Decorating your pub isn’t just about how many people you can cram in, you should be looking to create a warm and welcoming venue that attracts customers in, time and time again.
Welcome How may time have you looked at a restaurant or pub and decided not to go in, because it looks deserted? Although an overly crowded bar may be off-putting, a bit of life and atmosphere can do wonders for attracting customers. Make use of window seating and ledges, by adding candles or table lights, so that passers-by can see that there are people inside. And keep on top of your window cleaning!
In the warmer months make sure you pay attention to your outdoor seating areas, especially if you have one to the front of your building. If your seating area is to the rear of the pub, use A boards to let passersby know you do have an outdoor space. Make sure outdoor spaces are clean and the furniture is in good repair.
Ambiance Make sure you choose your furniture and colours to match the establishment and the image of your business. Pinterest is a great app for getting décor inspiration and you can create mood boards to inspire you.
For a more traditional pub, muted browns and reds can create a warm look, but be aware that going too dark can make it dreary. Likewise, leather furniture is practical and easy to clean, but fabric is cosy and comes in lively colours.
Before you furnish your establishment, also consider your business model. Are you a food led business? If so, make sure you try to accommodate more dining tables and chairs than sofas. Ensure that people are able to comfortably move their chairs back from the table and your staff are able to move around freely to serve your customers.
Adaptability How versatile is your space? It’s great to have a space that can be used for lots of different occasions, from wedding parties to coffee mornings, and you could consider easily moveable chairs and tables that won’t damage your floors. Think about when are your busiest times, and how busy are your likely to get? Do you have any unused rooms or niches that could be brightened up with a lick of paint and opened for peak times or private hire?
Accessibility You want to cater to everyone, which means access is key. Is there a step up to your pub? Door frames at ground level aren’t usually a problem. A large step up, however, can be solved by a simple wooden ramp that you can store inside the door. If you have a number of steps, perhaps consider a more permanent installation, especially if you have a garden or car park. You also should think about installing a disabled bathroom, if you haven’t already.
Above all, consider your establishment as if you were a customer. Step back and look at it from the outside, would you want to come in? And once inside, would you want to stay?