A blog written by Marshalls…
As the UK faces more months of uncertainty amid the pandemic, the hospitality industry is in deep crisis. Restrictions imposed to save lives are leading to losses in the economy, with restaurants, bars and entertainment venues some of the worst hit.
But, amongst the doom and gloom there are some rays of hope, as many businesses and local authorities seek to employ quick and innovative solutions to help people enjoy a sense of normality but in a safe way.
In this article, Marshall’s look at some of these changes and discuss whether the Parklet concept has found its new moment.
What's happened to the hospitality industry so far during the pandemic?
Since Lockdown began in March, we’ve seen on-going changes to the law. In summer, the government announced a relaxation to planning and licensing laws to help the hospitality industry to recover from lockdown. Councils have allowed more outdoor dining to help support the economy and many businesses can now serve customers in newly created pedestrianised areas.
The temporary changes have allowed restaurants and bars to acquire cheaper licensing which will see their customers to buy their food and drinks, and consume it elsewhere.
Since the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme ended in late August, some restaurants have started to offer something similar in hope of being able to keep their doors open. As many in the hospitality industry quickly adapted to new regulations that have been imposed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve seen an increase in the use of solutions which offer a safe environment for outdoor dining with minimal cost or installation.
How has the hospitality industry adapted so far?
In July, Marshalls published an article about how placemaking is changing due to the pandemic, and we’ve seen further development since then.
In towns and cities across the UK, council’s closed roads to allow restaurants and bars to take advantage and use the outdoor space to their benefit including high footfall areas of Manchester and Oxford. And further north, Marshalls worked with Leeds City Council to create a pop-up park in the centre, using their modular concrete seating range Tenplo to define areas and offer safe socialising.
Social distancing measures have encouraged the hospitality industry to get creative with their dining seating solutions with unique modular seating, allowing flexibility and ensuring customers to dine safely without being too close to another party.
Do Parklets offer a successful solution for the hospitality industry?
As more cities are transforming their streets to support the hospitality industry, we’re seeing an increase in modular designs to allow businesses to easily provide additional seating for customers.
With social distancing being the most important factor, one great way of expanding spaces safely are Parklets. Pop up Parklets have been around for around 15 years, they were initially developed in San Francisco as temporary solution to bring greenery into the urban areas.
Bringing the concept of the Parklet into present day, this type of temporary design has started to be considered for the purpose of assisting with social distancing measures to allow bars, restaurants and cafes extend their venue by utilising (if they have them) the car parking space in front of the venue.
By creating this extension to the external space it is hoped that will assist in attracting customers back into the venues in our town/city centres as it creates a more open dining or socialising experience.
With any project that include these temporary or permanent solutions, there needs to be a consideration for non-deliberate errant vehicle and the potential of a malicious attack. The Landscape Protection team have experience and can offer advice on Hostile Vehicle Mitigation solutions and provide the right levels of protection for the public without making the risk visible.
When it comes to modular design, there are a number of ranges from Marshalls that can provide a great solution. Tenplo comprises of ten modules, which can be placed together to create a configuration or be used separately. The standalone elements offer design flexibility for business who can use this to their advantage to create safe spaces for their customers.
As we’re seeing new and innovative ways of street furniture ranges, businesses have the option to create safe and aesthetically pleasing environments. Ranges such as the Loci collection, which offers a flexible and stylish design to any curb side restaurant, bar or café. The lightweight and freestanding design gives businesses the chance to easily move the seating around, whilst creating new areas for their customers.
There are numerous solutions to ensure the safety of pedestrians including the Zicla® collection which comes in a variety of options for active travel.
Manufactured from recycled materials, the Zicla® Zebra Planter is used as a protective barrier to shield the cycle lane. The planter is surface mounted with 4 anchorage points which allows quick and easy installation, with limited disruptions.
The Vectorial System in the Zicla® collection can be used as a platform to support Popup Parklets when they’re used in parking spots roadside.
Another temporary solution is the Rhinoguard ® Gatekeeper® which offers protective measures and has been seen to be used at sporting events and Christmas Markets.
You can view Marshall’s wide range of protective and aesthetic street furniture products here.
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