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What NYC Restaurants Need to Do With Their Outdoor Dining Setups on Snow Days

Plus, e-commerce ordering platform Ritual is now free to use for restaurants and bars for a limited time — and more intel

New York City Restaurants Resume Indoor Service At 25% Capacity
NYC has introduced new snow guidelines for outdoor dining setups
Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

NYC issues new snow day guidelines for outdoor dining

The city’s sanitation department issued new guidelines last Friday for what restaurants need to do with their outdoor dining setups when it snows. Gothamist first reported on this latest development, which includes two kinds of advisories issued during inclement weather.

During a winter operations advisory — such as the one issued on Sunday for today — restaurants will still be allowed to keep their outdoor dining setups open, but will have to take additional precautionary measures like using snow sticks for visibility, regularly clearing the sidewalks of snow and ice, and keeping fire hydrants accessible. These type of advisories will be issued when the city expects less than an inch of snow.

When it’s more than that, the DSNY will issue a snow alert, requiring restaurateurs to suspend outdoor dining operations at the time noted on the alert, along with securing furniture and removing electric heaters. For when there’s more than 12 inches of snow, the city recommends restaurants consolidate their structures as much as possible to take up the least amount of space.

Restaurants owners have previously decried the difficulty of keeping up with the constantly changing guidelines, and these latest measures will be tested this week with a major snowstorm predicted to hit the city late Wednesday and continuing into Thursday.

In other news

— E-commerce platform Ritual will offer its new ordering platform free of cost to restaurants and bars in the city to allow customers to place delivery and pickup orders directly on the restaurants’ websites. The offer runs through April 2021, and was made possible by a partnership with the state.

— NYC’s microbusinesses — establishments with 10 or fewer employees, including many restaurants — say they were shortchanged by the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

— NYC poké establishment Wisefish has permanently closed both its Tribeca and Chelsea locations due to the business downturn caused by the pandemic. The business first opened its doors in 2016.

— The New York Times looked at restaurants across the city that are contending with letting much of their staff go, once again, after indoor dining was banned in New York City.

— Tribeca Mexican restaurant Zona temporarily shuttered over the weekend after one its staffers was exposed to COVID-19, according to an announcement on the restaurant’s entrance.

— Happy Hanukkah!