5 top ways to welcome your customers back with comfortable, safe outdoor spaces after lockdown

Picture the scene. You’re a small business owner – perhaps you have a cafe or restaurant, or even a small company office. You have your coronavirus safety measures in place? Check. You have your interior set up with screens, visors, or other equipment necessary to keep your staff safe? Check.


But what about your outdoor spaces? Is there a garden that looks a little lacklustre, or a patio space out onto the street that you don’t know what to do with? 


Does this sound like you? Then keep reading.


Outdoor spaces are now very important real-estate – customers feel safer, have more space to socially distance, and can feel that little bit more relaxed outside than inside during the pandemic.


This article is intended for any business owners with outdoor spaces, who are looking to bring back the crowds they missed during the summer lockdown, and want to find a way to ensure their exterior is as comfortable and safe as possible for guests.

Close-up of pink flowers on a terrace with a wicker sofa and pillows in the background.

Inside Out


Outdoor seating doesn’t need to be your typical uncomfortable plastic garden chair. Setting up an L-shaped sofa in an outside corner, where your guests can chat, and have a drink or a bite to eat, is a great way to allow your guests to relax on your business premises while also limiting the space to small group sizes.


An added benefit to having outdoor corner sofas placed in various areas of your outdoor patio area is that they will act as natural dividers. This, coupled with a one-way entrance and exit system, keeps a healthy flow of people moving to and from your premises (rather than causing any congestion points, which can be a royal pain for social distancing measures). Most outdoor furniture sets are also modular, so they are easy to assemble and disassemble, and can be moved easily by your staff for all circumstances.


Top tip: Throw on a couple of removable, waterproof cushions for your outdoor furniture.

Not only will this help improve your visitors’ overall comfort, but this also means that they will be easier to clean (abiding by the new coronavirus guidelines for businesses that require frequent and thorough cleaning of your premises).

It also removes the need for having to source replacement cushions after each use.


Outdoor buffet dining table in the hotel

All You Can Seat


Speaking of outdoor seating, it’s important to think about what kind of activities your business is willing to offer outside your establishment. A restaurant is pretty self-explanatory – you’ll most likely want a mix of seating for larger or smaller parties (if you’re looking for a bit more inspiration on this topic, we have a blog post all about perfect restaurant dining layouts just for you).


But what if your business is slightly different? Say, you want a comfortable outdoor space in your office building where people can relax on their lunch break, or perhaps you run a small events space or outdoor exhibition. Then, you’ll need to think carefully about what you would need in order to make sure that visitors are as comfortable as possible. 


Would you need a couple of bar tables with high stools, or would it work better to have outdoor benches and tables? 


Would you require something hardier to face the outdoors, like a contemporary concrete outdoor furniture set, or could you get away with natural bamboo seating or even waterproof outdoor beanbags if you’re based somewhere a little more sheltered? 


These are all useful questions to ask yourself when you’re kitting out your outdoor seating area!

Colourful tables and chairs in a cafe. Yellow, blue, red colors. Outdoor European restaurant in the city

Colour Is Key


Grab your visitors’ attention with a pop of colour for some extra wow factor. The easiest way to catch their eye is through using bright colours like red, yellow or blue to stand out from the rest of the street – even using your company or brand colours to tie your design together without looking too out-of-place.


Top tip: You don’t have to break the budget for this option. While quirky, colourful polypropylene furniture is waterproof and resistant to all outdoor weather, you might consider using some outdoor furniture paint on any wooden dining chairs you have already.

Not only does this freshen up any tired-looking furniture, it will provide a more fun vibe to help entice more customers or guests to sit outside.

Black and Caucasian female friends on daybeds are sitting outdoors on the lawn and enjoying bright spring sun; two squinting girls of different races sitting on the recliners outdoor on the grass

Set Up For Sunshine… 


While the majority of summer has passed us by already, that doesn’t mean that the sunseekers have moved on! With the coronavirus confining many people inside for months on end, the warm autumn afternoons provide the perfect opportunity to soak up some rays, and catch up on that long-awaited sunbathing.


Invest in some outdoor lounge furniture, such as reclining chairs, in your exterior space (particularly if your business is lucky enough to have an outdoor lawn or pool), and some parasols to provide shade and keep out of the sunlight. 


Remember – the more comfortable your visitors are, the more likely they are to stay and use your business.

Romantic and cozy outdoor scene by a fire ring in Squaw Valley California

…AND Keep Warm


Eventually when the long nights start to creep in, you will have to get a little more clever in enticing your guests to stay and sit outside. Rather than providing blankets (which will need washing between each use according to new coronavirus guidelines), or expensive patio heaters, why not invest in a fire pit?


Not only do fire pits look dramatic and make a statement in your outdoor space, you can even choose different sizes for different events. For instance, some fire pits come with an optional grill attachment, which is perfect for catering to larger events such as business parties or even small weddings.


Top tip: For an extra flourish and to impress your guests (and be the envy of all other establishments), a fire table is the perfect mix of a fire pit with a dining table. While it may not be suitable for every business occasion, your visitors will certainly applaud your dramatic flare!

JB Commercial – How To Use Your Outdoor Business Space To Bring Your Customers In: Summer Edition

In the run-up to summer, we find ourselves in an unprecedented time (Covid-19), with your business customers not being able to drink or dine outdoors in the fine weather. Under normal circumstances, it can be tricky to entice people away from the sun to look to tackle a refurb or to attain new commercial furniture. Why should your business even try to, when you can command excellent levels of footfall, profitability AND keeping customers outdoors at your establishment. 

Whilst we are all currently on lockdown, now may be the best time to think about reorganising and refurbishing your outdoor commercial space. There’s little chance of disrupting customers, and enough time to take a step back and plan the space – ready to impress customers when lockdown is lifted and we all can’t wait to jump back into public houses, bars, cafes and restaurants again!

This article is intended for any business owners with outdoor spaces – whether it’s a trendy coffee shop, a quaint British pub with a beer garden, a nice bistro cafe or a romantic restaurant overlooking the beach – and are looking to bring in the summer crowds and keep them there.

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Top 4 Insider Quick Tips To Getting The Perfect Restaurant Dining Space

We get it. The last thing you want to do after walking into a lovely restaurant is to bump your hips (or worse) into an overly-ambitious array of crammed-in tables, chairs, and other diners. We’ve kitted out quite a few restaurants, cafes and bars over the years – from airports to gin bars to the London Savile Club, in fact – and so we come to you with the insider knowledge of tips and tricks to make your restaurant seating layout the best it can be, without the headaches.

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Spotlight on Premier Collection Luxury Contract Furniture Range

This month we are placing the spotlight on our Premier range of Luxury Contract Furniture.

The inspiration behind this collection is to celebrate the aesthetics of luxury sophisticated commercial designer furniture that has been selected for its ability to enhance elegant commercial venues.

The range includes hand crafted artisan pieces that can be individually styled in a choice of quality fabrics and finishes to perfectly complement interior spaces.

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Spring has Sprung – Getting Venues Ready for Outdoor Dining

Spring is in the air, and with the promise of longer days and warmer weather, it’s that time of year again to consider getting your venue ready for al fresco dining in the months to come.

So if your thoughts are turning to how to make your venue the ‘go to’ destination, we’ve got some practical suggestions on selecting Outdoor Furniture for your café, restaurant, bistro, bar, spa or hotel.

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Winter Inspiration – Our Best Selling Tables

If you haven’t already, you will want to create that cosy, inviting atmosphere for your pub or restaurant especially during the autumn / winter seasons. In this post we wanted to talk a little about our favourite and best selling tables that we feel will add to that cosiness with their chunky, stable designs and solid wood construction. Our two best selling table ranges, Rockingham and Hunter, bring a feeling of warmth and homeliness to any pub, cafe or restaurant.

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Commercial & Domestic Grade Furniture – What’s the difference?

Whether you’re opening up a new restaurant, renovating your cafe or giving your hotel reception area a facelift.. you are going to want to fill it with stunning furniture that will deliver the wow factor for your guests and customers. But have you found yourself wondering if it really is that important to buy commercial grade furniture? Before you make your decision, let’s consider just a few of the benefits of purchasing contract furniture in comparison to residential grade furniture.

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What to Consider When Buying Office Furniture

When creating the office space for your business, there are so many elements to consider. It’s long been recognised that the surroundings within the workplace massively impact the working productivity of your employees, not to mention setting the tone and creating company culture. So what are some important components to pay attention to when selecting the furniture for your office?

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