The Government of Ireland has announced funding for cafes, restaurants and similar hospitality businesses to cover outdoor seating and furniture products.

The Outdoor Seating and Accessories for Tourism and Hospitality Services funding scheme comes as the country continues on the path to coronavirus recovery. Grants are available to help independent tourism and hospitality businesses pay for additional outdoor seating equipment, in turn allowing them to have greater outdoor dining capacity for the 2021 summer season.

Irish Government Grant Details

This funding scheme supports Irish restaurants, cafés, and hotels by providing grants of up to €4,000 to cover the ex-VAT furniture cost of up to 75%. Eligible expenditure includes outdoor tables and chairs, electric heaters, umbrellas, screens, windbreaks and plant stands. Applicants can apply directly to their Local Authority, who will approve submissions based on receipts and photographic evidence of the equipment on-site.

Application Information

If you’re interested in applying for the funding on behalf of your business, keep in mind that the expenditure must occur between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2021. Local Authorities are administering the funding scheme and have the right to discretion with the terms and conditions, including what equipment is appropriate for their streetscapes and businesses.

Funding opened on the Local Authorities website on 12 April 2021 and will close on 30 September 2021. All applicants must meet planning codes and compliance/legislative requirements to obtain funding. This includes social distancing and COVID-safe practices and policies.

The €17million outdoor dining development scheme is open to individual hospitality and tourism businesses. There is also a second part to the funding scheme in which Local Authorities will create permanent outdoor dining spaces in public spaces like urban town centres.

Visit your Local Authority website to begin the funding application process.

Investing in the Right Outdoor Equipment

While at the moment the hospitality industry is still effectively in hibernation with restaurants and cafes closed for the most part, the tide is turning and the government is preparing for a safe reopening. Businesses need to be prepared, as outdoor furniture and seating will be the way of the future for quite some time.

When considering this funding opportunity, it’s important to find a reputable source of quality outdoor dining equipment that meets the criteria. B2B Office Interiors is helping local tourism and hospitality businesses with the right equipment for their outdoor areas; they have an extensive selection of patio chairs, tables, umbrellas and more.

Below are some of the important features to look for in your next business outdoor furniture purchase.

Outdoor Dining Chairs

In order to transition to more outdoor dining, businesses need additional dining chairs that are safe for outdoor use. Dining chairs should be built to last even in exposure to the elements like wind and rain so you don’t have to cover it or take it inside at the end of the day. While the current funding scheme is meant for summer dining, there is the possibility to use this equipment beyond the summer season, so it should be durable for the long term. We have some great options for outdoor dining chairs that pair perfectly with outdoor tables and accessories.

Comfort is key when exploring new chairs for hospitality use. Customers are more likely to stay and enjoy their experience if the outdoor chairs are comfortable and supportive. When hotels and restaurants do reopen, a welcoming outdoor dining environment will make a big difference to customers.

If you need some ideas for tourism and hospitality industry outdoor dining chairs, consider:

  • Bora chairs with recyclable fibreglass resin, lightweight tubular frame and optional armrests.
  • Costa chairs that feature a breathable slatted backrest, round profile and matt finish.
  • Ninfea chairs are single-body seats with a relaxing shape and curved aluminium-coated legs.
  • Net chairs have a radial pattern with square perforations and have soothing cushions available for order.

There are multiple colours to choose from so you can maintain the right environment for your business. By customising the equipment to suit your space, you can further improve the look and feel of the outdoor area.

Outdoor Tables

Many hospitality businesses had limited outdoor tables before the pandemic hit. The current funding opportunity can go towards upgrading outdoor tables and increasing the supply to ensure ample seating room for patrons. With social distancing a likely possibility even once hospitality businesses reopen, large tables are in demand.

Outdoor dining tables need to be strong and sturdy to accommodate large dining parties. A matching table and chair set are a good choice for restaurants and pubs that are looking to impress customers and contribute to the look and feel of their town centres. The best table and chair combinations can draw people in and encourage their patronage in a time when hospitality businesses really need it.

When browsing outdoor tables that could be covered through the Irish Government’s funding scheme, keep these options in mind.

  • Round outdoor tables are designed to match the Ninfea chairs for a contemporary look.
  • Wood and fiberglass tables come in small sizes for cocktail and coffee settings, or large 6-8 person parties.

Affordable and Appealing Outdoor Hospitality Equipment

After the undeniable challenges of COVID, hospitality businesses deserve the chance to get ahead and reconnect with their communities and customers through enhanced outdoor dining areas. This is the path forward and the more space and options you have, the better. From small country pubs to beloved city cafes, every tourism and hospitality provider with the potential for outdoor dining/entertainment has the option to upgrade its facilities and enjoy new equipment.

While the Irish Government has stepped in to introduce the funding scheme for upgrading outdoor dining areas, it’s still important to get this equipment for an affordable price to begin with. The more money you can save on this equipment, the more you can stock up on to further improve the outdoor dining experience.

The Irish Government believes this funding will play a critical role as the hospitality industry recovers from the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic. Learn more about the Irish Government’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme on the online portal and shop outdoor equipment at B2B Office Interiors today.