More than sixty streets of downtown Westminster, which includes the London entertainment district, Soho, are being redesigned so that restaurant tables can occupy the sidewalks. More than 500 newly designed car-free street places have been created in the Chelsea area where you will not only be able to eat and drink, but have fun as well.
The Manchester administration decided that the city would waive the fee for outdoor tables and chairs and allow certain areas for pedestrian traffic to support restaurants as well. Birmingham also wants temporary roadblocks and extensions of sidewalks to help restore restaurants and bars.
Relief is needed because many owners have indicated that they will not be able to profitably reopen the account next month.
In the UK there are over 41,000 restaurants with gardens, terraces, parking lots or other areas where you can receive guests outdoors. According to a study by CGA data analyst and consultancy AlixPartners, this accounts for less than half of all UK restaurants. The study also reveals that despite their potential, they are likely to open far fewer due to space restrictions and the additional costs of outdoor hospitality.
Business varies by location and type: 80% of bars have gardens, while only 12% of stylish restaurants have terraces.
The co-owner of D & D, a company that operates forty restaurants, told The Guardian that half of their outdoor seats had already been booked during the first six weeks after opening, but that wouldn’t be sufficient for the profitable operation yet. The Pizza Express chain expects to be able to make a third of its seats suitable for outdoor hospitality. Wagamama, which has 72 restaurants, will reopen in April with half its seats. Oakman Inns opens all 38 park districts. “We are optimistic that most of our seats will be profitable or that we will lose at least less money than we are losing now,” the company’s CEO hopes.
Many pubs and bars are expected to be stricter, with the Lounge Bar group reopening less than ten percent of its 170 seats, while the Young Pop group said it would keep restrictions on allowing only two families or six people to meet Opening fresco is nothing more than a “desperate attempt.”
(Cover photo: An empty street in central London on February 24, 2021. Photo: Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images)