Restaurants forced to serve customers outside face new problems as long heatwave sets in

Local News

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — The upcoming heatwave has many bars and restaurants nervous about business as state COVID-19 guidelines say they can only offer outside seating.

That has many scrambling for misters and shade, while some may offer to-go orders only.

“It’s probably going to be a little rough,” said Maryann Dye, a server at Pacific Street Cafe in Roseville.

Dye said she’s worried the triple-digit heat over the next 10 plus days could really hurt business, as COVID-19 guidelines mean they can not offer indoor seating.

“People try to come out when it’s a little cooler but it doesn’t matter right now because it’s hot from sunrise to sunset,” she told FOX40. 

Even for the staff, inside the restaurant is not much better as the doors must be propped open in order to serve customers food outside.

“Like, the cook has some fans on him but we don’t have air conditioning running because it makes no sense to do that,” Dye explained.

Across the street, the Boxing Donkey has been focusing on its back patio.

“We’ve got some shade. We just put in some sun shades, tents of course,” said owner Kendal Schubert. “We have an extended patio, misters, lots of fans. We’ve definitely gone out of our way to improve our situation out there.”

The hotter weather and the forced outside seating has many restaurants re-examining their menus to offer cooler foods and cooler beverages.

“We’ve rented a Slushie machine to make the best of it this weekend, see how it goes,” Schubert said.

But Shubert said it’s likely the heat will hurt sales.

“I know, personally, I’m not going to want to eat outside in this weather,” Schubert said. “The ordinance, you have to eat food and not everyone has an appetite when it’s 100 plus degrees out.”

With the pandemic already hurting many restaurants’ bottom lines, this heatwave could be an extra challenge that some may not survive.

“There are a lot of call-in orders,” Dye said.

Dye said she hopes customers will brave the heat for something good to eat.

“We’ve got ice water we’ll serve you. We’ll come by a thousand times with refills, whatever you need!” she said. “I just … we want you to come in and we’re grateful for any business that we do have.”

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