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Outdoor Dining Pods - The Next Big Thing in the Hospitality Industry

Updated: Mar 18

COVID-19 is shit. Really, really shit. It's taken lives, stolen youths and devastated families across the globe. If you were to look up 'shit' in the dictionary, you'd probably see a zoomed-in image of that grotty little virus that's nicked a year of our existence.

COVID-19
Shit, isn't it?

But, as always seems to be the case in our darkest moments, humans invariably find a way to adapt and innovate to meet the task at hand. The obvious example of this is the speed with which vaccines have been developed, giving us hope that there's light at the end of the tunnel.


Not all of the COVID innovations are as life-saving as vaccines, and yet they can be just as profound. Whether it's the family building a hideaway at the bottom of the garden as a lockdown project, or the 10-year old kid setting up his own little mask-making factory, humanity continually proves that it's capable of facing any challenge.


How Have Pubs and Restaurants Innovated?

Bubble Dining
The 'bubble' style of dining pod

One innovation that's just as significant as the ones just mentioned, albeit a little less romantic, is the rise of the outdoor dining pod. Due to the various rules surrounding the hospitality industry at different points across the pandemic, outdoor drinking and dining has become pivotal to the survival of pubs and restaurants. One of the ways that pub and restaurant owners have made this more interesting than the standard wooden chairs and tables is by introducing outdoor dining pods, which allow customers to enjoy unique dining experiences while keeping safe and within the rules.


Won't the Need for Dining Pods Die Out After the Pandemic?


No. At least not if the pods are adapted.


Dining pods are more than just vehicles to allow hospitality businesses to stay open during the pandemic. The demand for outdoor dining isn't just a COVID thing. In normal times, whenever there's a hint of sunshine in the UK, people flock to beer gardens to get pissed in the nice weather.


In the long run, adapted versions of outdoor pods will act as upgrades to traditional chairs and tables, allowing business owners to differentiate their pubs and restaurants from the local competition.

Just look at this concept design we recently produced for a client. It's less enclosed than the bubble variant shown earlier, while still allowing for more privacy than open tables. It serves as both a short-term option for COVID dining and a long-term unique selling point (USP) that makes other beer gardens look basic.


How Can I Make My Pods Special?


The great thing about dining pods is that they're so customisable. You can tailor your design so that it's unique to your business. Our concept design includes some fairy lights and a couple of heaters, but you can be as creative as you like.


If you're a posh restaurant, you probably want to be aiming at creating a classy, intimate atmosphere. If you're a pub, just think of things that you'd be amazed by if you were pissed, and go with that.


Some random things you could include in your pods:

  • Voice-activated lighting.

  • A jukebox.

  • Wacky kaleidoscope windows.

  • A dartboard (at your own risk).

  • A shelf full of classic board games, playing cards, etc.


I'm Interested in Dining Pods for My Business. Where Do I Go From Here?


Rocky says "Call Made Of Bits"

We at Made Of Bits love to design and build unique structures for businesses. If you're interested in having a chat, give us a call on 07557 435164, or drop us an email at hello@madeofbits.co.uk. In the meantime, feel free to have a browse of some completely unrelated projects we've worked on, and take a look at our Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram pages. We look forward to hearing from you!


Not after dining pods?

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