Scots bars staying out for the summer (Q&A) | Scottish Licensed Trade News

Scottish Licensed Trade News

Scots bars staying out for the summer (Q&A)

Posted on by in Features

Publicans tell SLTN about the benefits of having a good pub garden


The Tickled Trout
Milngavie

Caitlin McParland – assistant manager

Tickled Trout (New)

Q: How much of an advantage is your outdoor area/beer garden over the summer months?
A: It’s an excellent advantage due to the beautiful surroundings and great views. The beer garden is a real sun trap, so it’s a great source of business for us and there is very rarely an empty seat.

Q: How important is your outdoor area, in terms of trade, during the summer months?
A: Very important, there are other pubs in the area with beer gardens so ours has to be the best to get the most trade in. The increase in customers just popping in for a drink through the summer months is noticeable.

Q: What customers does your outdoor area attract and is this different from your core customer base?
A: We get tourists and walkers from the walking paths surrounding the pub as well as locals and customers from the nearby Dobbies. No specific age groups, it is really a mixed bag. We get a lot of families dining and drinking with us.

Q: Does it take a lot of work to maintain? What is required? Do you have staff regularly checking the area, providing table service, etc?
A: The gardener maintains the furniture, plants and foliage throughout the year, more so in the summertime. Staff are on hand to clear tables and provide some service, although not full table service. This adds to the relaxed feel – customers can come up to the bar and order drinks at their own leisure.

Q: What furniture/equipment do you have in your outdoor area?
A: Mixed tables and chairs, some glass/rattan, some wooden benches and tables, as well as classic picnic tables. We also have a hut with heaters and tables inside it, in case it gets a bit chilly or overcast.

Q: What drinks do you expect to be popular in your outdoor area this summer? Do you change your drinks range ahead of the summer?
A: Summer long drinks, new to the menu for the summer months, and our wide range of ciders and fruit ciders. We also have a brand new range of summer soft drinks available for those looking for an alcohol-free option.

Q: Do you host particular events in your outdoor area in summer?
A: We occasionally host events based in the garden like cask ale festivals or children’s fun days – information on any upcoming events can be found on our Facebook page.

The Oak Tree Inn
Balmaha

The Oak Tree Inn Outdoor pic

Stuart Fraser – partner

Q: How much of an advantage is your outdoor area/beer garden over the summer months?
A: It is vital, it helps capacity during busy times, but most importantly it is part of the customer experience. You can sit outside, enjoy good food and drink and enjoy the scenery, looking over Loch Lomond, watching boats come and go from the harbour.

Q: How important is your outdoor area, in terms of trade, during the summer months?
A: It provides for many a compelling reason to visit. As well as walkers and holiday makers we attract good numbers from Scotland’s cities. Glasgow is less than an hour away and many people visit to escape from the city and enjoy some summer sunshine.

Q: What customers does your outdoor area attract and is this different from your core customer base?
A: You see all ages enjoying the outdoor areas. Families enjoy the seating area for meals, with children loving our homemade ice cream, plus walkers taking a rest and people watching the world go by.

Q: Does it take a lot of work to maintain? What is required? Do you have staff regularly checking the area, providing table service, etc?
A: Our team clean the area each morning during the summer and then the waiting staff keep on top of clearing tables, providing service, etc. We have added to our number and range of mobile units to allow easy ordering and payment for our guests.

Q: What furniture/equipment do you have in your outdoor area?
A: We have a selection of tables, chairs and parasols. The area itself has been landscaped using locally quarried slate and artificial
grass.

Q: What drinks do you expect to be popular in your outdoor area this
summer? Do you change your drinks range ahead of the summer?
A: There will be a big focus on local ales, beers and cider that are always
popular in the summer. We expand this range seasonally, but of course still offer
our popular selection of soft drinks, spirits, whisky and wine.

Q: Do you host particular events in your outdoor area in summer?
A: We will be supporting Weirfest, an annual festival by The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs on the site next to our outdoor area. This autumn we will once again be hosting our own festival, Balmaha’s Braw Weekend, the main activities will be on our five acre green field site behind The Oak Tree Inn.

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