In Shropshire and Staffordshire the Wolverhampton-based pubs group has improved more than 20 pub gardens.
The company says each has undergone a bespoke design plan. That means extra heating and lighting systems alongside bigger structures such as orangery-style garden rooms, teepees, marquees, awnings and jumbo umbrellas.
One of the pubs which has had a revamp of their outdoor space is the Hop & Friar in Shrewsbury,.
Manager Barbara Powney said: “We have really missed hearing the laughter and watching the fun all our customers have here and we can’t wait to get back to it and welcome people back. We have also given the garden a bit of a makeover, so we’ll be ready for everyone.”
The focus on these newly re-purposed spaces has been in development since last year following the success and demand for outdoor areas during the summer period. The announcement of Marston’s initiative follows Boris Johnson’s lockdown road map of easing restrictions.
Breweries and pub groups say they have learned the lessons of last year by making it easier for people to meet outside and to order food and drinks without having to walk up to the bar.
Alongside new garden spaces, Marston’s has introduced an online ordering system, Marston’s Tap, for both food and drinks which customers can use during their visit as well as for takeaway services. The online platform is available across the majority of Marston’s pubs and a full roll out is underway following its success last year. Customers will also have access to toilets and baby changing facilities when on site.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, said: “We can’t wait to reopen.
“It has been a difficult year for everyone and we are delighted that we will be able to reopen some of our pub gardens and once again hear the laughs and chatter that only a pub community brings.
“Our teams are raring to go and excited to welcome guests back, albeit just in outdoor areas for now.
“We have created new outdoor spaces with a number of new external dining areas to welcome back friends and families.”
Marston’s has an estate of about 1,400 pubs across the UK, but not all Marston’s pubs in England are able to reopen in April due to not having an outdoor space.
All improvement works are due for completion by the end of April.