The weather is finally getting warmer. This means your customers will want to get out in your beer garden to enjoy their drinks al fresco. But combining alcohol with heat, pint glasses and gazebos can create certain problems. However, just by taking some preventative measures, you can ensure your pub garden remains a safe place for your customers to enjoy.

Check the condition of garden furniture

Last year’s garden furniture might have looked great then, but it can have to endure a lot in a year. Bad weather and general wear and tear will affect the condition of your furniture. Check over all the furniture and make sure it’s in good enough condition. If you have smoking shelters, then check they survived too. In fact, over the winter, storm damage to smoking shelters can often be the most common claims insurers receive. You should also check all the umbrellas still remain firmly stuck into the ground and that decking and patio isn’t slippery after rain.

New activities, services or equipment

If you want to introduce some new activities this year, consider what implications these could have on your existing insurance. Even something as simple as a temporary bouncy castle or a BBQ. So, check your current policy or contact your insurer to make sure you have the right cover.

Switch to plastic cups

Ideally, pubs should aim to collect in all glasses, pint pots and tumblers after dark. This will help reduce theft and keep your customers safe. Alcohol makes people dehydrated a lot quicker when the weather is hot. So, you need to keep an eye out for those customers who are getting very drunk. The easiest way to minimise the risk of broken glass is by removing it altogether. Switching to plastic cups will be much safer for everyone. You will find that some customers won’t be happy about it though. So you’ll need to explain that you are just considering their safety.

Take on extra staff

If you are planning to hold events during the summer, you might want to consider employing extra staff on site. With potential underage drinking, drunken arguments and other antisocial activities regulated, your bar staff can concentrate on their job. If you’re a small establishment, make sure at least one member of staff regularly walks around the premises to check on things.

Always know who is buying from the bar

When the bar becomes exceptionally busy, it can become difficult to control who is at the receiving end of a round. This can be particularly true when parties have hidden themselves away at the back of the beer garden. Therefore, always operate the Challenge 25 or Challenge 21 rule. Ask the person buying the round who they drinks are for. Never worry about asking these questions. It’s your job and license on the line after all.

Know the law

You can’t expect to remain claim-free if you don’t follow rules outlined in your licence or within UK law. Avoid extended drinking hours if you don’t have the appropriate licence. Also, try to reduce the noise after 11pm if your pub is in a residential area. If someone submits a claim, things will become more difficult for you if you are already breaking the law.

Choose the right pub insurance

Choosing the right insurance package to suit your pub is essential. Business insurance is a legal requirement for all pub owners, but cover requirements will vary. You should make sure you have insurance for:

  • Public liability in case someone becomes injured or property becomes damaged due to negligence on your part. Both of which become more likely when people have been drinking a lot of alcohol.
  • Employer cover. This will protect you in case your employees become injured or ill as a result of working for you.
  • Protection from theft and accidental damage.
  • Business interruption in the event of losing your liquor licence or if the pub becomes flooded.
  • The pubs convents, which includes all fixtures and fittings.