Street furniture for the reopening of outdoor hospitality
Eating out is taking on a whole new meaning. While the reopening of restaurants and cafes is eagerly anticipated, for now at least drinking and dining at hospitality venues is only allowed outdoors. From April 12, pubs, coffee shops and bistros can welcome back customers after the nation went into lockdown at the start of 2021. But under the easing of restrictions, there are still strict guidelines to follow. For a country with a very changeable climate, al fresco dining can be a challenge. But at Broxap we’ve developed a wide range of quality outdoor furniture and shelters to cater for the changing needs of hospitality businesses.
What are the rules for outdoor dining?
Guidance issued by the UK Government to the likes of restaurants and tea rooms stipulates that until May 17 at the earliest, customers are only allowed indoors to walk to the outdoor seating area; use bathroom facilities; or make a payment. Customers must be seated at a table to order, be served and consume their food and drinks. Tables can be consist of up to six people from numerous households, or unlimited numbers from two households. Outdoor seating and tables should continue to be placed two metres apart, or at least one metre with risk mitigation. And canopy or shelter structures must have at least 50 per cent of the sides left open if it is to be classed as an outdoor area.
A quality outdoor hospitality experience
A picnic blanket and a couple of fold-out chairs are obviously not going to cut it as the nation prepares to embrace the café culture more commonly experienced in Europe. But outdoor furniture has come a long way. Here at Broxap we continue to innovate and develop new and existing products, harnessing cutting edge manufacturing techniques and modern, sustainable materials to meet the aspirations of our customers. Whatever the look and feel of the venue, we’ve got a street furniture range to complement it. Take the traditional picnic bench for example. Made at our North Staffordshire timber workshop, we have a fantastic selection of units combining tables and seating on a familiar A-frame. This includes units with extended table tops for wheelchair access and a children’s range. By incorporating an H-shape frame, we’ve developed the extra large Party Picnic Bench. The circular Camrose Round Timber Picnic Bench has individual seats. Meanwhile the Brocastle Picnic Bench has a really neat footprint which is perfect when space is at a premium. One of our most popular products is the Land Picnic Bench, which comfortably and reliably seats customers outdoors at the Hub on the Park located at Surrey Research Park.
Modern outdoor furniture
More formal venues may be looking for outdoor dining furniture with unique appeal. Our Litchard Picnic Bench or Malvern Picnic Unit may be more suitable, with a strong durable steel frame and warm timber seat. These industrial-style collections feature sturdy, good sized tables to accommodate platters and sharing plates as well as individual place settings. The Litchard range also includes a low coffee table and individual stools. For a true continental feel, we have a selection of contemporary, low maintenance concrete and granite picnic benches. The Harpurhey Picnic Table for example is great for casual dining or snacking. And for fine dining we have the Plaza Table and the Desford Table, bringing undeniable class and style to every setting. Our recycled plastic picnic tables are every bit as functional as our timber and steel collections, with a great variety of colours and shapes available. We even have seated planters, which combine modern benches, casual tables and a centrepiece planter so owners can add a splash of colour and vibrancy to their outdoor dining rooms.
Shade and shelter for outdoor diners
Protection from the elements is understandably a concern for hosts. Creating an effective covered area which meets the Government’s outdoor criteria, looks fantastic and is within budget is possible with Broxap. Our tensile fabric structures have a flexible design and versatile shape. The waterproof and UV absorbing canopies continue to look good year after year and they are perfect for creating large areas of shade and shelter. A more traditional freestanding polycarbonate shelter may also be an option, with our modular ranges allowing for easy and cost-effective extension and customisation; or a lean-to wall mounted product like the Luton or Newcastle style could be a good fit for smaller areas. Along with our standard designs we can create a bespoke solution, inspiring an outdoor eating area that will continue to be popular with customers well in the future. At House of Bruar in Perthshire, we used aluminium to create a showstopping dining canopy, fitting the style of the prestigious independent brand.
Something altogether different
The use of parklets is a concept which is growing across the UK and Ireland, having proved successful in other parts of the world such as the U.S. and Australia. Based on the idea of ‘living streets’, parklets bring seating, dining tables, planters, even cycle parking to pockets of land borrowed from car parks or the highway. With the aim of encouraging diners, shoppers and cyclists to spend more time exploring town and city centres, Broxap’s parklets have a modular structure so customers can build their own little haven. We have a range of finishes and detailing available so no two parklets are the same. And with the option of incorporating a shelter as well, such as a timber pergola-style cover or tensile fabric canopy, Broxap parklets tick all the boxes for outdoor socialising.