Summer is well underway here in the UK and with the warm weather comes a country-wide favourite pastime – drinks in the beer garden. With the sun warming our skin, an ice-cold beverage and the pleasure of good company, an afternoon or summer evening at the pub is a highly sought-after experience for many.
As a pub or bar owner, however, the sudden influx of customers can be both a blessing and a curse. While you might be bringing in more money over the summer, the risks associated with opening up your beer garden to the masses can be daunting. To give you a headstart, here are our top tips for keeping your beer garden safe this, and every summer.
The right insurance policy can protect you and your pub financially in the case of damage, injury and more. If things get out of hand and damage occurs, or you find that a theft has occurred, Shop Insurance usually covers Restaurants and Bars too, offering financial support when it matters most. If you would like more information about what it covers and how it can protect your building and contents, get in touch with our team.
Offer Somewhere Shady
We might not get a lot of sun here in the UK but when we do find ourselves in the middle of a heatwave, it can be intense. Humidity is our worst enemy and sitting in the blistering sun for hours can do a number on our skin, so it’s important to make sure that you are offering plenty of opportunity for people to escape the heat. Shaded areas, including benches with umbrellas and even a pergola or two, can offer a nice, shaded spot for people to sit and enjoy their drinks, whether they just want to escape the sun for a short time or they’re more vulnerable to the effects of the heat and want to enjoy the shade for longer.
Have Extra Staff
When summer rolls around, pubs with beer gardens are known for getting busy when the sun comes out. Hiring a bartender or two seems like a no-brainer when it comes to serving more and more customers, but have you thought about hiring for other roles? When things are busy, it’s easier for underage customers to get hold of alcohol, particularly when someone else is buying rounds on their behalf, so having an extra set of eyes dedicated to watching the garden while clearing tables could save you from serious trouble. They can also help you keep on top of theft of glasses, clearing the beer garden and more.
Brush Up On Laws
The laws around owning a bar can change regularly, both nationally and locally. Local councils may introduce different rules for noise levels in certain areas, while nationally, the criteria for ID-ing people may change, or the licences you need to play music or sell alcohol can differ. It’s important to make sure that before and during the summer rush, you’re always checking in on potential changes to laws and regulations so that you are safely operating throughout your busiest times.
Pruning and Trimming
A beer garden is never complete without some greenery. Whether it’s as simple as some grass and a few plant pots, or you have a full garden filled with trees, plants and bushes, it’s important to keep on top of their care. This includes pruning and trimming back any that have become overgrown or unruly. If they’re encroaching on seating areas, it can be uncomfortable for all customers, but those with hay fever are likely to suffer even more if the garden is allowed to overgrow. Similarly, wild plants can attract an array of bugs and while some bugs are a given while outside, your customers are unlikely to want swarms of bees or flies around while they’re drinking or even eating.
Reduce Risk With Regular Checks
The risks of slips, trips or injuries can increase when you neglect the outside environment. After a long winter of being outside, garden furniture can get mouldy, brittle and damaged, and has a higher risk of breakages. Checking over furniture, flooring, and even bins and plant pots can help to catch any potential risks before they end in injury to your customers or staff.
Switch To Plastic When Things Are Busy
If you’re hosting events or are typically much busier in the evenings, it could be worth making a switch to plastic glasses and cups in the evenings. Reusable plastics help to reduce the environmental impact and will also reduce the risk of breakages when people get intoxicated. Some punters may not be happy about the switch, but safety is paramount and if you typically suffer from high breakage levels, it could be a worthwhile change.
For more information about how insurance can help to protect your business, our team are on hand to help. Simply get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on 0800 1696137.