Hospitality Sector Boosted By Rise in Footfall From Bespoke Awnings

When lockdown restrictions eased and businesses were able to open their doors again, most business owners were able to bounce back in 2021 from issues caused by the pandemic.

In the summer months, outdoor spaces are sought after to host the gatherings patrons had been missing. Now as winter is upon us, restaurant, cafe, hotel and bar owners are looking for ways to keep their businesses on an upward trajectory and provide comfortable spaces where customers can socialise. 

The goal for many business owners will be to find new ways to make the most of their space, either by improving the layout, finding new ways to arrange seated areas or by adding appropriate shelter outside. In winter weather, as customers look for cosy, welcoming shopping and dining experiences, this will not be without its challenges.

Oudoor Areas a Must For UK Patrons

Outdoor dining and drinking lend themselves particularly well to summer weather. From rooftop bars to alfresco restaurants, when warmer temperatures arrive, patrons flock to their favourite locations to eat and drink. In March last year, new government rules allowed eating and drinking venues to put up temporary structures outside, such as gazebos, without having to apply for planning permission. Pavement licenses were granted and businesses were able to fast-track applications to ensure their business could stay profitable during difficult pandemic times, and the majority of licences will continue until the 20th of September this year. 

In some areas, streets were closed down so venues could place tables and chairs out onto the roads to create additional space for patrons. It was game-changing for many businesses. When this became commonplace, we enjoyed a long summer of outdoor leisure — but this was just a temporary measure. 

Now with temperatures dropping and snow projected to arrive this month, we are seeing the full effects of the shift from outdoor to indoor entertainment.

Markilux Pergola awning installed at NineB Restaurant & Bar, Novotel Leicester

The Challenge Facing Business Owners

Now, owners are looking for ways to please patrons and find ways to use the space they have as efficiently as possible. During the Christmas period they may have seen an uptick in visits, but after that, as we enter chilly January, they need to find ways to create permanent spaces for patrons to eat, drink and also feel safe. 

What has worked well in previous months are temporary gazebos and summer umbrellas that could be propped up to offer respite from the sun. However, with rain, strong wind, and freezing temperatures on their way, it’s a very different story. 

Catering to customers that might have outdoor space as a preference, if they would rather maintain distance from others, and to make the most of all available space in and around the premises will be crucial to welcome in customers at thge start of the year. Customers will have high expectations and might be disappointed if they cannot get what they want at one location. This will prove to be the biggest challenge for restaurant, cafe, hotel and bar owners as the season begins to change. 

Bubble tents and outdoor pods, with 360-degree views, are a modern and fashionable option that give customers an exciting dining experience, but they take up a lot of space and are poorly ventilated, meaning that condensation quickly fogs up the inside of the structures

In order to maintain business, and continue with a steady stream of customers, they need to find a suitable solution that’s right for the spaces they have available.

Generate Extra Revenue With Commercial Awnings

Using the Roché calculator, businesses can calculate where they are missing out on crucial business by not having outdoor shelter in place and factor this into their plans for 2022. The Roché calculator helps business owners calculate their capacity, based on 1.5m squared per person, so they know exactly how much a commercial awning could generate in terms of revenue. Try out the calculator for your business here.

Revenue Calculator

Find out how much extra revenue your business could generate from a commercial awning.


For businesses looking to extend their outdoor dining season, the good news is that there are still willing patrons, keen to be seated outside in an enclosed and heated area. With the right awning provider, owners can make drastic improvements to outdoor spaces, by creating a greater area of shelter, and adding aesthetic appeal. At Roché we saw an 82% increase in awnings provided to the hospitality industry year on year, which is a testament to the benefits outdoor shading can offer businesses.

Roché offers an extensive range of quality awnings from leading German brands Weinor and Markilux. These retractable wall-mounted, freestanding and combination designs can help to protect patrons from the elements, maintain the temperature inside your shop or increase usable business space. 

Using only the very highest quality UV protected, water and fade-resistant fabrics Markilux and Weinor awnings will last for many years, making them a great investment for your business. 

“We have two patio awnings installed by Roché to cover the pub’s beer garden. Weather can discourage people from eating outdoors – the awnings mean they have somewhere to retreat to and gives us more space to spread out tables and chairs which has been important during the pandemic.”

Simon Watkin, Junction Bar in Chesterfield

Roche’s awnings offer excellent ventilation with perforated fabrics and vertical solutions that can help control temperature and lighting. Each awning is made to measure and fully customisable, with hundreds of colours and frame choices, so you’ll be able to find a solution that perfectly suits the needs of you and your customers. 

If you want to find out more about the Roché calculator or speak to a member of the team about an awning solution for your business, get in touch.