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Expert shares 6 alfresco tips to help your business flourish during the summer

With summer fast approaching and the weather getting warmer, Brits will be excited about the possibility of enjoying alfresco dining at their favourite restaurants and food venues.
Rachael Kiss from Alliance Online, one of the largest catering suppliers in the UK, has shared 6 tips for anyone who is interested in providing their customers with alfresco dining this summer.
“Alfresco dining is particularly popular in the summer months when the weather is at its best. However, there are certain things you should be aware of before opening up your business which may historically always have served food indoors to providing alfresco dining.”

1. Ensure health and safety compliance is considered and met
“When considering adding alfresco dining to your venue ensure you have first carried out a health and safety check for the area. This is a must as you will want to review the area for trip hazards, make sure it isn’t blocking any fire exits and that staff still have clear and well defining pathways so as to prevent potential falls and trips.”

2. Be considerate of other people and make sure to follow park byelaws
“Respecting those around you and adhering to local byelaws is crucial when offering outdoor dining. Byelaws are set by your local council and it is important to adhere to all local rules and regulations. General tips include keeping noise levels down and following guidelines regarding alcohol consumption and lighting. Breaking these rules can see you being served fines by your local authority.”

3. Consider using unbreakable options
“When offering outdoor dining this can be understandably draw concerns for your breakable tableware. Additional dining space will naturally increase the likelihood of potential breakages, especially where glassware is concerned. As such you may want to consider adding polycarbonate or melamine options to your serveware. This should allow your staff to relax when serving outdoor patrons.”
4. Evening temperature drop off

“Sometimes during summer despite the improved temperature, the evenings can get chillier and become not as fun to sit out and eat in. This can particularly be the case if the outdoor dining area is open to the wind. To ensure customers and patrons stay warm it may be worth investing in a few patio heaters to keep the warm ambience alight, especially during the early spring and later into autumn.”
5. Foods that won’t spoil in the warm weather

“Typically, most menus transfer reasonably well to alfresco dining, but you may want to consider certain aspects due to the warm weather. If you offer complimentary nibbles for patrons ensure that if they are taken outside they are brought back in by the customer once finished as you don’t want items of food open to the elements and potentially spoiling.”

6. Keep the bugs at bay, to avoid customer dismay
“When offering alfresco dining you always run the risk of exposing your customers to a flurry of potential winged invaders by way of insects. As such we’d suggest ensuring that there aren’t too many floral displays near the eating area as they naturally will attract and house insects. Equally, it may be pertinent if you find you suffer from enquiring bugs to invest in a bug zapper which can help keep the sixed legged pests at bay.”
Alliance Online have released these tips to help Brits safely enjoy alfresco dining this summer and so that any potential fines can be avoided.