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‘Al Fresco Pubs’: Creating the Perfect Pub Beer Garden Experience

Posted on July 28, 2020 at 12:38 pm

As part of the government’s support for pubs, cafes and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions on outdoor eating and drinking have been eased. The move has been hailed as a vital step in the “road to recovery” for the hospitality industry – and the ‘al fresco pub’ concept is set to become a popular phenomenon across the UK over the coming months.

This Gazeboshop guide explains how to create the perfect pub beer garden experience for your customers this summer. Starting with safety considerations around COVID-19, social distancing and keeping surfaces clean, we’ll then explore ideas for creating the right pub beer garden atmosphere and ensuring that standards of service are maintained!

How to create the perfect pub beer garden experience

Beer gardens will play a pivotal role in helping the hospitality industry to survive this summer, so getting the al fresco pub experience right is important. When brainstorming beer garden ideas, the main areas to focus on are safety, atmosphere and service.

1. Protect the safety of staff and customers

As a pub owner opening an outdoor beer garden, the safety of staff and customers should be your top priority. The main priority in this respect is social distancing: the new one-metre-plus rule means tables and seating areas need to be separated as much as possible, leaving at least enough room for guests or waiters to walk between tables without coming too close.

Disinfecting surfaces thoroughly and often is another important step. For areas that will be touched by lots of customers each day (such as door handles and tabletops), you should use some form of anti-viral surface cleaner on a regular basis throughout the day. Whilst you should always keep glasses, plates and cutlery completely clean under normal conditions anyway, this is now especially crucial to stay on top of.

2. Create the right pub beer garden atmosphere

Once you’ve guaranteed that visitors can enjoy your pub beer garden safely, it’s time to think about how you’re going to create the right atmosphere. When creating a new outdoor space, try to replicate the feel that you’ve gone for indoors. Existing customers who know and love your pub will expect to return to a similar venue to the one they remember, so give them what they want.

The way you decorate your beer garden should reinforce the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Add some vibrancy and life to the space using hanging baskets and other plants. Think about furniture as well: worn-out old beer garden benches are unlikely to draw a lot of customers in, so consider upgrading to something more modern and trendy.

Set of outdoor tables and chairs in a beer garden


Equally, the weather will influence the atmosphere in your pub garden to a significant extent. Be prepared for particularly rainy or sunny days by making covered areas with seating and tables: our pop up gazebos are a perfect solution for this, with a range of different colours available to suit the style of your venue and the option to print them with your own branding. Check out our hospitality gazebos for pubs and restaurants!

3. Provide excellent table service

As we’ve heard from our clients since the al fresco pub trend began, it can be difficult to maintain the same high standards of service when serving large numbers of tables outdoors. Try reducing the number of tables that each waiter is responsible for; you can also help to keep everyone happy by ensuring that every customer can be seen by their waiter (a simple step that’s often overlooked in pub beer gardens). Overall, devising and sticking to an organised table service system will help to keep your customers safe and satisfied, making for the perfect al fresco pub experience.

With al fresco pubs becoming more popular throughout the UK, this post has provided some top tips for creating the perfect pub beer garden experience. If you have any further questions or would like to hear more about how our gazebos could benefit your venue, don’t hesitate to get in touch.