BC restaurant organizations ask Vernon to allow year-round patios

Push for year-round patios

Since pandemic restrictions on restaurants are showing no sign of easing up, eateries are looking at alternatives to keep their businesses afloat.

The BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Alliance of Beverage Licensees and the BC Craft Brewers Guild have penned a letter to the City of Vernon to express their suggestions to keep revenue coming into the industry.

They are asking the city to expedite applications for businesses to winterize patios in public and private spaces, approve temporary patios for next summer now so operators can plan ahead, and to create a program for enhancing contactless curbside pickup for fall and winter.

"Outside dining has been a significant benefit to operators and customers," says the letter. "lt has helped build confidence in dining out and activated streets in new ways that have helped keep patrons and employees safe amid this global pandemic."

At this point, 15 per cent of hospitality businesses in BC have already closed. Now with the recent news of limited alcohol sales, the restaurant industry is more vulnerable than it has ever been.

"Our industry has never faced a crisis of this magnitude," says the letter. "Extensions of the incredible support and creativity you have already offered would make a significant difference to the hospitality businesses that operate and employ people in your community."

Council is expected to receive the letter for information and will review the city staff's report in the Oct. 13 meeting.

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