Relaxations in planning rules could see a rise in al fresco dining in the UK

Business gearing up for July 4 restart  look to al fresco solutions

The lockdown began on March 20, but from July 4, pubs and restaurants in England will be allowed to reopen with certain restrictions, including changes to shift patterns, mandatory table service and more use of hand sanitiser. 

While the reopening is welcomed by everyone in the industry, for customers it’s going to be a more impersonal experience than they once enjoyed. However, a change in the law has ushered in a chance to give diners a taste of something better.

A relaxation in the planning laws means that businesses are now free to operate an al fresco table service for food and drink on the pavements outside their premises – even when the business doesn’t own the pavement area. 

Cafés and restaurants in England could be given permission to sell food and drink from street stalls outside their premises in the coming weeks, as the government tries to reopen some sectors of the economy.

The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, is preparing to grant a blanket permission, allowing food and drink outlets that already have a licence to set out tables and chairs on the pavement to sell from outdoor stalls.

Government sources confirmed a report in the Sunday Telegraph that said ministers hope the change will allow for a “more vibrant style of continental town centres in the summer”.

The much overdue introduction of a continental café culture into the UK could be the most unexpected side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adding an al fresco dining option to your business sends out a stylish and reassuring ‘business as usual’ message to customers. The use of patio furniture, parasols and cordons creates a smart and additional appeal. At the same time, it allows businesses to boost the number of covers that they can accommodate within the pandemic guidelines.

We worked with Kettering’s Raj Restaurant to help create an al fresco drinks and dining area. The results, with tables, chairs parasols and a cordon rope create a distinctive and classy image.

Says Whitco CEO Vita Whitaker: “A ‘can-do’ attitude has been key for many business during the showdown. Creating an al fresco seating area calls for a creative approach and some imagination but the end result can provide a practical boost for business in the food and drink sector.”

Call Whitco on 01832 735007 to talk to us about creating an al fresco dining and drinking area.