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Inside outside, which one wins post Covid ? With the hospitality industry scaling up, how will people react ?

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Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

21st June 2021

4 min Read

There have been so many people who’ve said they’ve needed to dress up to cope with outdoor dining due to Covid restrictions. A fleece, a softshell, more layers, plus of course a bobble hat or cap - whatever it takes to endure and preferably enjoy being outdoors for any length of time to eat, or drink and be merry with six people outdoors.

Now though , as restrictions are lifted, what will we all do ? So many hospitality venues have adapted to outdoor dining. They’ve invested in big tents, often bespoke, and bought to fit the location. One publican commented he’d be keeping his tent up throughout the summer as it had proved so popular.

Given the choice, which of course, people have once restrictions are totally lifted, will that choice mean a return to hospitality indoors in numbers?

The trials in Liverpool where indoor concerts have proved popular in the run up to the opening of restrictions, show group gatherings in numbers is going to be the way ahead for the young.Similarly many have postponed their nuptials in order to be able to have more than 30 present.

Generally speaking hospitality venues have had to be flexible. As has the catering industry in general. But will they be able to adapt to people’s preferences as it’s now a widespread problem for those running restaurants & pubs to get enough staff to accommodate the new numbers needing trade indoors?

For many during lockdown, the idea of working long hours, weekends and bank holidays is so antisocial that it no longer appeals . Retraining is a possibility and some landlords are struggling to recruit enough staff, especially in remote areas. Pubs featured in CAMRA, notable for good ales, or with a good reputation for food need to put their best foot forward.

So once you get the opportunity to eat indoors in greater numbers and can at last have that longed for sizeable family reunion , will you be able to swap the fleece and celebrate with a personalised tshirt during the Summer as many of us have got used to eating outdoors in colder weather ? Given that many pubs and restaurants have now secured their gazebos and will be offering an option, will there be a rush for the indoors at the expense of outdoor dining ?

When restrictions lifted on May 17th there was a rush to eat outdoors and parks, public gardens & the National Trust all reported increased throughput. Remember the problem UK beaches were having when they were inundated last Summer & yet the facilities were still shut.

There will be no doubt a novelty factor that will draw crowds indoors initially so that whatever it is, be it a club, sport, pub, restaurant, concert venue - it will be attractive.

Given it’s the Summer though, there is the added attraction of being outdoors. There’s a renewed value to being outdoors since the pandemic. People maybe appreciate fresh airand what it can offer. So as long as the weather holds, the prediction could be the outdoors will retain its appeal - but as soon as the layers are once more needed as the Autumn/Winter season approaches or the rain comes prematurely in August, then the attraction of the indoors will once again really come into its own.

author thumbnail

Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

As a former ITV Features Editor Cathy is used to coming up with ideas on all manner of subjects and making them viewer friendly! She divides her time between all things TShirt Studio and making films for production company visiononcomms.com

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