Summer is now a distant memory, however, this is a really exciting time of year with lots of events coming up, including Halloween, Bonfire night and of course Christmas! So, it’s important that you make the most of your venue, as customers will be descending in their droves and if you don’t have sufficient restaurant furniture, pub furniture or the like, you could be missing out on ample revenue…
So, how can you create a cosy venue this winter as well as making use of your outdoor space? It may be edging on freezing but that doesn’t mean you outdoor space should be entirely redundant…
How to create a cosy atmosphere
A cosy atmosphere is the result of lots of different elements brought together. It’s important to think about every single element of your venue to ensure you’re enhancing your space properly:
Let's start with the lighting in your venue. In general, there are three types of lighting: Ambient lighting (the main source of light in room), Task lighting (which allows your customers and staff members to perform functions) and accent lighting which adds drama to your space.
Of course, low, warm lighting is the option for you if you’re looking for a cosy atmosphere. It can be relaxed and romantic and can encourage intimacy and customers to stay longer. What you must remember however, is that low lighting can create more intimacy, as sections of brighter light, like those over dining tables or your bar area, allow customers to feel like they’re more isolated from other guests in the room. You might also want to consider candles and fairy lighting as part of your cosy display.
Furniture & accessories
First and foremost it’s obviously important that you buy restaurant or venue furniture which suits your venue, style and brand. However, if you’re looking for an ultra-cosy setting, it’s worth thinking about vintage and rustic woods, faux and real leather seat pads, velvets and coppers. Ideally you’d want to steer away from Chrome and stark whites, but this leaves you with so many other options, you will still be spoilt for choice.
Many aluminium products which can be used both indoors and outdoors because they don’t rust are finished to look like woods, so these are fantastic are they’re extremely versatile. It’s important to also think about the seat pads of your chosen chairs and sofas, do they look comfortable from afar? Will a customer be drawn to them to want to spend their afternoon relaxing or engaging in a romantic meal for two?
Along with lighting and furniture, we mustn’t forget accessories….it’s worth thinking about beautiful ornate mirrors, framed pictures, cushions and throws. Again candles, as we mentioned before, flowers and shrubs, rugs and curtains. There’s so much available when it comes to accessorising and married perfectly together, your venue will look absolutely stunning.
The minimalistic approach can scream formal and cold, but get it right and you can still gain a warm and cosy atmosphere, taking into account colours and lighting etc. If your venue is too cluttered it can go past the point of being cosy and instead can be simply off putting to your customers. Try and get the balance between colours, artwork and accessories to ensure you’re giving off the desired impression to you customers.
Many colours lend themselves to restaurant and bar areas. Essentially, in this area, you want customers to eat and drink and thoroughly enjoy the ambiance. In a smaller restaurant area, lighter colours can be used to make a room feel bigger than it actually is and also evoke a leisurely and relaxing atmosphere. However, be warned, If you’re looking for a high turnover rate this isn’t the scheme for you.
A rustic and autumnal colour scheme including oranges, muted reds, browns and golds are all associated with warmth, joy and happiness so we closely associate them with comfort and relaxation but also stimulation and action. These colours are said to increase oxygen supply to the brain and stimulate mental activity. They can even stimulate appetite and also increase turnover rate and so are perfect for dining areas.
How to create cosy Al Fresco dining this winter
There are many items to consider when thinking about your outdoor space, especially to make it work in the autumn, winter and spring months as well as summer. As always, ensure you you’re your area first to make sure you know how much furniture you require and what items you think should go where.
There’s a lot of materials to choose from for your outdoor restaurant furniture, including aluminium, rattan, wood and plastic. All of which can give off a cosy appearance. Plastic and aluminium don’t sound the cosiest but actually the finishes nowadays can look so similar to wood, that actually they really do look fabulous for this type of ambiance. Pair with cushions and blankets, candles, flowers and fairy lights and you have yourself an absolutely wonderful and attractive outdoor setting.
As you can see, there’s so much you can do to ensure your venue has a cosy ambiance, from lighting and colour schemes, to restaurant furniture and accessories. Pair them perfectly together and you’ll make the most of this rather special time of year.