Cafe Barriers‘ are systems designed to define, divide or enclose outdoor or indoor areas. Hugely popular with cafes, bars and restaurants, hence the name 'cafe barriers'. Printed or plain banners are supported by crossrails and heavy duty posts. In most areas the systems are portable, allowing them to be moved into place as required, then stored when not required.

What Can A Cafe Barrier System Offer?

With the increased popularity of alfresco dining and drinking, making use of your outdoor space has never been as important. Cafe Barrier systems help to create comfortable and attractive areas for your customers whilst offering a stunning branding opportunity. Systems are also widely used for crowd and queue control and for protecting

Creatively designed banners can be eye-catching and ensure that your premises stand out from the competition.

What Is Important When Choosing A Cafe Barrier System?

Firstly, you need to consider where the system is being used – indoors, outdoors, sheltered area, exposed area, high traffic area etc. Certain systems are more suited to specific areas; for example, exposed or high traffic areas would require our heavier 18kg post and base, whereas sheltered or indoor areas will suit our lighter 10kg or 12.5kg posts and bases.

BUDGET SYSTEM - 10kg Posts & Bases, suited for indoor - or outdoor sheltered areas.

STYLE SYSTEM - 12.5kg Posts & Bases, suited for indoor - or outdoor sheltered areas.

PREMIUM SYSTEM - 18kg Posts & Bases, suited for indoor or outdoor heavy usage

Any outdoor system can be affected by wind gusts, it may be worth considering wind permeable banners, such as our Mesh Banner range. Many Cafe Barrier users also have a set of Barrier Ropes for when conditions are very windy.

Is Planning Permission Required for Cafe Barriers?

All local Councils have to ensure that the right of the Public to use a highway are not detrimentally affected. Public highways include footpaths, pavements, market places, parking spaces and verges.

Councils usually class an area of the public highway where tables and chairs may be used or food and drink is consumed as Pavement Cafés.

A lot of Councils are generally supportive of Pavement Cafes because they facilitate enjoyment in the local area.

Generally, all parts of the public highway may be used for Pavement Cafés as long as all safety and non-obstruction requirements are met. Each local Council will however have their own guidelines. Some require you to fill out Pavement Café application forms for a ‘Pavement Café Licence’, whilst others require you to obtain planning permission and/ or listed building Consent (This will usually be from your Local Planning Authority). With any of these scenarios there will usually be fees. Remember each County Council will have their own rules and guidelines.

If you wish to serve alcohol at the Pavement Café you will undoubtedly need a liquor licence from your Council’s Licensing Authority.

A local Council will sometimes undertake an assessment of suitability based upon the size and location of the area in which you plan to have a Pavement Café, it will also take into consideration the width of the footway and other surrounding businesses input.

If planning permission is required you may be asked to submit a site plan, here is a list of points to consider when producing this:-

Proposed boundaries

Building line

Kerb line

Café Banner Kit layout and dimensions

Points of access and dimensions

Trading days and times

A copy of your Public Liability Insurance

Section 115.E of the Highways Act 1980 gives Local Authorities the powers to licence and regulate items such as Café Banner Kits displayed on public highways.

The role of the public highway is to allow the public to pass and re-pass so when using Café Banner Kits they must be managed and maintained in a way that protects the rights and safety of all users with special attention to wheelchair users and those with impaired vision.

For free initial legal advice on Planning Permission for Cafe Barrier Systems and/or licensing, we recommend contacting Ian Randall at

Cafe Barriers and Equality Act Compliance

Is an Equality Act (formerly DDA) compliant system required? If so, then our Premium System with wheelchair friendly bases and lower cross arm is required. The shallow post bases allow the wheels of a wheelchair to easily roll over them, and the lower cross arm acts as a tapping rail for the visually impaired.

Cafe Barrier Configurations

Our Cafe Barrier systems are modular and expandable. Additional banners and posts can be attached at any time. Check our Cafe Barrier Bundles page to see some examples (and prices) of popular layouts.

Cafe Banner Types

Cafe Banners can be manufactured from a variety of materials and we are always looking at potential new fabrics. Our most popular banner materials are:

PVC Single Sided Cafe Banners – The least expensive option, PVC banners are printed in full colour on ONE side. These are waterproof, easily cleaned and hardwearing.

PVC Double Sided Cafe Banners – Heavy duty PVC banner fabric, printed both sides in full colour. These are waterproof, easily cleaned and very hardwearing.

PVC Mesh Single Sided Cafe Banners – Mesh PVC banners allow wind to pass through. They are lightweight, printed one side in full colour, waterproof, and easily cleaned.

Fabric Cafe Banners – Polyester canvas material, suitable for indoors or outdoors, printed full colour single or double sided.