Restaurant groups are scrambling to secure funds to help an already hard-hit industry make the transition from summer to winter, when outdoor seating that helped many owners stay afloat during the pandemic will become much harder if not impossible to continue offering.
Many cities have become accommodating by making more sidewalk and street space available for bars and restaurants during the warmer months, but that may not be enough to attract customers as temperatures drop.
One in six restaurants have closed since the coronavirus took hold, and many fear that the next six months will be too much for small-business owners in colder climates.
Seventy-seven percent of full-service restaurant operators said they would likely take advantage of incentives, like a tax credit, to help them purchase tents and patio heaters, among other equipment, to extend the outdoor dining season, according to the National Restaurant Association.
“Congress is about to leave