Restaurants begin making plans ahead of colder weather

What will restaurants do if outdoor seating isn’t an option?

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Capital Ale House is only using 50% of its space inside, so outdoor tables are necessary. But, as it’s almost October, outdoor dining may not be an option for much longer.

“We’re one of the lucky restaurants in that in that we have some outdoor seating available in addition to our indoor seating, so we’ve been using this the entire time since we’ve been allowed to be open since Phase 1,” said Amy DuFour, director of marketing.

DuFour says the outdoor space has put many customers at ease, who are looking to go out for the first time since the pandemic began.

“Guests are allowed to make reservations online; they will sometimes note that in the reservation if they want to sit outside because they do feel more comfortable being outside - especially those who haven’t ventured out yet,” said DuFour.

But without the option of outside, restaurants are split on what to do, Capital Ale House says they will be moving people inside, while Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond says they’re still working out a plan.

One thing’s for sure, restaurants need to think fast; for Capital Ale House, there are three locations in the Richmond area and the downtown location has been hit hard, as so many are working from home and not going out to lunch. The restaurant says so far they’ve lost more than 30% of business. So now the question is will they take another hit as it cools down?

“We hope that business will stay the same, folks will still be OK who have enjoyed our patios all summer, will be OK with coming in and sitting inside, especially with social distancing and all that we have. So we’ll see,” said DuFour.

If you only feel comfortable eating outside, the restaurant says to-go is always an option.

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