Restaurants Relying on Patios Brace for Winter
For months, indoor dining restrictions have forced restaurants to rely on outdoor seating. But as temperatures get cooler, restaurants now are trying to figure out how to keep their seating capacity.
At Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill in Plymouth, the outdoor patio has been packed almost every night. Bailee Duke, the general manager at Grizzly’s, said his restaurant hopes to keep the outdoor seating for as long as possible.
“Even in just the past couple days in the colder weather, we did notice a little drop,” Duke said.
Grizzly’s has fire pits to keep the outdoor area warm. The restaurant also looked at investing in heat lamps, but realized they weren’t putting out enough heat.
“Otherwise, we’re mostly going to focus on take-out orders,” explained Duke. “That’s about 40-50% of our sales right now, food sales. So I don’t see that trend going away. We’re just going to adapt to that new lifestyle.”
Duke said the private dining room at Grizzly’s has also been repurposed.
“We opened that up and spaced some tables which gave us an extra five to six tables than we would have had with the distancing inside,” she said.
Sitting on Grizzly’s outdoor patio, CCX News also met up with Zack Ward, co-founder of OMNI Brewing in Maple Grove. Ward said his business is also making efforts to keep its outdoor seating.
“We’re looking to put heated tents over a good swath of our patio to have more seating,” Ward said. “We certainly benefited from the nice weather we had this summer and the fact that we have a nice large patio.”
As restaurants prepare for the chilly season, any little dose of optimism helps.
“We will survive COVID. I have confidence in that,” Ward said.