The countdown to summer has begun, and we can already feel the excitement in the air! Although the official start of the season is on June 21st, we know that many of you are already embracing the summer spirit. At Alliance Online, we believe that one of the greatest pleasures of this season is indulging in outdoor dining. Whether you prefer the comfort of your own garden, the relaxation of your patio, or the vibrant atmosphere of alfresco dining in commercial restaurants, there’s something truly magical about enjoying a meal and a drink under the warm sun. In this article we will be detailing the alfresco dining concepts to look out for, what is currently trending in alfresco dining, the regulations to follow for a new starter and the essentials needed for successful outdoor dining operations.

Alfresco Dining Concepts

Outdoor dining has been a staple in the UK dating back to the Medieval times of the Middle Ages when swathes of people would gather for a feast before embarking on a hunt, this pastime has been passed on through the ages through various forms such as picnics and street parties. The original concept of outdoor dining was of a joyous nature celebrating life whilst making friends. In the spirit of tradition here at Alliance Online we would recommend taking a leaf out of the history books and embracing the collectiveness formerly enjoyed at mass gatherings at outdoor events. The best way to accomplish this would be by simply rearranging the outdoor dining seating your establishment currently has to incorporate a togetherness. An example of this being a seating arrangement of a circular nature bringing patrons together, obviously this wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking so providing seating surrounding the circular table for tables of two and four would be recommended.

Another alfresco dining concept that we would recommend for the upcoming summer months centre around comfortable eating and drinking. The most difficult part of creating an outdoor dining venue is often creating a relaxing atmosphere guests will feel comfortable enough to dine at. There are various reasons as to why a guest could feel unsure about alfresco dining and it is your job to put these worries to bed. By prioritising comfort, the theory is that customers would be more inclined to flock to your establishment. Some recommendations we would make to ease potential worries guests may have are:

Current Trends In Alfresco Dining

The recommendations and concepts we have suggested so far are what we in our 25 years of operating in the sector feel is sorely lacking for successful operations. What we will be discussing now are the current trends in Alfresco dining that are sure to be seen nationwide this summer:

Mediterranean Influences

One of biggest trends currently seen in alfresco dining is the emphasis of Mediterranean influences on tableware and aesthetic. The reason for this is simply down to the weather and how alfresco dining is already starting to dominate mainland Europe. Mediterranean influences to mainland Europe is akin to fish and chips in the UK it is natural for them to adopt the stylings of their own sensibilities. However as it has spread throughout Europe many experts are anticipating an influx of Mediterranean inspired crockery, cutlery and glassware. We would recommend taking advantage of this trend and incorporating a Mediterranean aesthetic whether this be through the tableware or lighting. To achieve this aesthetic we would recommend the following ranges:

Art Deco

For many the approach of opting for a glamorous aesthetic may seem obnoxious and ostentatious however it is all about the manner of style. On the surface it may seem that the average pub go-er may be put off by the Art Deco visual however it is all about the demographics your establishment is trying to reach. Providing an invitingly glamorous place to dine can offer a game changing visual not seen too much in the UK. The reason for the Art Deco trend lies in the longing for many to return to a simpler time, evoking imagery of the Roaring 20s is just one aspect of what this ideal embodies. Take advantage of the Art Deco trend by integrating a glitz and glam style that will impress customers. Some examples of what we would recommend would be:

Regulations

Before a restaurant can offer alfresco dining, there are several regulations and licenses that need to be taken care of. If you’re considering having an outdoor dining area, it’s safe to assume that you’ll also be serving alcohol in that space. In that case, we strongly recommend obtaining an alcoholic premises license, which grants permission to serve alcoholic beverages. Apart from that, there are other licenses to consider, such as a pavement license, which allows restaurants to place furniture on the pavement. Keep in mind that the penalties and requirements for obtaining this license may vary depending on your region. To learn more about these potential issues, we advise you to reach out to your local government branch.

Requirements For Alfresco Dining

One of the main requirements for alfresco dining is clear paths for the staff. Outdoor dining is often less spacious than indoor dining for an establishment which can lead to potential overcrowding and poor walkways for staff to be able to efficiently and effectively serve customers. This is a key reason why utilising space in alfresco dining is so crucial to the success of the operation, staff will also be restrained from working at their optimum due to the health and safety issues that arise from poor spacing. Here at Alliance Online we would strongly suggest creating a floor plan for seating that is most suitable to the staff and allows them to work at their highest level.

One other requirement for alfresco dining that we would suggest before getting started is remembering to consider the weather. Simply having alfresco seating won’t prevent rain from dampening the experience. To provide a comfortable dining environment in all conditions, think about incorporating a sheltered area or awning. Keep your customers cosy by investing in infrared heaters to heat up the entire dining area. It may seem obvious however it is a key part of creating the perfect alfresco environment, the trick is taking advantage of the warm weather when it gets here and finding the solutions for keeping customers coming when it inevitably disappears. Summer will always be the perfect time for alfresco dining no matter the country luckily us Brits have long been enjoyers of the summer heat and the festivities that comes with it.

Here at Alliance Online we understand and appreciate that alfresco dining may seem like a luxury for many catering establishments however we can say that with our 25 years of experience in the commercial sector we can recommend that a bar or restaurant that has the capabilities to incorporate alfresco dining does so as it can be an excellent addition to an establishment. For more information regarding Alfresco dining please feel free to take a look at our collection just in time for the busy summer months.

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Why customers are a go, for dining Alfresco
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Why customers are a go, for dining Alfresco
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In this article we will be detailing the alfresco dining concepts to look out for, what is currently trending in alfresco dining, the regulations to follow for a new starter and the essentials needed for successful outdoor dining operations.
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Alliance Online
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