MONROE, La (05/08/20) — It’s been a week since restaurants were allowed to provide outside seating for people who wanted to enjoy their to go orders at the restaurant.
On any other sunny warm day, these chairs would be filled with people eating their to go orders outside. But due to the rain, they’re empty as workers prepare for the big weekend rush of customers.
“Business has increased exponentially with the outdoor seating. People want to get out from their houses and just get out of the house and be in the outdoors,” said Rob Long, Owner of Braiz’n American Bar & Grill.
And although business has been booming since opening outdoor seating, it hasn’t been the easiest transition.
“Oh it’s definitely been a change. There’s nothing in the game plan or restaurant guide that you’re gonna have to shut down your indoor seating and have to go with strictly outdoor, 10 feet apart,” said Joey Trappey, Owner of Trapps.
Some days, the restaurants are so packed they have to turn outdoor guests away. “You know, we have a lot of people calling and trying to reserve tables, which you know unfortunately we cannot come serve you. You have to place a to go order, get it boxed up. We have outdoor seating that you can come and kinda do your own thing almost like a park bench,” said Trappey.
As local restaurants hope to be fully open soon, outdoor seating might become part of their norm moving forward. “We’ll have outdoor seating and indoor seating. I think the outdoor seating we’re going to keep for the near future,” said Long.
Both Trapps and Braiz’n say they’re thankful to be able to serve their community even if it means only offering outside seating for the time being. At both restaurants, you can order something to go then sit at a table outside to eat the food. Servers will not be assisting at outside tables until new guidelines come in for restaurants.