Let’s face it, no one is picking outdoor dining in the winter when there is snow on the ground. With the warmer southern states not too concerned with filling the patio during the winter month. Folks in Boston, New York, Chicago, and other cities are shaking in their snow boots wondering how they will survive. With the pandemic kicking back up, businesses have been greatly relying on their outdoor dining to help with social distancing in their establishments. Recalling back to a few months ago, bars and restaurant in Chicago were only allowing outdoor dining, that has since changed.

Since the rules of dining are made from state to state, just like all the other protocols during these times. Many places have looked at ways to extend their patio season to more of a year-round thing, here are some examples that they are turning to:

  • Heaters– While they may seem like the most normal go-to for colder temps, propane heaters scattered across the patio isn’t going to stop the snowflakes from dropping into that expensive bottle of wine that you sprung for because you know how much the restaurant needs the sales. Adding propane heaters will be ideal when those cooler months are approaching in the northern states but will most likely work the entire season in the south. Long story short, the heater will help you in the cold, not in the snow.
  • Igloos– While it may seem very primitive, I can assure you, these are no Eskimo made ice huts. Typically, clear (so the service staff can see you, these modern-day tents replicating igloos are the way of the future for outdoor dining. They will usually have a small heat source within them, allowing the guest to be toasty warm inside. Also, these will ensure that the germs (and for the most part noise) from the table next to you is not ruining your dinner date.
  • Tents– While you may think that these are no different than the igloos I mention above, I can assure you there is one main difference- no separation. Under the large wedding-style tents, bars and restaurants are seating people like how they are in the restaurant but outdoors under a heated tent to allow for higher capacities while still allowing social distancing. It’s easier and cheaper to heat one large tent than it is to have each table have its own.

It is always important to do your part and help your favorite restaurants during these hard times. If that means you must suck it up once in a great while in the colder months and sit in a heated environment that is out of your normal comfort level, then please do it. Most places are going above and beyond to help make sure you have a great dining experience. If you are unfamiliar with everything they had to do to get back to reopening after the pandemic then you should take a deep dive into the precautions that they had to ensure to serve you once again. Also, just a friendly reminder during the colder months, it is the holiday season so let try to stay jolly and spread some cheer while dining outside!