Punch Pubs & Co has launched a £1m outdoor investment scheme to support its pubs in preparing for outdoor reopening in April.
Outdoor spaces such as beer gardens, patios and courtyards have never been so important in the world of pubs after the government confirmed pubs could begin serving customers outside from 12 April.
The company’s ‘Inside|Outside’ programme has been specifically designed to help Punch publicans maximise the opportunity of trading safely outside while complying with government guidance.
The success of the scheme will allow many pubs to open outdoors from next month, including plenty that previously would have not had the capacity.
Punch estimates that 662 of its pubs – more than 70% of its total estate – will be in a position to serve customers from 12 April.
The £1m will be spent transforming hundreds of outdoor spaces nationally, providing a safe space for customers to reconnect.
Punch and its publicans have been working in tandem to create solutions from new furniture to stretch tents, festoon lighting, cosy huts, and all-important outdoor heating.
The scheme has already seen hundreds of projects completed across the country, with many more currently underway.
Andy Spencer, managing director at Punch Pubs, said: “Working together with hundreds of our publicans, we have breathed new life into many of our pub gardens and outdoor spaces. Creating safe, warm, and welcome environments to give our guests fantastic experiences when we reopen and for the future.
“Like all of our Publicans able to reopen, we are excited to welcome our customers back in April. However, it remains vitally important to remember that pubs will be operating at a significantly reduced capacity. We need restrictions to continue to be relaxed during the reopening period to ensure the long-term survival of the Great British Pub”.