Some establishments had been operating as take-out only, some were closed, but now that rules have evolved to include in-person dining, many restaurateurs have either moved forward or struggle with the perfect solutions or procedures to implement for employee and patron safety. We've seen everything from stuffed animals or mannequins, tents, plexiglass barriers, individual greenhouses or domes, robotic servers, empty tables, and other wacky ways that restaurants are enforcing social distancing. Functional, yes. A bit quirky, sometimes. The best long-term options, debatable.
Those in charge of restaurant operations may be deliberating with which direction to move in to ensure that they can abide by social-distancing measures, operate effectively, and sustain their business in the future. As coronavirus positives continue to pick up around the US and states like New York retract their go-aheads for indoor dining, the big question looming for eateries is "what can we put in place to accommodate our patrons?"
Converting Outdoor Areas for Socially Distanced Dining: Glass Structures
Never before has there been a greater emphasis on alfresco dining. Those clamoring for the coveted outdoor seats during warm weather, now have even more competition from those seeking to dine out, as they are the only seats available. Restaurants, bars, and cafes may have untapped outdoor space, but the areas may not be conducive or aesthetic enough to support outdoor service or customer satisfaction. Decision makers should assess what makes the most sense for their business.
Global locations have utilized "social distancing cubicles," leveraging their positioning in scenic locales to revive demand and deliver an enjoyable atmosphere for those eager to have a meal outside of their homes. Super creative and completely helpful for these businesses past the time that people need to stay apart. As the seasons change or the weather is less than stellar, outdoor seating like this can still be available for diners.
In reality, these pods are mini sunrooms, greenhouses, or conservatories. They may not be appropriate for everyone, but can be reproduced in some capacity to mimic the functionality. Just add a table, lighting, and heat source (if necessary), and voila — an eatery has a desirable, functional, and out-of-the-box (or actually in-the-box) solution.
Patio Dining is Making it Enjoyable and Safe to Eat at a Restaurant
Some restaurants are handling outdoor social distancing with some really bizarre tables or head coverings. While these are certainly interesting ideas and can offer a bit of fun, are they really the most efficient methods for staying afloat? They require an investment in supplies or furniture and will not have relevance in the long run. For budgeting purposes and long-term sustainability, it makes more sense to consider a more standard, tried-and-true solution.
Many eateries are relying on umbrellas and tents which do work, but only to a certain degree. They may need consistent replacement and be useless in high winds or other inclement weather conditions. The ground materials, tables and chairs could also benefit by being protected by a more permanent and longer lasting covering that also happens to establish a more pleasing exterior.
Patio covers or pergolas can be altered with shades and coverings, strung with lights, adorned with flowers, and even support fans. These long-term structures are a worthwhile investment that can extend usage of outdoor space and deliver a wonderful environment that customers will just love to visit. The extremely versatile spot will also be a great event space for functions once we are back to full normalcy.
Four Seasons Sunrooms and Windows is here to help businesses navigate the new normal. Our versatile options can be tailored to meet specific needs. Contact us at 888-270-3546 to discuss the choices that can help you to abide by social distancing protocol and help your business to thrive.