Create a stunning winter dining destination

Posted on | Posted in Hospitality

Create a stunning winter dining destination – ideas and inspiration

The winter months are upon us, but it doesn’t mean you have to pack away your outside seating or stop serving customers outdoors. Outdoor dining has been a huge part of eating and drinking since reopening from the pandemic, and it will continue to be as people meet and socialise safely.

Despite our cold winters and unpredictable weather, the UK loves alfresco dining and terrace drinking as much as our European neighbours. The only difference is, hotels, restaurants, and bars have to get creative in making outdoor areas appealing in cooler temperatures.

We help hospitality venues make something of their outdoor space to serve more customers in every season. See our ideas for an enviable winter dining destination that pulls in the crowds.

Terrace canopy evening Sabine

1. Cosy covered space

Outdoor canopies create an extra function and dining room for your venue. With enclosed and retractable roofs and sides, outdoor canopies are as versatile as they are watertight and windproof.

We installed this outdoor canopy for the Savage Garden, by the Hilton Doubletree. In winter, they make the most of it by hosting events and turning it into a winter wonderland where guests can enjoy festive drinks and showstopping views.

Sora sky bar rooftop canopy dusk

2. Shelter and heating

Another option is providing shelter and heating. With lighting, electric heaters, coats, and blankets, there’s no reason diners can’t enjoy a wintry alfresco meal. Many customers enjoy sitting outdoors for the atmosphere. With some simple home comforts in place, there’s no reason colder temperatures should stop diners enjoying your outdoor terrace all year round.


3. Festive events

Getting into the spirit of events and celebrations is a great way to bring people to your venue and increase the profits from your outdoor space. Bonfire night, Halloween, and the run up to Christmas provide plenty of opportunities for you to run themed events outdoors.

Events are a great way to reach customers who may not have visited before or encourage lapsed customers to return. Families and groups of friends are often looking for fun things to do, why not make your outdoor dining space the main event?


4. Winter decorations

The appeal of a space is the difference between people using it or walking on by. With a small amount of décor, lighting, and details like blankets to use, your outdoor terrace becomes and winter destination. You could even set up an outdoor bar to provide a focal point and make it easier for those sitting outside to order drinks.


5. Winter parties

The winter months are when party season gets in full swing. If you don’t have much private space inside, make use of outside. With the right shelter, lighting, and heating, your outdoor area could become a festive winter grotto perfect for holding Christmas gatherings and drinks parties.


6. Stalls and stands

Setting up outdoor food and drink stalls is a great way to gather people outside your venue. Crowds of people visit Christmas markets each year, happy to drink and eat outside. Your terrace or beer garden is no different. Entice people with something different to your usual menu and make sure you advertise it online to get people talking about it.


7. Entertainment

Hosting music, comedy, and other performances don’t need to be limited to indoors. A disused terrace or seating deck is the ideal location for an entertainment night. It frees up space for indoor diners and doubles up your profits for the evening.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue profiting from your outdoor dining space throughout winter. With some creativity, you can create a winter dining destination that pulls in the crowds and gets people coming back for more.

Are you a bar or restaurant owner or manager looking to extend your space to seat more covers? Talk to us about our outdoor dining canopies and what’s possible.