The move by the Government to make pavement licences permanent presents an opportunity for the hard-pressed hospitality industry.

The Government announced the move in this week’s Queen’s Speech as part of the Regeneration Bill.

The move could be a major boost for the industry as summer approaches with everyone hoping for the kind of weather that attracts people to sit outside and spend their money.

Areas where the hospitality industry can benefit

Table service
With table service becoming the norm during the pandemic, many patrons have developed a taste for having their refreshments brought to them, rather than jostling for the attention of bar staff.

Ordering by app
While table service is not something we are used to in the UK. ordering by app is likely to stay, particularly in venues that serve food.

No more tip jars
The pandemic has accelerated the move to a cash-free society, raising concerns about hospitality staff who rely on that little extra. But adding to a bill sometimes delivers more generous tips.

Making the most of your customer base

  • Let your customers know through SMS, and social media that your business is hosting special events.
  • When doing this, make sure branding is visible on all messages to promote your venue.
  • Allow tables to be booked outside, giving a more exclusive feel, particularly in garden areas.
  • Sporting occasions are an excellent way to attract customers, so venues can be decorated with bunting or props, like footballs, tennis rackets and cricket bats to create an inclusive atmosphere.
  • With the Commonwealth Games next month attracting thousands to the country, creating the right ambience will help attract them to watch the action on inside and outside TVs.
  • Provide the kind of music, like live bands, that has previously attracted customers, but can now entertain wider audiences outside.
  • Cocktails, barbecues and seasonal food prepared in the correct way will also attract customers. According to research from Britvic, cocktails are worth £300 million to the sector with 7.4 million customers enjoying their favourite tipple.

Temporary licences first came into force during the COVID-19 pandemic as an emergency measure that enabled restaurants bars and cafes to stay open safely outside.

In March, leading trade body UKHospitality said making pavement licences permanent will help the Covid-ravaged hospitality sector make a faster post-pandemic recovery.

It said outdoor drinking and dining areas have become hugely popular over the past two years, in some cases ensuring the survival of those hospitality businesses unable to serve customers indoors due to coronavirus restrictions.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pavement licences have been a really positive success story, and in many cases have enabled businesses to remain open, when otherwise they would have had to close or restrict their opening hours, threatening thousands of jobs.”

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