Around two in five licensed premises will have some form of outdoor trading space when restrictions ease for venues on 12 April, according to the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA.
The monitor revealed that around 41,100 premises (38.2% of all sites) in the UK have a garden, terrace, car park or other area in which they could potentially seat guests.
Numbers fluctuate widely between segments of the market, with four in five (80.5%) community pubs in England able to offer beer gardens, patios or other outside space, compared to just 11.9% of casual dining restaurants.
A significant number of these sites are unlikely to trade from mid-April, because the limitations of their space and the costs of equipping and staffing them will make it difficult, meaning the number of sites reopening will be “much lower”, especially if the weather is poor.
In the largely rural south west of England, just over half (51.1%) of sites have outdoor space, but the number is below a third in London (33.1%). In Wales, where hospitality is due to reopen outdoors from 22 April, two in five (42.1%) sites have outdoor space.
However in Scotland, where venues may open outdoors from 26 April, fewer than a quarter (22.9%) have that capability.
Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Pubs with beer gardens will be popular if the sun shines, but some restaurants may find it harder to recoup the costs of reopening, especially if the April weather isn’t favourable.
“Well over half of licensed premises have no space at all in which to trade, though they could yet reopen in April if local authorities take a proactive approach and open up street space to serve on.”