With the 1 July smoking ban drawing ever closer, now is the time to plan how you're going to provide comfortable outdoor seating areas for smokers. Buy It! has teamed up with three suppliers to offer one lucky reader a £2,000 patio kit comprising a Calor Mirage patio heater, a Call-Systems Technology wireless transmitter waiter alert system, and two aluminium tables and eight chairs from Lamata Contract Furnishing.
To enter the draw, send your name, job title, contact number, company name and address to: Buy It! Outdoor Bonanza, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton SM2 5AS by 15 May.
1. Tables and chairs(pictured above)
The furniture in your outdoor smoking area will need to be of the all-weather type, durable and almost maintenance-free. Cheltenham-based Lamata Contract Furnishing has introduced new styles and a new price list across its range of all-weather seating which pubs can use to create outdoor smoking areas ahead of the July ban. The line-up includes: aluminium tables and chairs; café-style tables and chairs; teak tables, chairs and benches; and parasols and bases.
Lamata is providing two aluminium 80cm round tables and eight stackable aluminium chairs in a choice of Capri or Vegas styles. Being manufactured from aluminium, the furniture will not rust and is therefore particularly suitable for leaving outdoors in any weather. It's also easy to clean.
For more information on Lamata's outdoor furniture ranges call 01242 524 777 orvisit the company website here >>
2. Waiter call systemfrom Call-Systems Technology
Managing increased outdoor customers doesn't end with providing improved and expanded patio areas, there's also the issue of making sure customers find it easy to order more food and drinks once they're settled outside. The EasyCall wireless paging system allows hotels, restaurants and pubs to capture extra business from guests who are outside - manufacturer Call-Systems Technology (CST) claims some users have boosted turnover by 20% as a result.
It allows customers to summon waiting staff by pressing a button located on outdoor furniture such as tables and lounge chairs. When pressed, the button transmits a signal showing which table requires service. The message can be directed either to a central light display panel or to a pager worn by waiting staff, both allowing for an instant response.
There are two options of weatherproof buttons - a counter-sunk version that is the size of a £2 coin and a surface-mounted button with an 11cm diameter - which both have a battery life of about two years. The base station can be wall- or desk-mounted and comes with 16-, 32- or 64-button panel options.
The system can be reprogrammed from the base station, to change button numbers, for example. Our lucky reader will receive a basic EasyCall system, comprising a receiver/transmitter with message display panel and four buttons.
For more information on EasyCall contact Call-Systems Technology on 0800 389 5642 orvisit the company's website here >>
3. Patio heater
Keep your smokers warm with a freestanding 15kW Mirage patio heater, which has a large deep canopy for maximum efficiency heat radiation and is sufficient to heat an area up to 20sq m - large enough to seat up to 10 people. It features an anti-tilt safety switch with an automatic gas shut off ensuring supply is terminated should the heater be knocked.
Manufactured by Universal Innovations and marketed by energy supplier Calor, Mirage patio heaters are designed to offer maximum efficiency and incorporate an innovative double-wall structure to insulate the burner instead of the traditional single-wall design.
This design forces the flame on to the mesh area of the burner to ensure it is always red hot (which is the only time heat is radiated). It also helps to deflect heat down and out while preventing it from being lost through the top of the patio heater. Even in windy conditions, the flame will remain focused on the mesh, ensuring optimum efficiency at all times.
While both double- and single-wall designs use the same amount of gas, the double-wall insulated burner provides more heat over a larger area. This means that it can be turned to a lower setting and therefore burn less gas but still provide ample heat.
The Mirage is supplied with a hose, regulator, wheel and assembly tools which, combined with the variable heat control and hinged door offering access to the Calor Patio Gas cylinder inside, make the heater easy to assemble, use and makes replenishing gas quick and simple.
Calor will also supply our lucky reader with a patio gas cylinder and carbon offset for five years through its Calor Carbon Offset Programme for LPG patio heaters, launched in partnership with carbon offset service Equiclimate. The programme involves buying carbon allowances, as part of the European Union Emissions Trading scheme, from a number of countries so that they are forced to produce less carbon.
AND LAST MONTH'S WINNER IS…
The winner of the Rainbow Corporatewear competition in the 29 March issue of Buy It! was Joanne Nicol of the Shottle Hall Country House Hotel , Grantham