Building for success with your restaurant patio

It may not feel like it just yet, but patio season is on the way again. Programs like Toronto’s CaféTO and Vancouver’s own system will be underway again this spring made permanent in some major jurisdictions, and with hopes of a sustained reopening this time around, it could be a much-needed busy summer for those […]

Vancouver patio program amended by City after criticism

The Vancouver patio program has been amended at short notice by the City following high-profile criticism from the foodservice and hospitality industry. The 2022 guidelines for summer patios at restaurants, bars, and breweries had come under fire from industry associations such as the BC Craft Brewers Guild and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. […]

18,000 US restaurants added outdoor dining since start of pandemic

Outdoor dining has been a lifesaver for many restaurants throughout the turmoil and the pain of the last two years of pandemic, and new data from Yelp suggests that around 18,000 businesses in the U.S. have newly listed outdoor dining as an attribute since the pandemic began. The total number of establishments listing outdoor dining […]

Toronto opens registration for 2022 CaféTO program

The City of Toronto has announced that it has opened registration for its extended 2022 CaféTO program and is now welcoming applications from restaurants and bars. Operators in the city who are interested in expanding their outdoor dining space into the curb lane and onto sidewalks can register and apply through a new streamlined online […]

Winter patios are key again but are they a safe option?

The COVID-19 wheel keeps spinning and indoor dining is now greatly reduced or off the table entirely in numerous provinces across Canada. Earlier in the pandemic, outdoor dining was hailed as a saviour by many restaurants, and that applies to winter patios, not just warm-weather ones. The trouble, of course, is making that a comfortable […]

Toronto set to approve permanent, year-round CaféTO program

Toronto’s popular CaféTO program, a measure born out of the pandemic that allowed restaurant and bar patios to extend onto sidewalks and roadways, could become a permanent year-round initiative. The City of Toronto Executive Committee has approved a proposal supported by Mayor John Tory to make the program permanent through a “phased” approach and also waive […]

OpenTable lists 100 best Canadian restaurants for fall outdoor dining

Summer patio season is over, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean that outdoor dining should be off the menu entirely. OpenTable data suggests that while Canadians typically move indoors by the end of September, 41 per cent of Canadians are planning on dining outdoors as far into the fall as possible. Restaurants are investing in outdoor […]

Outdoor dining demand has been driven up by Delta variant

New data from the U.S. National Restaurant Association has shown how the delta COVID-19 variant drove up the demand for outdoor dining. In a September 2021 survey fielded by the Association, 78 per cent of operators said their restaurant experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor on-premises dining in recent weeks, as a result […]

New handbook proposes designs for safe outdoor dining

Researchers at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism have developed a design handbook that proposes new ways to enjoy safe outdoor dining in Ottawa during and after pandemic restrictions. Titled Dinner in the Street: Dining Safely and Socially in the Pandemic City and Beyond, the project aims to help the restaurant industry and enhance public life […]

Avoiding restaurant patio pests this summer

By Alice Sinia Efforts to return to pre-pandemic activities coupled with warmer weather means patrons are heading back to restaurant patio dining. At the same time, customers and employees still expect restaurants to do their part in helping keep them safe while they dine. In many ways, restauranteurs already have this top of mind, deploying […]