The pandemic has pushed consumers from cafeterias to sidewalks, parking spaces, and open streets. Today, restaurant owners demand that outdoor dining structures, tents, and sheds be maintained forever.
In July, the San Francisco Oversight Board voted in favor of making Dining Parklet permanent. Atlanta and Philadelphia are one of the cities that are considering similar measures. New York City has set out technical details of more sustainable outdoor dining rules after Mayor Bill de Blasio made the open restaurant program permanent a year ago.
Big cities aren’t just looking at change. The town of Fairfax, California, conducted a survey of residents, visitors, and businesses in August to determine if restaurants should be able to operate their dining parklets permanently. Of the 987 respondents, 91% said they were in favor of this measure.
David Ruiz opened the restaurant Stillwater in Fairfax with his wife in June 2020. There was a rear patio in the place, but when Fairfax began to approve the Parklet structure, Stillwater built its own one, which occupies about one-third of the restaurant’s total capacity.
“Sure, it’s a game changer,” he said. “We probably sit somewhere between 30 and 100 people every day.”
Veselka, a staple of the Ukrainian village of Manhattan, has built an outdoor structure that adds about 50 seats to its capacity.
“It really helped me make money,” said co-owner Jason Virtualard. “Without these 11 tables, 50 seats in total, it definitely wins its maintenance.”
Additional sales from these tables meant reducing the pressure on Veselka to return to pre-pandemic 24-hour service, even if the city eased the curfew on restaurants. Staffing troubles and noisy midnight crowds would have made it difficult to resume those hours.
Still, making outdoor meals permanent is popular in restaurants, but there are some opponents. Some eateries have complained about noisy outdoor customers and the loss of parking space.
Pietro Gianni, co-owner of Atlanta’s Storico Fresco and Forza Storico restaurants, said: “I would like to have four parklets in front of the building rather than the walls of four Yukons and SUVs so that people can sit and look at the restaurant.”
In New York City, de Blasio defended the loss of approximately 8,550 parking lots by recognizing the program’s achievements by saving 100,000 restaurant jobs. As of 2019, there are about 3 million spaces on the streets of the city.
“It’s a small issue, but it’s still a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Andrew Riggie, secretary-general of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, who lobby on behalf of the restaurant. “As many people say, one parking lot is for one car and is usually temporary. In contrast, how many seats can be placed in one parking lot and how many jobs Is born. “
Opponents also complain about the safety of the dining structure. On Wednesday, a sanitary truck driving Manhattan accidentally picked up a street-side dining structure with people inside and dragged it down the street.
Hygiene is another issue.
“You always see mice coming out of the hut,” Cuup NYC member Stuart Waldman told CNBC’s Kate Rogers in August. The Cue Up NYC, or Coalition United for Equitable Urban Policy, is an alliance of neighborhood organizations that oppose New York’s outdoor dining programs.
As the city tries to solve these problems, restaurants may find that customers are less enthusiastic about sitting outside all year round. Instead of eating indoors last winter, many endured the cold, and operators invested in propane heaters and other features to warm their customers. For example, Veselka surrounded some outdoor structures.
This year, many restaurant owners plan to maintain street-side dining facilities during the winter, although they may change their plans to meet demand. The Covid-19 vaccine has once again made many consumers feel comfortable eating indoors, but new variants and the proliferation of other cases can change their minds again.
“I don’t think some people will ever return to the cafeteria,” Gianni said.
Promote restaurant owners nationwide to make street meals permanent
Source link Promote restaurant owners nationwide to make street meals permanent