Leisure industry furnishing specialist Harvey Ockrim has one piece of advice for anyone considering revamping the outside area of their pub or hotel.
“When you think outside, think inside first,” he said.
Harvey added: “I know it sounds cryptic, but what it really boils down to is the fact that specialist outdoor furnishing ranges are now so sophisticated they can match the look and feel of interior furniture.
“So you can actually look at what you have achieved inside your premises and aim to match or compliment that quality in your outdoor areas.”
Harvey is Managing Director of Satelliet-Browns, one of the UK’s leading supplier of furniture to pubs clubs and hotels, and a partner organisation of the Dutch multi-national Satelliet Group which operates in 11 countries.
He continued: “The UK was pretty slow to realise the potential appeal of outside areas, particularly in urban pubs and hotels.
“If you take the traditional country pub with its beer garden out of the equation, outside areas were the exception rather than the rule before the smoking ban came in a few years ago when publicans had to create outdoor areas or lose their smoking customers.
“To its eternal credit the trade has made a virtue out of necessity and now outdoor eating and drinking areas are a major driver of revenue whenever the weather allows.
“The days when your choice of outdoor furniture was excruciatingly uncomfortable aluminium tables and chairs or more of the same, have long since gone.
“Outdoor furniture can be every bit as stylish and comfortable as the interior ranges.
“That’s why we always tell customers to ‘think inside first’ before thinking outside.
“Outdoor ranges like our Coco chairs and modular units are breathtakingly stylish, and they are only the tip of the iceberg.
“Adding to the comfort factor of outdoor furniture with plump cushions is the norm rather than the exception, and the most you might have to do is take the cushions in at night, depending on how covered in your external area might be.
“Some establishments like the Wright Venue in Dublin have outside areas, complete with modular sofas and deep armchairs with luxurious contrasting cushions and huge widescreen TVs, that make them indistinguishable from the interior, apart from the fact they don’t have a roof.
“Now that we are heading up to Spring, there couldn’t be a better time to think of bringing a new touch of luxury to your outdoor areas to capitalise on the great British public’s growing desire to eat and drink outdoors whenever possible.”