can be expensive. Minimise the damage as much as possible by only using them when you really need to.
#5 Plan outdoor entertainment
If you want to guarantee your beer garden is the place to be this summer, arranging some outdoor entertainment is a great way to pack them in.
Anything from live music to fun activities for the kids is sure to be a hit. Just make sure you have a contingency in place in case the weather lets you down!
If you can’t afford the outlay of a real live band, have a look into installing outdoor speakers so you can play music. Just be wary of noise pollution – you don’t want to annoy your neighbours and risk getting a visit from the council.
#6 Give your menu a summery update
Personally, I’m happy eating the same thing all year round. But most normal people have different fancies when the weather’s warmer. So think about changing your menu up for the summer months.
Eschew hot and heavy meals like stew or pie and mash. Instead, try replacing them with lighter options like salads, sandwiches or unfussy finger food.
And why not consider an outdoor barbecue during the warmest weekends? Everyone loves a barbie in the summer.
Haven’t got the funds?
If you need to do up your beer garden but you’re running low on cash, we can help! We help businesses like yours every day with their cash flow needs.
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