Outdoor Dining Extended & Takeout & Delivery to Gain During NFL Games

September 10, 2020
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
"We found an incredibly safe meal and a really great meal dining indoors this past weekend and I encourage others to try it. Local governments have done a lot of work and restaurants have done a lot of work to enhance the safety of their customers" - Gov Charlie Baker, press conference on 9/10/20
Gov. Baker signs Executive Order extending outdoor dining

Today's press conference was held at a restaurant and Governor Baker said he would sign an order that will "extend the time-frame for municipal permitting for expanded outdoor dining." "That expansion will help restaurants like this one continue serving guests in their outdoor space on the same basic terms that have been permitted since June, and we hope this eases the burden on restaurants and extends their season for outdoor dining as well," Baker said. 
The Governor also announced another $5 million in Massachusetts Department of Transportation and federal CARES Act funding would be made available through the Shared Streets and Spaces program, which helps create space for socially distanced commerce, dining and walking. As the weather gets colder, Baker said, Shared Streets money can also go to heaters and special lighting to help restaurants extend their outdoor seasons.
A recent priority of the MRA has been the continuance of outdoor dining opportunities as the primary Executive Order was set to expire.
The MRA continues to work on increasing the number of grant programs available to operators and on existing restaurant regulations, including:
  • number of customers permitted at each table
  • allowing re-usable menus 
  • customer seating at bars
  • event capacity restrictions
MRA Common Question:

Can I use plexiglass to separate tables inside my restaurant?
Yes. Directly from reopen regulations: tables may be positioned closer if separated by protective / non-porous barriers (e.g., structural walls or plexi-glass dividers) not less than 6 feet high installed between tables and high foot traffic areas.

The MRA has partnered with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism with the “My Local MA” campaign.
This statewide campaign encourages consumers to support their local economies by spending their money at Massachusetts businesses, safely – in person, online, and using curbside pickup or takeout.
The goal is to reinforce with our customers when we all buy local, we are doing our part to preserve the Massachusetts we know and love. The campaign emphasizes the need to shop, dine, and travel safely, which includes “masking up” when you visit these local businesses.
The two million dollar campaign will run through the end of the year across social media, digital ads, digital billboards, TV, radio, and print. There is also the campaign website, where consumers and members of the business community are invited to learn more about our mission and access downloadable badges and resources.
MRA Members, here is what you need to do:
1. Access the information in the toolkit
2. Hang the flyer from the toolkit in your business.
3. Use the logos from the toolkit on social media and on your websites.
4. Use the #mylocalma and #maskupma hashtags on your social media posts.

New research shows that the exclusion of fans from most stadiums will be a boon to takeout and delivery. 
Restaurants will see a sales pop of nearly $1 billion this weekend as a result of pro football’s return without crowds in the stands, according to new data from an events-focused researcher.

“The decrease in live event attendance and spending is a huge boon to restaurants and grocery & liquor stores,” says PredictHQ, a researcher that says it specializes in sales projections for special events. “No fans or limited fans at games means we’ll see Super Bowl-caliber consumption of pizza, beer, wings, chips & dips every Sunday.”

Source: Restaurant Business Online, PredictHQ