Maximising Outdoor Spaces for Thriving Catering, Leisure, & Licenced Trade Businesses


Outdoor spaces offer businesses in the catering, leisure, and licenced trade industry a unique opportunity to attract more customers, enhance their experience, and ultimately drive revenue. Maximising the potential of these spaces, however, requires creativity, effective planning, and a keen understanding of customer preferences. In an increasingly competitive market, outdoor areas that are well-designed, comfortable, and functional can significantly impact an establishment’s bottom line.

At ABM Catering for Leisure, we are committed to providing comprehensive design, specification, supply, and installation services tailor-made for catering, leisure, and licenced trade businesses. Our expertise extends to creating outstanding outdoor spaces that complement existing interiors and maximise your establishment’s potential. From bespoke pieces made in our in-house workshop to weather-resistant contract furniture, our range of services guarantee that your outdoor area will meet the highest standards of quality, durability, and visual appeal. So, let’s delve into the strategies crucial for successfully unlocking the potential of your outdoor spaces to drive satisfaction, growth, and profitability.

Creating an Inviting and Functional Layout

The layout of your outdoor space should prioritise both customer appeal and functionality. Thoughtful planning and layout considerations will ensure that your outdoor area is both attractive and practical. To achieve this, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Traffic Flow: Design pathways and seating arrangements in a way that promotes easy navigation and prevents overcrowding. Consider inclusivity by ensuring that walkways are accessible for all, including those with disabilities or families with pushchairs.

2. Zones: Divide your outdoor space into distinct zones to cater to varied customer preferences. Create areas tailored to outdoor dining, lounging, and socialising to entice different demographics and accommodate diverse needs.

3. Greenery: Incorporate greenery and landscaping to enhance visual appeal and create a pleasant atmosphere. Various plants, shrubs, and even vertical gardens can contribute to an inviting and relaxing natural environment.

Selecting the Right Outdoor Furniture

Choosing the appropriate outdoor furniture is paramount to enhancing customer experience and ensuring durability in various weather conditions. Keep these factors in mind when selecting outdoor furnishings:

1. Material: Opt for weather-resistant materials such as aluminium, powder-coated steel, teak, and synthetic wicker to withstand the elements and maintain their appearance over time.

2. Style: Complement your establishment’s overall aesthetic with outdoor furniture that reflects your brand identity. Maintain cohesion in your design by selecting furniture styles that match or seamlessly blend with your indoor decor.

3. Comfort: Comfort is crucial when it comes to furniture – especially outdoors. Cushioned seats, adjustable backrests, and ergonomic designs will encourage customers to linger and enjoy their time at your establishment.

Weatherproofing Your Outdoor Space

To maximise the use of your outdoor area throughout the year, it is vital to implement effective weatherproofing solutions. These can range from temporary to permanent structures and should be tailored to your establishment’s specific needs:

1. Retractable Awnings: Install retractable awnings or shade sails to provide sun protection during the warmer months and shelter against light rain. These can be easily adjusted according to varying weather conditions, providing flexibility and convenience.

2. Patio Heaters: Incorporate patio heaters or outdoor fireplaces to create a cosy atmosphere and extend the usability of your outdoor area during colder months. This will enable customers to continue enjoying your outdoor offering even in chillier weather.

3. Enclosed Structures: Consider investing in enclosed structures, such as pergolas, gazebos, or glass verandas. These offer a more permanent solution for weatherproofing and create defined spaces within your outdoor area, allowing customers to enjoy the outdoor space regardless of the weather conditions.

Incorporating Additional Features for Enhanced Ambience

To further elevate the appeal of your outdoor space, consider incorporating elements that boost ambiance and create memorable experiences:

1. Lighting: Enhance the atmosphere of your outdoor area with diverse and strategically placed lighting solutions. Fairy lights, lanterns, and LED fixtures can be used to create varying moods and highlight key areas of interest.

2. Entertainment: Enrich your customers’ experience by offering entertainment options, such as live music performances, outdoor cinema screenings, or even pool tables and game zones. These elements can help attract a broader audience and encourage repeat visits.

3. Water Features: Create a soothing ambiance by incorporating water features, such as fountains, ponds, or water walls. These additions can mask external noises and foster a tranquil environment for customers to relax and unwind.

Partnering with ABM Catering for Leisure

Collaborating with a trusted partner like ABM Catering for Leisure ensures expert guidance, bespoke solutions, and access to a range of services tailored to maximising the potential of your outdoor space. Our comprehensive offerings encompass all aspects of design, specification, supply, and installation for catering equipment, bar fixtures, and contract furniture, as well as our in-house workshop, which produces custom furniture and upholstery to suit your unique requirements.


To excel in the competitive catering, leisure, and licenced trade industry, maximising your outdoor spaces is a crucial element for success. With careful planning, attention to detail, and the right partner, you can transform your outdoor area into an appealing, functional, and weatherproof space that will not only attract more customers but also provide unrivalled experiences that keep them returning.

At ABM Catering for Leisure, we are dedicated to helping businesses unlock the potential of their outdoor spaces using our extensive expertise, tailored solutions, and comprehensive range of services. If you need commercial catering installations, join forces with us to create the perfect outdoor haven for your customers, contributing to your establishment’s growth, success, and long-term legacy.

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