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How to Spice Up your Outdoor Hospitality Spaces

by Nathan Swinson-Bullough

Outdoor hospitality space

The hot summer months have well and truly arrived in the UK and who wants to be indoors when the weather is as beautiful as it is? At Imageco, that got us thinking about outdoor hospitality spaces and what can be done to create a truly unique experience this summer. Giving your outdoor spaces a bit of TLC can help increase footfall. So, whether you’re wanting to spice up your beer garden or elevate your restaurant with a beautiful al fresco dining experience – we’ve got you covered! 


The Potential of Outdoor Hospitality Spaces 

Since the pandemic, outdoor dining experiences have been at an all-time high. Just about every city across the country allowed hospitality spaces to create extra outdoor seating which is a trend that’s stuck. In 2021, more the 17,000 outdoor seats were approved in the UK. And the benefits of an attractive outdoor hospitality space are endless. They help create a summery buzz around your venue, increase your overall capacity, and bring in new customers. But with the majority of the top things to do in Leeds this summer being outdoors, the competition is high.  


So, how can you stand out? 

1. Outdoor Prints 

Beautiful designs shouldn’t be restricted to inside environments. By incorporating them outside, you can create a completely unique experience. Having an outdoor space that is Instagram-worthy not only adds visual appeal but also attracts a larger audience and encourages engagement on social media. With carefully designed prints, every corner becomes a picturesque backdrop, providing customers with the perfect opportunity to capture and share your business on their feeds. 

To create stunning outdoor artwork, like we’ve done in Leeds City Centre before, we use HP Latex water-based ink with a top of PVC-free laminate which is resistant to UV and water damage so it can look good all throughout the year. Whether it’s to cover up empty spaces or to create an engaging experience, using outdoor printing is a great way to spice up your space.  


2. Lighting  

Outdoor lighting is just as important as indoor lighting when it comes to enhancing the outdoor experience. Great lighting draws in customers because it triggers dopamine, the chemical messenger in the brain that plays a key role in motivation and pleasure. If your outdoor space doesn’t get a lot of sunshine, it’s an excellent way of drawing people in. And as nighttime falls, it also keeps people in your outdoor hospitality space way after the sun sets. Creating an effective lighting effect can really help flex your individuality and entice potential customers as it keeps your business visible for longer. It has the power to create an influential and welcoming setting and deliver guests with a sensory experience like no other.  


3. Signage 

Good quality signage can help divert pedestrians’ attention to your business which is a significant driver of footfall. In our recent work with Zaap, a Thai street food restaurant, we worked with faux neon signs and created a giant hedge lettering spelling out ‘Zaap’ to be placed in front of their dining space. This really created a stand-out entrance for customers to walk in – almost like they’re being transported to Bangkok.  

ZAAP outdoor sign

 4. Cardboard Furniture 

Hear us out – cardboard-engineered furniture. You’d be surprised at just how strong these structures are. The carefully crafted pieces of furniture are all designed to slot together in such a way that they can hold up a hefty amount of weight. We can also utilise fluted card for projects, which holds all the green sustainable benefits of other card types, but with a little added structural strength. These can be great outdoor centrepieces in the summer months – as long as the British weather behaves itself! Once you’re done with cardboard furniture for the summer months, they can easily be deconstructed and stored away – ready to be used again for the next year.  


5. Innovation 

Innovation sets businesses apart from the competition by offering unique and exciting experiences that attract customers. By embracing innovation, outdoor hospitality spaces can improve the guest experience through novel technologies, sustainable practices, and creative design elements. At Imageco, we’ve really gone the extra mile with some of the outdoor space projects we’ve worked on. Like our work with Hennessy and the NBA for the NBA’s 27th anniversary season. Now, we’re not saying you need a floating basketball court to stand out from the crowd, but there’s no limit to what we can produce.  

For some inspiration, have a look at more of our amazing projects outdoor here 


6. Remember, Keep it Green! 

At Imageco, sustainability is at the forefront of all our projects and incorporating sustainability into the design of your outdoor hospitality space is important for various reasons. The benefits include attracting eco-conscious customers, enhancing the space’s reputation and differentiating it from your competitors. Because of our commitment to the planet, we use less carbon-intensive production methods and more eco-friendly materials. We have also partnered with companies that have similar sustainability goals in mind, like HP and EFI.  


Need Help? Look No Further  

If you’re looking to take your outdoor hospitality space to the next level, get in touch with our expert team!