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Pub landlords: Eight tips for the perfect summer beer garden

The weather is finally beginning to pick up. And after another tortuous Winter, Britons all across the country are yearning for some of the finer things of summer. Freshly mowed grass, freer fitting clothes and dripping cold beers are just a few of the things that we are looking forward to. Licensees that have some outdoor space might be looking forward to the prospect of some extra customers on those particularly warm days. Utility Helpline work in close partnership with hundreds of pubs and pubcos up and down the country. Here are our top eight tips for creating the perfect summer beer garden. For advice on how to reduce your pub's energy spend, please call a Utility Helpline account manager on: 0800 043 0423.

Furniture, fixtures and fittings

Putting extra effort into choosing the furniture, fixtures and fittings for your beer garden can really pay off. Especially if you end up creating an Instagram-worthy garden that attracts punters by itself. How you decorate will obviously come down to the tastes of your customers, but strongly consider choosing something other than cut and paste four seater wooden benches.

Get green fingered

The Great British garden conjures up images of neat green spaces, finely laid flower beds and dignified tree trunks. Unfortunately, picturing the Great British beer garden often brings up images of graffitied benches and sopping cigarette butts. But the two can co-exist peacefully. And when beer garden meets garden garden, the results can be more than a little bit impressive. This doesn’t just go for country pubs either. Planting a few flowers and adding the odd green touch here and there is a great way of attracting those city folk who want a taste of nature – but don’t want to travel too far.

Go vibrant

Bold and vibrant use of colour really pays come summer time. It’s also a good way of getting noticed on the likes of Twitter and Instagram, which can be crucial to draw a younger crowd. The pub below in central Manchester looks quite unassuming from its front entrance, but out back is a different story completely.

Get the summer catering right

Sunshine calls for a change to the regular menu. Offer a summer menu full of lighter bites. And remember, the smell of a burning BBQ is too much to resist for most people.

Or invite an outside caterer

On special occasions, when the weather is particularly hot, or if a host nation reaches the final of the Euro cup, it could be a fun idea to get outside caterers in. Pop-up caterers, hog roasters and artisan food vans have been all the rage in recent years and they can really keep a hungry crowd happy. Find out who offers these services in your local area and find a suitable day to invite them down.

Get an outdoor bar

Constructing an outside bar is sure to be a firm hit with customers who don’t want to brave the inside to get a drink. Licensing rules may be strict, and it will mean putting more staff on, but it could lead to a boost in revenues – particularly on very busy days when your indoor bar is blocked full.
A photo posted by Hyemi (@ny_ahjooma) on

And work on a summer drinks menu

Whether its special cocktails, fruity cider or lighter session ales, everybody has a different preference when it comes to warm weather drinking. Make sure you cover all bases and plan a summer drinks menu in advance of the sunshine.

Erect an outdoor attraction

One popular choice for some city centre bars over the last few years has been to erect a tepee or something similar outside. Although the tepee is more winter time tradition, set off with a roaring fire, there’s no reason it can’t be used for when the sun goes down and the night begins to roll in. Erecting a stage or outdoor play area might be more suitable choices for your particular pub.
A photo posted by Lynn Cunningham (@lynnab3lla) on

Utility Helpline works closely with hundreds of pubs and pubcos, helping them save money on their energy bills. We are owned by Sidney Phillips pub sales and are a recommended provider with Carlsberg Customers (We Deliver More). For more information click here.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )