As states start to relax their lockdown requirements, it’s important that restaurants understand what they need to do to serve patrons safely—and that includes knowing how to optimize their outdoor dining furniture arrangement.
Restaurants have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which almost overnight forced dining establishments across the country to shutter their doors and adapt to new practices. While many restaurants have been able to supplement their profits somewhat through increased delivery and takeout services, business owners are ready for the go-ahead to open up again and are creating new and/or expanded outdoor restaurant seating areas to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Outdoor dining is a great solution for allowing restaurants to reopen while minimizing risks to both diners and staff. That being said, there are some pretty strict rules that should be followed when it comes to arranging outdoor dining tables and keeping everyone at a safe distance, as well as some tips that can further increase safety. Here’s what you need to know.
For restaurants that are used to maximizing their space as much as possible, it can be tough to switch gears and meet state requirements. But social distancing safety guidelines necessitate that outdoor restaurant furniture is arranged such that patrons are never within six feet of each other. This usually means operating at half- or quarter-capacity, which, although not ideal, is a better alternative than having to keep patios closed altogether.
Monitor Who’s Coming In
Restaurants have a responsibility to not schedule any staff who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including those exhibiting fevers or flu-like symptoms. And the same policies should be extended to patrons. Many restaurants are taking diners’ temperatures before allowing them to sit down, as well as screening for other obvious signs of the virus.
Expand Outdoor Areas
The more space the better when it comes to spreading out while maximizing profit. Restaurant owners are encouraged to reach out to their local communities to find new opportunities for expansion, such as closing off sidewalks, driveways, or streets to allow for the placement of more tables. Many cities have taken this initiative themselves, closing off streets so that restaurants have room to bring their dining rooms outside or spread out their existing outdoor dining furniture. If it’s not offered in your area though, it’s worth asking! Even a couple extra squares on the sidewalk provide the potential to serve more diners.
In Need Of Furniture For Your New or Expanded Patio?
We can help! At Bistro Tables and Bases, we offer a wide variety of affordable, high-quality outdoor furniture for restaurants, including aluminum and wrought iron tables and chairs, as well as durable commercial table bases. Many of our options are easy to keep clean and sanitized, with low maintenance methods that ensure that your staff is available to efficiently clean furniture in between patrons. Please get in touch today if you are in need of guidance on developing or expanding your restaurant’s outdoor space, or browse our online store to find your best fit.