Outdoor Dining Restrictions Could Severely Hurt Restaurants

Outdoor dining has been banned by county and regional COVID-19 restrictions.

Outdoor dining has been banned by county and regional COVID-19 restrictions.

On November 25, Los Angeles County health officials suspended outdoor dining, as COVID-19 cases surged in the area. According to NBC News, the restriction, which will remain in place for at least three weeks, has limited restaurants to takeout, drive through, and delivery options only. This is the first time outdoor dining has been fully suspended since May. 

The ban came just a day after a judge struck down the California Restaurant Association’s lawsuit against the state. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the California Restaurant Association sued the state in an attempt to stop the ban. The group argued that the ban on outdoor dining would severely hurt restaurants’ livelihood. Outdoor dining had long been the main source of income for restaurants during the pandemic, so the ban can severely affect restaurant owners. At another hearing on December 8, the judge ruled in favor of the California Restaurant Association, as reported by NBC News, representing a victory for the restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

Despite the favorable ruling, outdoor dining cannot continue, as a regional stay-at-home order was passed Sunday, December 6. Included among the many restrictions passed by Governor Gavin Newsom was a ban on outdoor dining, the Los Angeles Times reported. Many restaurant owners have begun to protest against the ban. In LA county, protesters surrounded the home of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who was seen dining out, after issuing a ban prohibiting outdoor dining. As reported by KTLA 5 News, protesters surround the supervisor’s house, chanting “let us work.” 

The countywide and regional restrictions could prove to be fatal to restaurants in Southern California. With nearly no way to gain the money needed to support their business, restaurant owners may be forced to permanently close their stores.