Reviving local restaurants

Restaurants have had to undergo significant changes to accommodate the current situation with the pandemic. Read this article to learn about some of the adjustments that these shops have had to implement.

Things are starting to warm up and hopefully with warmer weather comes lighter COVID-19 mandates. In the latest batch of restrictions, Governor Tom Wolf significantly decreased the limitations on the community. Self-certified restaurants can now have up to 75 percent indoor capacity while those who aren’t certified can have up to fifty percent indoor capacity. Wolf has also allowed for the purchase of alcoholic beverages without the purchase of food. This allows for restaurants to make a similar amount of money off of alcoholic beverages as they did before the pandemic started which helps them out greatly. 

Restaurants were forced to come up with creative seating plans to continue to make a profit off of sit down customers in conjunction with a consistent flow of takeout orders. Local restaurants have been doing a good job of getting customers to come in by using heaters, tents, and pod-like structures. These have been effective and some restaurants will be able to keep this system in place. Others will have to come up with creative ways to have more in-person customers outside for those who aren’t comfortable with dining inside. There are more available seats inside now due to the new mandate which helps with the less cautious individuals. 

Many local restaurants have done a good job with both indoor and outdoor seating. One such restaurant is Royal Cafe in Narberth. Over the winter, they converted a portion of their parking lot into a large, heated tent that provided plenty of seating for customers. They also have great indoor space to incorporate as much of the 75 percent capacity as they want, and have had numerous live performances to attract crowds over the weekends. Another restaurant that has done a very good job with its limited indoor and outdoor seating is Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Wynnewood. They have a porch that has heat lamps and fans as well as wind barriers that help keep a breeze out on a colder night. They have great spacing inside the restaurant that can make anyone feel comfortable. They also have takeout and very effective delivery methods through multiple sites including DoorDash. This allows for them to still have a consistent flow of money from their takeout orders that they established in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. A third local restaurant that is taking an angle similar to those of restaurants located in cities is Taqueria Amor. Taqueria Amor in Manayunk has created small cabanas in which there are picnic tables that can hold up to six people. These cabanas safely reach out into the street due to the limited space on the sidewalk.  Each cabana has its own heater and plexiglass between its neighboring space. This restaurant also has multiple windows that will be opened up inside to allow for more people to be safely seated inside the restaurant.

There are so many other restaurants that are employing similar practices to the ones above. Thankfully for these businesses, the Pennsylvania restaurant restrictions have been lightened and now they can get back to a similar revenue flow to that of which they had before the pandemic hit. By implementing all of these strategies, restaurants have also been able to make more people feel comfortable with going out to eat instead of staying home, and in doing so they make everything feel like it is trending back to normal, especially now with the distribution of vaccines. 

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