Location, location, location: Advice on positioning restaurant seating canopies

Whether you’ve decided to invest in an outdoor canopy or are thinking about doing so, there’s one key thing you’ll need to consider – the location of it.

The positioning of restaurant seating canopies is undoubtedly one of the prime factors in their overall success, as it directly impacts how appealing your canopy looks. For instance, putting it in the darkest, dingiest part of your garden won’t make it shine. Hiding it away wouldn’t do it justice either.

Unless you’ve invested in several restaurant seating canopies, or have installed thousands of them like we have, it can be difficult to know the best place to position them to get the wow factor.

Fortunately, this is something that we’re only too happy to advise you on, as we want you to get the best possible return on your investment. In the meantime, here’s some insight and inspiration based on some of the wonderful things we’ve done for some of our hospitality clients:

LOCATIONS 1 & 2: Terrace


The owners of the hugely popular Yellow Broom restaurant in Cheshire wanted to make more of their front terrace.

After installing one of our Cantabria canopies, the go-to venue now has a dedicated reception area that’s used for special events and to provide additional seating when the restaurant gets really packed in the summer.

Read the full case study


Transforming terraces into additional seating areas is really popular and the Yellow Broom isn’t the only hospitality customer to have gone down this route. The Garrack Hotel & Restaurant in St Ives, also did something similar to their outdoor terrace.

They got in touch with us before they felt that their terrace area, which was next to their leisure complex, wasn’t being used enough by guests, which was a real shame as it offers spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean.

After installing our Cantabria canopy system, The Garrack has turned their terrace into a venue in its own right. It’s used to host receptions and wedding parties and is hugely popular within the local community.

Read the full case study

LOCATION 3: Outdoor balcony


Alec’s Bar & Grill in Essex is always full to capacity, so the owner contacted us to see if we could help him to create some more space so that he could seat more customers.

The restaurant had an outdoor balcony, which was used as a smoking area and by guests to get some fresh air. It’s now been transformed into a trendy al fresco dining hot spot.

Read the full case study

Terraces and outdoor balconies aren’t the only places where outdoor canopies are popping up within the hospitality sector, but they are a hugely popular starting point.

For more location inspiration or to discuss your outdoor canopy requirements with us, contact us on 01254 777 002 or email karen@canopiesuk.co.uk. In the meantime, for more best practice advice, check out our ebook, ’10 benefits of installing an outdoor canopy for restaurant owners.’

Outdoor canopies – why bother?

When you’re on holiday abroad, you often see lots of outdoor canopies, providing much-needed shelter and shade from the sun, but is there much use for them here in the UK?


At the time of writing this post, the UK was experiencing the longest heatwave it’s had for a long time, with June reportedly being the driest ever on record. As great as the sweltering temperatures may be, we all know that there are more windy, rainy, cloudy and cold months in Great Britain than sunny ones (sorry, but it’s true).

So, there’s little point in having outdoor canopies in this climate, we hear you say. If only that were true. The benefits of installing outdoor canopies both in the UK and abroad are widespread, here are five of them:

1. Bring the outdoors, indoors

If you work in the hospitality sector, then it’s great for business when the sun shines. People are more inclined to pop out for a bite to eat or a drink outside. But when you’re in autumn/winter, your outdoor space becomes a no-go zone.

Having an outdoor canopy means that you can instantly transform your outdoor space into indoor space that can be used in all seasons, not just for several weeks of the year. And the principle doesn’t just apply to restaurants, bars, hotels or B&Bs either, if you’re a business that wants to put your outdoor space to use all-year round, then an outdoor canopy’s just what you need.


2. Enhance children’s learning

We all know that there are many benefits to being out in the great outdoors. It’s great for your health and wellbeing, as it can boost your mood and help reduce stress levels.

It can also help aid children’s learning too. We’re not saying that you need to take your pupils to the woods for their lessons, but creating an outdoor learning environment that’s bright, airy, spacious and full of natural sunlight, is far more engaging than being stuck inside in a standard classroom.

We’ve got lots of customers that are schools, colleges and nurseries that have done just that and are reaping the benefits of it too. Here’s one of them, Bradley Primary School in Lancashire.

3. Serve more people

As well as enabling pub, bar, restaurant and hotel owners to open their space to customers in all seasons, outdoor canopies can provide them with an incredibly valuable on-going source of additional income.

By installing an outdoor canopy, they can extend their space quickly and easily and, if it’s dining space, then this means they can effectively seat more people. Take our hugely-popular Cantabria canopy, for instance.

Available in any length and ranging in projections of up to 10 metres for single units and 20 metres for twin units, a new Cantabria canopy can create up to 184 additional weekly covers, generating up to £7,000 a week. Intrigued? Take a look at one of our Cantabria installations in action.


4. Protect yourself – in every kind of weather

So, you know how we mentioned at the start of this post how the UK weather is a real mixed bag? Well, that’s what’s so great about outdoor canopies. Yes, many people may associate them with sunshine, but they can provide much-needed protection in all different types of weather.

When closed, our Cantabria offers 100 per cent protection in wind speeds of up to 60km/h. While in the finer months, the glass sides can be retracted, and come the cooler, wetter or more changeable weather, can be partially or fully closed. What’s more, integrated guttering, waterproof roof, lighting and heating, make it even more effective against the elements.

And when it’s sunny, all of our Connekt canopies offer protection from the sun’s harmful rays, thanks to the fact they’re coated with Melinex gel, which allows natural light through and filters UV light.

5. Add style and value to your home

Outdoor canopies aren’t just for businesses you know. If you’re a homeowner who’s looking to make more of your outdoor space in the summer or protect your patio and garden when the weather turns grim, outdoor canopies can do both of these things and more.

Our bespoke garden canopy and awning systems are designed to maximise your property’s outdoor space, enabling you to entertain guests and relax outside come rain or shine. For more details on the benefits of owning a patio canopy, check out our blog.

There are all sorts of reasons to invest in an outdoor canopy, not just the five we’ve listed above. For more reasons or to discuss your requirements with us, contact us today on 01254 777 002 or email karen@canopiesuk.co.uk.  For advice on getting the best results from your canopy investment, check out our special report.


*Based on £40 per cover = £7,360.

** Based on Friday and Saturday, 2 sittings per day.


[Infographic] What our ten-year guarantees mean for our customers

As the UK’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of outdoor canopies, all our outdoor canopy solutions are built to stand the test of time. As such, we’re proud to be able to offer ten-year product, labour and installation guarantees for most of our products.*

Find out more about our guarantees and what they mean for our customers, in the below infographic:



How we helped Accrington Stanley create a fan zone that’s in a league of its own

Lancashire-based football club, Accrington Stanley, currently play in League One of the English football league system.

With roots spanning as far back as the 1890s, the club is recognised as being one of the oldest names in football.

But for all of its historical connections, the club’s continued to move with the times, an ethos that’s epitomised by its most recent redevelopment programme, which involved creating a European-style fan zone.

The project saw almost every element of the club’s grounds being transformed and a new 1,500 capacity all-seater stand being built. A new pitch was also laid and new fencing and walls installed to generate space for additional perimeter advertising boards.

The club wanted spectators to be able to enjoy the fan zone, regardless of what the weather’s doing, so they called on us to turn the open space into a sheltered space.


What exactly did we do?

We installed two of our ground-mounted Connekt umbrella-style canopies for several reasons, which included the fact they’re large enough to cover the area within the fan zone. They each span five meters, making them the perfect size to adequately cover the 25m2 floor space.

We then used our bespoke colour matching service to truly customise the canopies. Alternating colours of red and white were used on the roof support beams to create an eye-catching and tailored canopy installation that exactly matched the club’s traditional strip.


We had to work fast!

We love a challenge and we always rise to them and this project shows just how great we are at it. When the club contacted us, they wanted their canopies to be installed before the football season started again, which was just four weeks away!

Being the industry leaders that we are, we turned what would usually take around eight weeks, around in half the time and still maintained our high standards.

Our team pulled together to provide a set of football stand canopies that score on so many different levels and have provided Accrington Stanley, and their fans, with the right result.

Here’s what David Burgess, the club’s MD, had to say about our work: “Canopies UK provided us with two umbrella canopies that were painted in our club colours.

“The service we received from them was first-class, from the drawing stage, right through to the assembly and fitting of the canopies, which are a major feature within our fan zone.”

For more information or if you have a similar project you’d like our help with, contact us on 01254 777 002 or email karen@canopiesuk.co.uk. In the meantime, learn more about our sport spectator canopies capabilities and the benefits of installing them.

Why we offer a ten-year guarantee and what it means for our customers

Lots of great things can take place in ten years – it’s believed ‘genius of geniuses’, Mozart, worked for a decade before producing something that became popular.

It took ten years to complete the Colosseum in Rome…

…and it’s widely reported that it takes successful people ten years to succeed at what they’re doing.

Ten years is a pivotal timeframe. It’s also how long the product, labour and installation guarantees last for most of our outdoor canopies.*


As the UK’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of canopies, we make sure our products are delivered to the highest standard and built to withstand the test of time

We’re exceptionally proud of our outdoor canopy systems and are uniquely positioned to offer such extensive guarantees, that cover the manufacturing and installation work that’s carried out by our highly-experienced installation team, as well as our products.

We continuously refine our canopies with the highest quality materials and put them through the most rigorous standard checks to make sure they’re built to last. It’s something that we’ve done for the last 25 years.

This enables us to make sure our work is in line with the very latest building regulations and industry requirements. We also keep a close eye on making sure our processes and procedures are backed up by the relevant accreditations too. (You’ll find more details about our current list of accreditations and what they all mean here).

It’s this attention to detail and calibre of craftsmanship that enables us to provide our customers with such an extensive product, labour and installation guarantee. Such is our attention to detail, the occasions when we’ve been called back have been few and far between. But regardless of whether or not you do need to call on us, you’ve got ten years’ peace of mind that you can count on us to help with any product, labour or installation issues, should they ever crop up.

We’re constantly working hard behind-the-scenes to make sure our outdoor canopy solutions are as exceptional as they possibly can be – and this involves continuing to push the design and build boundaries, set new standards, lead the field and meet our customers’ requirements.

A lot can happen in ten years. Things come, things go and changes can happen. But with our guarantees, you can be sure that your canopy stays as it should.

For more information about any of our guarantees or to discuss your outdoor canopy requirements with us, contact us on 01254 777 002 or karen@canopiesuk.co.uk.


* We offer a ten-year product guarantee for our popular Connekt, Italia, Olympus and door canopies and a five-year product guarantee for our Cantabria.


The Canopies UK journey – where we are now and where we’re heading

Jason-EastwoodToday, we’re widely renowned as being the country’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of high quality canopies.

Like all companies, there was a starting point, and for us, ours (believe it or not) began with a flyer. In this Q&A blog, Managing Director, Jason Eastwood, talks us through Canopies UK’s roots, future vision, and explains how that all-important flyer comes into the equation.

Q. How did Canopies UK start?

A. Canopies the company was formed in February 1990. My dad, Russell Eastwood, started the business.

Back then, he’d sold his business and was helping my uncle out at his conservatory business when a flyer dropped through the door, advertising what we now call our Connekt outdoor canopy. Dad liked the product so much, that he bought the company and formed Canopies.


Q. What did you do before Canopies UK?

A. I joined Canopies UK in June 1996, having spent 18 months working for Moores Furniture Group in the South East of England.

I wanted to relocate to the north of England and was considering travelling abroad for a few months, so my mum asked dad to give me a job! It was at this point that I joined the company – I was put in charge of Commercial Sales, which had just been formed, and things just took off.

Q. Where were you based in the beginning?

A. At the start, it was pretty much just my dad with a few sales personnel, but the company grew quickly. We were initially based at my uncle’s conservatory business and stayed there for many years, as we’d converted the upstairs of a mill there. We’ve always been based in Darwen.


Q. How has Canopies UK developed over the years?

A. We started off just focusing on homeowners and complementing our own sales team with a network of distributors, who covered the South East.

These days, we cover more of the country directly ourselves, but we still have a similar model in place for our Home & Garden side of the business. We did briefly get involved in exporting to countries, such as South Africa, Holland and the Middle East.

However, our two biggest areas of the business are undoubtedly Refurb & New Build, as well as the commercial side, which is heavily involved in providing outdoor canopies and shelters to the Education and Hospitality sectors.

cantabria-canopy outdoor-play-canopy

Q. What’s been pivotal to Canopies UK’s success?

A. Quite simply, it’s our employees. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have employees, who have been with us for large parts of the journey and although to some degree, we were a family business, we all work so well together, that we are just like one big family.

We also have a set of core values that we live by every day. This enables us to provide excellent customer service and an overall offering that sets us apart from the competition, which has become increasingly fierce over the years.

Q. What’s your vision for the future?

A. Our vision remains the same – for every property in the UK to have one of our products.

Q. How do you intend to achieve this vision?

A. By continuing to live by our values organisation-wide, which range from remembering that customers deserve more than they expect and celebrating and acknowledging our achievements, to working as one team and always keeping the promises we make.

Would you like to find out more about our market-leading outdoor canopies? Why not visit our case studies page where you can take a look at some of the canopies we’ve previously installed in locations across the country. 

How we served up a large helping of additional space at Winstanley College


Winstanley College is an award-winning sixth form college in Wigan with titles, including Sixth Form College of the Year to its name.

Catering at the college is provided by an external provider, Caterlink, who provides schools, colleges and universities across the UK with a range of catering services.

When we first spoke to Caterlink, they’d just won the catering contract and needed help with a practical challenge – how they could cater for more students when space within the dining hall was limited.


We’re used to working with colleges and helping them create more space

We’ve worked with countless colleges, schools and nurseries across the country, helping them to solve space-specific issues just like this one. So, when Caterlink told us about their predicament, we knew immediately how to help them.

Our Cantabria outdoor canopy, which is hugely popular within the education and hospitality sector, was the ideal solution because it:


  1. Ticked all of the boxes within Caterlink’s brief – we can tailor our Cantabria so that it meets customers’ specific requirements.
  2. Could easily double up as a multi-purpose room – that students can use during their free periods all-year round, which was the college’s main requirement.


As with all of our installations, we carried out this one efficiently and within the required deadline, despite the fact the site area had an extreme drop in the ground. We were able to overcome this by digging up and levelling off the ground before laying a concrete foundation that provided us with a smooth and even platform to work with.

As a result of getting in touch with us, Caterlink are now serving more students and the students have a light, bright area where they can study, regardless of what the weather’s doing. They can sit with the sun shining down on them and on greyer, wintry days, they can still use the area because the roof of the Cantabria can be closed at the touch of a button.

What’s more, if the mercury really does start to rise, the Cantabria protects students from the sun’s harmful rays.

Then there’s the sliding glass screens. They can be easily opened and closed, depending on the weather, while LED lighting and electric heating mean the space can used when it’s light or dark, or if it’s cold outside.



Both Caterlink and the college are over the moon with what we’ve achieved for them

In fact, the Cantabria has become such a much-loved feature, that it’s now referred to as the Garden Room and used for a wide range of events, such as parents’ evenings.

Conor Edwards, Director of Finance & Resources, said: “Our Cantabria canopy provides us with an outdoor dining area and a student space that’s used regularly by many of our students in all weathers.

“In the winter, it’s still warm enough to use, as the glass sides keep out the cold, and in the summer, the roof and the walls can be opened back to let in the fresh air and sunshine.”

That’s essentially two extremely happy customers, who now have an outdoor canopy solution that ticks their two main boxes.


If you’d like to find out more about the ins and outs of this installation or would like to create some extra dining and/or study space at your nursery, school, college or academy, get in touch with us today on 01254 777 002 or email karen@canopiesuk.co.uk.