Restaurants Got Creative with Special Seating Choices

Bubble tent for outside seating on the sidewalk during COVID-19 protocols
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Bubble tent for outside seating on the sidewalk during COVID-19 protocols

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, restaurants were forced to get creative to stay afloat. With indoor dining no longer an option in many places, and takeout and delivery only service proving to be a less-than-ideal solution for many businesses, many restaurants scrambled to add outdoor seating to continue serving customers while maintaining social distancing.

At first, the transition to outdoor seating seemed like a simple solution. After all, what could be more pleasant than dining al fresco on a warm summer evening? But as restaurants began to set up tables and chairs on sidewalks and in parking lots, they quickly discovered that the legalities of outdoor seating were anything but simple.

One of the biggest challenges restaurants faced was obtaining the necessary permits and approvals. In many cases, restaurants had to go through a lengthy and complex process to set up outdoor seating, including obtaining permission from the city or town in which they were located. With many municipalities overwhelmed by the pandemic and struggling to keep up with the demand for permits, the process of getting approved could take weeks or even months.

In addition to the challenges of obtaining permits, restaurants also had to deal with a host of other legalities when it came to outdoor seating. These included issues such as accessibility, fire safety, and the need to provide adequate lighting and heating for customers. And with many restaurants operating on tight budgets and with reduced staff, navigating these complex legal issues was a daunting task.

Despite these challenges, many restaurants were able to successfully add outdoor seating and continue serving customers during the pandemic. Through hard work and determination, they were able to overcome the legal and logistical hurdles and provide a safe and enjoyable dining experience for their customers.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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