I knew I needed an outdoor solution because of what I had read about the smoking ban and after what had happened in Ireland and Scotland a lot of the people had struggled through not dealing adequately with this issue.
We used a company that came through the brewery (Enterprise Inns plc), and a builder we were already using redeveloping the entire outside of the pub. We needed heat and light, and something more than just a smoking solution.
I had an idea in my head from seeing things on the internet and from reading features in the Publican and had an idea of what I wanted to do. The solution was a pair of Breezefree heavy-contract parasols with the Breezefree Heat Curtain and lights. There were no planning issues we went for parasols which already existed in a limited form. All I did was have an area decked and put the new ones in. I approached the planners just to see but here, parasols are a temporary fixture because they can be removed. Breezefree offered fantastic advise they gave me a completely specified quotation with everything individually priced. They dealt with everything efficiently and all of my concerns. I understood what it was I was getting, how much it would cost, what it would look like and the web site was really helpful I had a good visual picture in my mind of the two 4 x 4 meter parasols, each with interior lighting and four 1.4 kilowatt heaters.
They went above and beyond to deliver earlier than they originally said. The fitter David, was really helpful and efficient and explained everything. The equipment is very easy to operate. The heaters (Solamagic) work well and have a good function where they can turn to 90 degrees making them easy to fold away. The product is better than expected.
The smoking ban opened an opportunity for us to find a solution for outside dining and drinking. That’s what’s taken off it has increased my trade by 10-12% – that’s about £2000 per week! . I’ve also had massive feedback from customers who really like it. I’m the only pub locally to invest in this way and customers tell me I’ve taken a lot of business from other pubs. We’d previously seen another company and their service was atrocious they never delivered. It just goes to show that the decision was not entirely based on price because Breezefree weren’t the cheapest but the best in terms of product and service.
- Ian Wilcox, Licensee, The Kings Arms, Easton-in-Gordano near Bristol