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While the ban on indoor dining has recently been lifted in PA and in other parts of the U.S., restaurants can likely expect more restrictions coming soon as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to climb (currently at 23,650,700 cases as of January 14, 2021). With more cases come the possibility of reinstating indoor dining bans similar to the previous ones rolled out over the holidays in the U.S. throughout November and December 2020.
Restaurants have already prepped for colder weather months and are facing the indoor dining bans by moving the inside, out. Tables and chairs were weather- and waterproofed for outdoor use. Outdoor igloos, tents, and other plastic bubbles were purchased and assembled, despite safety concerns. Outdoor dining spaces were curated for the ease of staff and diners. They moved service stations outside and mapped where customers and wait staff should travel, specifying entry and exit areas, to mitigate risk for all parties.
Making outdoor dining as cozy as its indoor counterpart requires a big shift, so there’s a lot for restaurant owners and managers to consider. Do you go with an outdoor fireplace and chandeliers to pull out all the stops, or keep it simple with an overhang, additional chair cushions, and yes, even a different kind of B.Y.O.B. (bring your own blanket)? Along with making sure your outdoor dining space is set up to handle diners safely and efficiently, keeping the outdoor space habitable and accessories secure are also top concerns.
An additional issue is ensuring outdoor spaces don’t lose one of the highly touted benefits by restaurants and health experts alike: increased airflow. Take it from Dr. Erich Anderer, neurosurgeon, (quoted in Business Insider): "The general principle should be: Outside is better than inside; open is better than closed; fewer is better than more people; and stay away from sick people.” Creating an outdoor space that is still truly outdoors while shielding patrons from elements is ideal.
Awnings to keep diners dry in downpours or during flurries were welcome additions to eating al fresco over the past 10 months. So too were heat lamps, aimed at keeping diners and their plates warm despite chilly temperatures as some parts of the U.S. headed into cold winter months. But what about protection for the outdoor dining furniture and accessories?
According to Vector Security, smart locks on gates, video surveillance cameras with proper signage, and taking items such as a beloved ficus and newly purchased outdoor furniture inside at the end of the night are key. Security becomes trickier with semi-permanent and permanent structures like outdoor bars that can’t be taken inside. So what’s a restaurant owner or manager to do?
While surveillance cameras can virtually keep an eye on your large outdoor structures in case of theft, what they can’t do is actively protect them. You can easily secure your restaurant’s outdoor spaces with security grilles and doors. They can reduce worry and risk about newly built structures and the stock behind the bar while also giving patrons a glimpse of your outdoor dining amenities. Instead of shrouding your outdoor area behind bulky tarps or completely concealing it, you can offer an enticing peek at what your eatery has to offer with security grilles.
CornellCookson offers a range of SteelWeave mesh security grilles for protecting your outdoor dining space while enhancing its visual appeal. Our SteelWeave products are manufactured with a stainless steel mesh that transforms a standard security grille into a rolling work of art. But just because it’s aesthetically pleasing doesn’t mean it’s not durable. Constructed of 316 stainless steel material, a SteelWeave Grille and its unique end retention can provide up to 10 or 20 PSF with the Lago and Tigris patterns. With five curtain patterns (two standard and three special order options) and an option for custom etching on our Lago pattern, your outdoor dining space can be appealing and still be protected from break-ins and theft.
With SteelWeave, it’s simple to customize your product or retrofit an existing outdoor structure. There are also three design styles depending on how much you’d like passerby to see…or not see. They include:
To talk with an expert about CornellCookson’s SteelWeave products, contact us at 833.958.1273.
With the news of the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed to the general public in the next few months (experts are currently targeting a late March or early April timeline for the general population), there are a number of days left until indoor dining becomes the norm again. We can’t wait to celebrate by tucking into a delicious meal and refreshing beverage at our favorite local establishments. But in the meantime, continuing to update outdoor dining areas and keep those structures safe can pay dividends.
Cornell is the industry leader for rolling door, security grille and closure product experts since 1828. To inquire how Cornell's long history of innovation and customer service can help you with your next rolling door project, call 833.958.1273.