How a Retractable Outdoor Canopy Can Help Increase Your Revenue

Creating a covered outdoor space can be a great addition and a fantastic investment for any business in the hospitality sector

This is particularly the case for bars and restaurants, with research conducted by the Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG) suggesting that street or patio seating can add as much as 30% to an establishment’s profits. It will come as no surprise to anyone in the trade, that running a restaurant, pub or food pop-up can be tough. Business owners are constantly looking for ways to increase their revenue, especially in the slower winter months. Expanding your venue’s capacity is the most immediate solution, but due to planning restrictions and costs – a full-scale renovation is not always possible. So how could a retractable outdoor canopy help your commercial venue?

What are the benefits of retractable canopies?

Creating an outdoor dining or bar area can have a massive positive impact on both your customer retention and revenue. Multi-functional and visually appealing, terrace awnings increase sales by attracting customers through increased prominence and publicity, enhancing their experience whilst at your venue, as well as offering greater seating capacity throughout the year. Making the most of your space during the winter months can be tricky, but a retractable canopy that can be quickly extended (and retracted) as needed forms the perfect versatile solution.

Covered outdoor dining appeals to the fundamental social aspects of going out. It allows guests to unwind with family and friends in the fresh air, perhaps enjoying beautiful views or just relaxing in a comfortable, beautifully designed setting. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to choosing the best option for your commercial space. From street-facing retail outlets to country pubs, restaurants at public attractions, roof-top bars or city-centre cafes, there are a plethora of shapes, designs, fabrics and customisation options to suit every budget and situation.

Cover whatever the weather

Whether you have a location within a park or public space canopies will or a terrace, courtyard, garden or even small amount of space available on the street – our team of canopy experts can ensure this can be optimised to maximise profitability throughout the year. As any restaurant, pub or bar owner will know, several days of rain and bad weather can make a serious dent in your revenue. Retractable patio covers and awnings keep your outdoor spaces up and running come wind, rain, snow or shine.

Even in the height of summer, many customers might look for a shady garden. If your patio is in full sunlight, this can be just as damaging to footfall as adverse weather conditions. A fixed retractable awning provides the flexibility and extra protection needed for the UK’s ever-changing weather. Combine this with additions such as patio heaters, wall lights and heat lamps (ensuring they’re safe to use with whatever canopy you install), appropriate furniture and even additional accessories such as blankets for guests to borrow, and you’ll create a truly memorable alfresco experience.

Branding and customisation

Retractable canopies are beneficial for far more than just increasing your establishment’s footprint and capacity. They boost visibility and exposure, as well as aesthetic appeal as they are a stylish addition. How many times have you walked along the street, perhaps on holiday in a foreign city, and been drawn to a restaurant from the mere sight of happy diners outside? Even when your business is closed, if you have your name or logo on a customised street-facing awning – the canopy is still working to advertise your company, even when there are no customers.

If your covered outdoor area isn’t in direct eyesight, it can still become a destination space if treated imaginatively and stylishly. In an age of social media sharing, appearance really is everything. When designing the area under your retractable canopy, make sure that you complement and enhance your interior design, as well as align with your existing brand. Maintaining a colour scheme (albeit with opportunities to add complementary, informal touches) and utilising similar furniture adapted to open-air use is also advisable. This will ensure that your outdoor area feels like a genuine part of your existing space, rather than a separate add-on.

Crunching the numbers

Purchasing a retractable outdoor canopy does represent a significant upfront investment for any business. Despite this, research has shown that return on investment (ROI) can be as much as 65%, making it a worthwhile investment for any business owner. A basic calculation can demonstrate the potential of any commercial awning. Take (for instance) a restaurant with £30 average spend per seat and an outdoor space with just five tables of four seats. By keeping the outdoor space useable an extra 20 days a year, the following calculation can be applied:

20 (days) x 20 (seats) x 30 (pounds) x 4 (table turnover) x 0.5 (capacity) = £24,000

With a retractable patio cover allowing for comfortable dining throughout the year (with this estimate adding merely 20 days, with 4 table turnovers at 50% capacity) – it is easy to see how your investment can be quickly recouped. This figure would be substantially higher if the entire year was considered, or if you are operating with a large space. Outdoor awnings not only add to your cover capacity but also offer added benefits in terms of marketing opportunities and customer satisfaction (equalling more repeat customers, longer stays and larger spends) and put your establishment on the map.

Whether you have an outdoor seating area for four or forty (or more), investing in a retractable canopy can have a massive impact on your establishment’s profits and overall ambience. Outdoor dining and drinking really does set restaurants, cafes, bars (and just about any other business) apart, creating an informal, relaxing area for customers to enjoy. From branding and customisation to destination décor and increased profits – a retractable canopy will transform your business and its bottom line.