After months of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the British beer garden once again swung into operation on 12th April. Many pubs turned to pub grub deliveries during the early months of 2021 just to survive during the latest lockdown.
It is now one month on, and the big question is whether customers returning to the beer garden has been enough to swing the pub’s pendulum from surviving to thriving. Here we take a look at how reopening beer gardens has impacted the economy.
A Positive Start Hit By Bad Weather
Pub and bar owners and operators across the UK are saying their beer gardens have seen huge demand. While a positive start was hit by bad weather, the atmosphere of bringing the local community together while following social distancing rules has not been dampened.
Many pubs have seen sales return to up to three-quarters of 2019 levels, even with the rain and, until now, outdoor seating only. The desire to go to the pub has been so strong that many punters have been braving less than ideal weather conditions.
However, some pubs decided to close as heavy downpours washed out even the most resilient customers and staff. For many beer gardens, there was simply no retreat with indoor dining barred, making serving meals an impossibility. This was terrible news for many chefs and culinary teams who were left on furlough until indoor dining resumed.
The major economic impacts of reopening beer gardens included:
- 60% seated diner reservations (taken by the OpenTable reservation system) on 17th April 2021, just a 19% decrease compared to 12th April 2020
- London’s figures were 44% of 2019 levels
- Manchester’s figures were 85% on 2019 levels
Fully Booked For Indoor Reopening
The good news is that pubs, bars, and restaurants without a beer garden reopened with indoor dining on 17th May in England, Wales, and Scotland. Months of pent-up demand have led to fully booked indoor hospitality venues. This is a trend that is sure to continue while weather conditions resist turning into long dry summer days.
To maximise the opportunities of outdoor and indoor dining, it is essential for restaurants and bars to optimise their space. Introducing high-quality beer garden furniture will help make the most of socially distanced tables and benches.
Hospitality venues can arrange tables to meet the new guidelines that have come into force. These regulations permit seating groups of six together indoors and groups of thirty people together outdoors. Having a selection of tables and benches for seating denominations of two, four, and six people will help you fill every seat that is permissible and safe.
MG Timber is supporting pubs, bars, and restaurants with discounts on beer garden furniture bulk orders.
Please contact our team today to inquire about beer garden furniture and outdoor dining sets to enhance your hospitality offering.