Aside from Christmas, December also brings with it the winter solstice – i.e., the turning point of winter. Cue sighs of relief from everybody lamenting the dark mornings and freezing commutes! But despite chilly nights and not enough sunshine, the depths of winter do have one advantage to them: they’re prime hygge material.
Britain’s love of hygge is an enduring one, with the country taking comfort in the Danish way of life as a means of coping with the cold, wet and dark winters we’re known for. Framed as an entire lifestyle philosophy in the chillier climes of Denmark, the Brits have cherry-picked our favourite aspects to create a trend which is reluctant to end.
As a result, we flock to cosy, welcoming venues in the winter – from restaurants to pubs, cocktail bars to coffee shops, we’d much prefer to be in the warm embrace of a hygge environment. For venues, this presents an excellent opportunity to keep footfall high all year round.
What is Hygge?
Pronounce ‘hoo-geh’, hygge is a lifestyle concerning itself with cosiness, comfort, warmth, and togetherness. As the Visit Denmark tourist board will tell you, it’s “as Danish as pork roast” and reveals a lot about “the soul” of the country. The glow of candles is hygge, spending time with friends and family is hygge, and of course, cosying up with a warm drink is very much hygge.
In a commercial sense, this all translates as bringing people together in a welcoming, cosy environment and thus reaping the benefits of using venue space even in months that are traditionally slowed by the weather and lack of sunshine.
Our Love Affair with Hygge
Despite our winters not being anywhere near as unforgiving as our Scandi cousins’, the UK is still already quite ‘hyggelig’ (a word denoting something as having the hygge essence about it), which perhaps explains why we’ve fallen in love with it so deeply.
For example, we have an unwavering adoration for tea (a very hyggelig drink), and who could honestly resist the warmth of a cosy pub in the bleak midwinter? Helped along by the gentle persuasion of bloggers and a vast selection of guides to living the hygge life, we stood little chance at resisting its charms.
As a result, more and more Brits are looking for a little slice of hygge come winter, and this is where venues stand to gain from the craze.
Introducing Hygge to Your Venue
For restaurant and pub owners, hygge presents a double-edged opportunity. Firstly, it taps into a craze which the public are still very willing to be a part of. Owners can tap into this knowledge and remain relevant in a competitive market. Secondly, it addresses the issue of what to do with outdoor spaces in winter, when fewer people are willing to sit out in the cold and dark.
Creating a hygge atmosphere, both inside and out, is therefore a great idea – and it’s not as complicated as it may feel. Introducing soft lighting, warm beverages, and cosy décor are all easy starting points, whilst creating a communal feel might take a little getting used to, but will soon be embraced.
Outdoors, investing in heating lamps, cosy blankets, and weather-resistant lights is a great way to ensure beer gardens and outside spaces all get the attention they deserve. Complement these new additions with our P-Series all-weather parasols to shield patrons from the snow (or more commonly, rain), and you’ve successfully crafted a little hygge hideaway for everybody to enjoy.
Get on board the hygge wagon and see for yourself what it can do to warm up those slow winter evenings and boost takings. Just be aware that some customers might get so cosy, they may never want to leave!
Make your restaurant or bar a venue which customers are happy to visit all year round with James Robertshaw’s all-weather parasols and additional outdoor ranges. To find out more, feel free to explore our website, or get in touch with us directly.