10 Jun 2020

First impressions count when it comes to attracting customers to a bar, café or restaurant, and nowhere is this more so than in outdoor dining spaces. But how well-prepared are your premises?

Consumers’ appetite for al fresco dining or a casual drink in the open air can quickly diminish if outdoor seating areas are poorly presented and ill-equipped. Get it right, however, especially now given the need for social distancing and the challenge of consumer wariness, and it could transform the fortunes for a hospitality business at this time.

The necessary post-lockdown measures will inevitably impact on the visual appearance of every bar, café and restaurant – the challenge is ensuring this doesn’t ruin the experience to such an extent that customers simply don’t come back. Preparing outdoor seating areas to provide the best customer experience is, therefore, vital – and that requires easy and safe access to power, water and other services on-demand.

Consider the many different types of equipment that best prepared outdoor dining areas will need. These include lighting, heaters, audio systems, television screens, tills, food and drink preparation areas, fridges, ice-makers and coffee machines, plus powered awnings to provide shelter on-demand and electronic signage. The common theme is that they will require a dependable power source.

Running extension leads from the main building or hiring noisy generators can detract from the quality of the customer experience. Having trailing cables running across access corridors is not only unsightly, it can also present dangerous trip hazards that could lead to health and safety claims. Bringing in independent generators to provide power is indeed an option, but they can be expensive to run, can be noisy and take up space that could otherwise be used for revenue-generating seating or tables.

This is where the range of pop-up and in-ground units from UK company Pop Up Power Supplies® helps by providing a better all-round solution. These are concealed within the ground until they are needed, which means any outdoor space can be adapted to become a dining or seating area whenever the opportunity arises – such as well into the autumn when good weather permits. Their covers can accommodate any surface covering, including paving and grass, so the units are virtually invisible when not in use.

Once required, pop-up units are simply raised using a turning handle. In-ground units feature a flip lid that is lifted to give access to the power, water and other supplies. These can also be locked in the closed position for additional safety and security.

To find out more about the range of units available to hospitality businesses, please take a look at the pop-up units and in-ground units pages.