An inside guide to going al fresco this summer

The Cantabria canopy system

Al fresco dining continues to dominate the dining scene right now. In fact, according to HospitalityGEM, 79% of people would increase their dwelling time if table service was available al fresco.

But with the UK weather rarely rivalling the balmy climes of the Mediterranean, delivering the al fresco experience can be a challenge for bar owners to master, especially when space is limited too.

Jason Eastwood, managing director of Canopies UK, talks us through some of the key considerations for bars wanting to maximise their outdoor space and delight their customers à la al fresco.

“It’s widely recognised outdoor canopies are the ideal solution for bar owners who want to get more from their outdoor space. As with most investments, there are a number of key factors to consider, particularly relating to installation.

“Some venues will require planning permission, especially if your building is listed or sits within a conservation area. But the good news is outdoor canopies are classed as semi-permanent structures and can, in some instances, provide a solution where a permanent extension won’t meet planning requirements.

“Rooftop canopies are an increasingly popular choice for inner city venues and can provide a flexible outdoor space where utilising surrounding grounds simply aren’t an option. If you were to install one of our Cantabria canopies, which are available in any length and range in projections of up to 10 metres for single units and 20 metres for twin units, you could cater for up to 184 additional customers, generating an additional weekly revenue of more than 7,000.**

“For rooftop construction projects, as well as ground-level extensions, it’s important to work with your canopy manufacturer of choice to fully assess how accessible the installation site is and whether any special equipment will be required.

“What’s more, by working with a manufacturing partner who conducts a full site audit ahead of your installation, you can rest assured that your canopy is 100% right for your venue – taking into account the terrain type and any pre-existing obstacles that may be present, such as drains and tree roots.

“Al fresco is where it’s at right now. The great British weather and space restrictions may have held you back from tapping into this key trend until now, but with the right outdoor canopy investment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be serving up a huge slice of al fresco to your customers all year round.”

* Based on Friday and Saturday, 2 sittings per day.
**Based on £40 per cover = £7,360.

About Canopies UK
Canopies UK is the country’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of high quality canopies. Established for more than 25 years, the company employs over 50 staff at its Lancashire headquarters, which incorporates offices, production space and warehousing. Serving a multitude of sectors, including hospitality, education, healthcare and construction, Canopies UK delivers excellence through site specific specification and unrivalled product quality.

Contact Canopies UK on 01254 777 002 or visit

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