More than sixty streets in Westminster’s downtown, including Soho, London’s entertainment district, are being redesigned so that sidewalks can be occupied by restaurant tables. More than 500 locations have been created on the newly designed car-free streets in the Chelsea district, where you can not only eat and drink, but also have fun.
Manchester’s management has decided that the city will waive fees for outdoor tables and chairs, and support restaurants in certain areas for pedestrian traffic. Birmingham wants temporary roadblocks and sidewalk extensions to reopen restaurants and bars.
A lot of owners have pointed out that relief is needed because it will not be able to reopen profitably next month.
In the UK, more than 41,000 restaurants have gardens, terraces, car parks or other areas where guests can be found outside. According to a study by data analyst CGA and consultant Alex Partners, this is less than half of UK restaurants. The study also reveals that despite their potential, they are less likely to open due to space constraints and the additional costs of outdoor hospitality.
Businesses vary by location and type: Eighty percent of pubs have garden space, while elegant restaurants have only twelve percent terraces.
T&D, co-owner of Forty Restaurant Companies, told the Guardian that half of their outdoor seats have already been booked for the first six weeks in the open, but that may not be enough for a more profitable operation. The Pizza Express chain expects to convert one-third of its seats into outdoor hospitality. Wagamama, which has 72 restaurants, will reopen in April with half the seats. Oakman Inn opens all 38 garden areas. “We hope that most of our seats will be profitable or that we will lose at least less money than we do now,” says the company’s CEO.
Many pubs and bars expect a difficult situation, for example, the Lounge Bar Group, which reopens less than ten percent of its 170 locations, while the Young Pub Group is only allowed to meet two families or six people outside. Restrictions, This opening is nothing but a “desperate attempt”.
(Cover: Blank Street in central London on February 24, 2021. Photo: Wook Walsick / Sofa Pictures / Light Rocket / Getty Images)