Used in the right way, your outdoor space provides can boost your offering and profits no end. However, with autumn already here and winter fast approaching, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be getting much use out of it over the coming months.

If you haven’t already done so, soon you’ll be packing away your gardens and terraces until spring next year. However, your outdoor space doesn’t have to be a no-go zone once winter’s arrived.

Jason Eastwood, Managing Director of Canopies UK, the country’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of high quality canopies, shares his top three tips for how you can get maximum use from your outdoor space this autumn/winter.

TIP #1: Start viewing your outdoor space differently

Most outdoor spaces become a hive of activity during the summer months (weather permitting) and moss-ridden, neglected, dark and damp areas that get forgotten about the moment winter sets in. It’s how most outdoor spaces are used right across the hospitality sector, regardless of their size or scale.

However, in order to get the most from your outdoor space all year round, the first thing you need to do is change the way you view it. Just because it’s windy, rain, icy or even snowy, doesn’t mean you can’t use your outdoor space. Sound impossible? The next tip will show you how you can achieve it…

TIP #2: Bring the outdoors, indoors

So, now that you’ve stopped thinking that you have to pack your outdoor space away every winter, the next step is to turn it into a space that can be used by your customers, regardless of what the weather decides to do.

One of the quickest and most effective ways of transforming your outdoor space into an area that appeals to your customers all year round, is by installing an outdoor canopy system. Despite the changeable weather, demand for al fresco dining is really popular right now. Installing a canopy will enable you to instantly:

1. Transform your outdoor space into an appealing al fresco hot spot (that can be used come wind, rain or shine).
2. Create additional dining space and generate extra covers all year round.

TIP #3: Don’t settle for anything less than fit for purpose

As with all spaces, it’s important that the environment you create: a) appeals to your customers, b) complements your existing facilities and c) fully meets your requirements.

There are a wide range of canopies available, from rooftop and fully retractable models, to systems that feature roof and wall screens that work independently of each other and are controlled using a single handheld remote or smart device. Some closed units even feature glass panels that provide UV protection against the strongest of sun rays and are designed to provide 100 per cent protection in wind speeds of up to 60km/h.

Unfortunately, the market is awash with cheaper canopy systems that may work perfectly well during the summer months, but won’t provide full protection from the elements in colder weather or stand the test of time. Take the time to do your homework – investing in a high quality retractable canopy will give you peace of mind through performance and longevity, making sure the money you’ve invested works as hard as you do, all year round.