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Colder months affecting restaurants as outdoor dining comes to an end

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 19:35:25-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As the colder months move in, restaurants hare having to pivot once again. Those that offered outdoor dining over the summer are moving back indoors, cutting off yet another stream of customers that are still not comfortable eating inside.

"We have a lot of older clientele and I know a lot of them were worried so they like sitting outside just to be away from people," Legends Patio Grill and Bar manager Abby McGrain said.

Legends Patio Grill and Bar near 103rd and Ida Streets has not only utilized their outdoor seating but have thrived off it. They're going to try to make it last for as long as possible.

“I think until it snows, people are going to try to sit out here," McGrain said. "I think they’re just worried about being inside close to people, as long as it’s not freezing cold...they’re going to keep sitting out here, and we’ll let them.”

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour ensures that safety will still be a priority as restaurants move back inside.

"You know the guidance is still there. The guidance from the Restaurant Association that restaurants should put tables apart, they should have six to eight people around tables, no larger groups," she said.

But the cold weather still takes away a certain group of clientele who aren't comfortable eating indoors just yet.

Zoe Olson, Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association said, "We just don't know what's going to happen as the cold weather comes, as influenza rises. What are people going to do?"

The Nebraska Restaurant Association is recommending that those who don't want to eat inside, still utilize carryout. It's what saved Nebraska's restaurant industry in the beginning.

"When the restaurants closed indoors nationally, Nebraska was the state that was second in the nation per capita on carryout food and that is what sustained your local restaurants," Olson said.

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